FLOSSMOOR, IL — The mayor’s seat is up for grabs in Flossmoor this year, as current Village President Paul Braun will not be in the running in April. Candidate Dr. Lakshmi Emory is hoping to claim the position this year and is one of two running for the spot in April. Emory recently filled out
FLOSSMOOR, IL — The mayor’s seat is up for grabs in Flossmoor this year, as current Village President Paul Braun will not be in the running in April. Candidate Dr. Lakshmi Emory is hoping to claim the position this year and is one of two running for the spot in April.
Emory recently filled out the Patch candidate survey, and her answers can be found below.
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Dr. Lakshmi Emory
*Views expressed in this article are my own and not of my employer.*
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Village board or city council
Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Dartmouth College, BA, 1992
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, MD, 2000
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, MPH, 2000
Rush-Advocate Illinois Masonic Family Medicine Residency, 2003
Board Certified, American Board of Family Medicine, initial 2003
Physician – 21 years; Healthcare Executive – 8 years
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
I feel that one of the most pressing concerns for the Village is the budget deficit projected for 2022 and beyond. I intend to thoroughly explore all potential remedies, including finding new revenue sources, analyzing the budget for potential savings, and working with the Board and Village staff to determine the best course of action.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?
Yes, I believe Black lives matter too. We are all inextricably connected, and, by acknowledging the experiences of others, we have opportunities to create strong, inclusive communities. I support peaceful protest as a protected, constitutional right. However, I do not condone violence of any kind.
Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?
I believe that the current Board has done a good job of being sensitive to the need to address racial inequities. A recent example was the decision to remove the blue lines from the Village police vehicles as some found them offensive. I would like to see implicit bias training implemented for Village Board members and staff, and a review of all ordinances and policies with a lens of equity.
What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?
The national response has been problematic. With the transition of new national leadership, I am optimistic that the response will improve significantly. The local response is very much dependent on the national response in terms of funding and logistical support. Despite the challenges nationally, the local response has been successful in helping to keep local business afloat and protecting residents with the limited resources available to address the impact of the pandemic. I favor measures like those the current Board has successfully implemented to assist local businesses to safely operate within public health guidelines. The measures that have been taken were in the best interests of the health and wellness of the community. They have been effective in bringing down the COVID-19 percent positivity rate in the region, which has now been rolled back to Tier 1 mitigation.
The health and wellness of residents is a top priority. During the pandemic, mask wearing and social distancing are the most effective public health measures available. Because of this, wearing a mask is a common courtesy, not only to protect others, but for the mask-wearer too. We know that masks have also significantly decreased the incidence of influenza infections this season.
What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?
The local vaccine rollout is speeding up. More vaccine is being made, and it will be available for more people. From the beginning, local governments have worked in partnership with intergovernmental agencies to provide vaccination opportunities to residents. The state prioritized people with the highest risk and is working to ensure the rollout of vaccines is equitable. It will take all of us working together to get through this unprecedented time.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I believe my executive leadership skills set me apart. In my 20+ years of experience, I have managed not only the well-being of others, but also large budgets and large-scale projects, as well as building consensus across teams. I have served in roles that required I collaborate with multiple stakeholders while balancing being a key decision-maker for high-dollar projects and a good steward of resources.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
1) Economic Growth – Attracting new businesses consistent with the culture and aspirations of the Village. The business landscape has been impacted by the pandemic and new, innovative businesses are emerging – the Village is the perfect place for them to call “Home.”
2) Business Development – Assisting Flossmoor businesses in recovering from the pandemic
3) Bolstering Community Services – Including health, wellness, and safety
4) Driving Infrastructure Improvements – Including flooding mitigation, street and sidewalk improvements, and Village beautification to increase property values
5) Championing Equity and Inclusion – supporting Village initiatives which enhance the sense of community, viewing all decisions with an equity lens
6) Regional Collaboration – positioning Flossmoor as a leader in the Southland
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have managed large budgets, led multiple teams of professionals with diverse work experiences and perspectives, served on boards chairing multiple committees, and sought out community service organizations to leverage these leadership experiences for greater good.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
If elected, one of the specific goals I would like to accomplish would be the development of the area east of Meijer and the revitalization of the Vollmer Road corridor with preferred businesses. This would position the Village as a popular destination in the Region.
Why should voters trust you?
I am a Family Medicine physician by training and served as the primary care physician for nearly three thousand people in the Southland for almost 15 years. My patients trusted me to be sincere, open, honest, and compassionate. I will actively communicate with residents, lead with transparency, and always represent the Village with integrity. I believe transparency and accountability are essential to turning campaign promises into first term accomplishments for our community and the key to fostering trust between Village leadership and residents.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
I favor a fiscally responsible policy of “save and spend” that is consistent with the current practices of the Village administration. It has served the Village well. As mayor I would have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars are wisely managed, utilizing accepted financial practices.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was:
“Count your blessings” – My grandmother instilled in my sister and me to count our blessings—and find reasons to be grateful. This unique time in our history has been one of reflection, change, and perseverance. As a community, we have continued to thrive and are hopeful for the future. I am excited about the possibility of helping the Village to rebound as we get through the pandemic together. I am grateful for the potential opportunity to do so.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I love the Village of Flossmoor for the quality of life it affords. If elected, I would combine my passion for serving others with my executive leadership experience in order to help lead Flossmoor into the future. I will bring innovative ideas and new approaches to addressing our challenges, while at the same time maintaining the qualities that make Flossmoor a fantastic place to call home.