Name: Rachel Ventura
Political party: Democrat
Town where you currently reside: Joliet
Children: 9-year old twins
Office sought: Will County Board Member, District 9
Occupation (employer): Legendary Games
Education: Bachelors of Science degree in mathematics from Benedictine University and a biology degree from Tidewater College
Phone (for possible constituents to call): 815-954-1981
1) Why are you running for the elected office you’re seeking?
I'm running for Will County Board, District 9 because I believe we need a government that works for everyone. I plan to focus on the issues and find bold solutions to the everyday kitchen table problems.
I support investing in our infrastructure, like the I-80 expansion. I also would like to see continued growth in renewable energies like wind and solar, making Will County a greener place to live. Caring for our farmland with sustainable practices, providing clean water and air and being responsible with land preservation are issues that affect us all. Offering opioid treatment options at our health department and expanding mental health services will help those who need it most.
I'm committed to listening to the issues, researching the problem, asking the tough questions and working to create solutions that best represent the needs of the people and area.
2) What skills, qualities or experience do you have that separate you from your opponents?
I am a native of Joliet but spent 10 years as a military spouse, which allows me to bring both local experiences and new ideas to the table. I have worked as an actuary in both Illinois and California. I’ve also lived in Virginia, Georgia and Washington, where I volunteered with a number of nonprofit organizations and worked as a substitute teacher, a state park naturalist, a pet nurse, a marketing manager, and currently I am a business director for an international publishing company.
Currently a single mother of twins, I volunteer in my free time for Joliet School District 86, Girl Scouts, Educarious and I am an active thespian at the Bicentennial Park. I am also an active life-long member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
I understand today’s kitchen table problems. With years of experience serving others through my work and volunteerism, I am ready to serve my community as a member of the Will County Board District 9.
3) What are the greatest challenges facing Will County and/or your specific district in the coming years?
A possible water shortage will become the greatest problem, if we don’t start now planning for alternative sources. I support working with the municipalities and local governments to find a solution.
Opioid deaths and addiction continue to affect residents in my district. I would like to create an opioid treatment center at the new health department and expand mental health services as well. I support the Safe Passage programs at local police departments, where people with substance abuse disorders can turn themselves in for treatment without being arrested, and believe this should be expanded to all police departments in Will County. I also support our county efforts and Glasgow’s office for filing lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies who target our residents, especially our youth.
4) If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
My first priority would be to invest in our infrastructure. The expanse of warehouses in the area has increased truck traffic and deteriorated our roads and bridges. I plan to work with all levels of government to create an intergovernmental solution, since more than 60 percent of the truck traffic in Will County is from outside the county. By focusing on projects like the I-80 expansion and bridge we can create a safer interstate but also provide better economic development and thus better jobs in the county.
Secondly, investing in other infrastructure, like renewable energy such as wind and solar, also provides jobs but helps offset the warehouse and truck emissions. Couple this with responsible land preservation, and we can make Will County a greener place to live.
Lastly, tackling the opioid crisis I discussed above would be my third priority.