ALSIP, IL — Rocio Restrepo is an Alsip business owner. She is running for village trustee on the Alsip Community Alliance slate in the April 6 election. Name: Roció C Restrepo Age (as of Election Day): 46 Town/City of Residence: Alsip Office Sought: Alsip Village Trustee Party Affiliation (if a partisan race): n/a Does anyone
ALSIP, IL — Rocio Restrepo is an Alsip business owner. She is running for village trustee on the Alsip Community Alliance slate in the April 6 election.
Name: Roció C Restrepo
Age (as of Election Day): 46
Town/City of Residence: Alsip
Office Sought: Alsip Village Trustee
Party Affiliation (if a partisan race): n/a
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government? No
Master of Arts Community Development
Occupation: Business Owner – interpreting and translating, 17 years
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: None
The single most pressing issue facing Alsip, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Burglaries abound in the area. I want to work with the community to create a program where neighbors are vigilant in watching out for each other in the form of block clubs or community watch groups in conjunction with the Alsip Police Department. I would like to see an update of the police departments camera security system. I would also like to encourage the beautification of Pulaski by our businesses through a façade and landscaping incentive.
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?
I support equal rights and equal justice for all, as well as the right to protest when you believe you are not being treated equally or fairly as our Constitution demands. The illegal actions of police officers using excessive force have claimed lives, Mr Floyd being one of them. These actions should have never occurred. That does not justify lawless acts by rioters, looters and anarchist who hijacked peaceful protests and deterred attention from the message the Black Lives Matter movement was attempting to convey.
Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?
Even though we live in a diverse village I don’t think any government body can ever do enough to address the racial equality. I believe many of our resident and neighbors amongst themselves are working together to begin the healing process.
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?
On a national level I feel the Coronavirus should have been addressed and responded to sooner, instead of reacting to a pandemic once it spiraled out of control. On a local level I believe the governor gave people false hopes on when things would get back to normalcy. In order to try to minimize the spread of the pandemic I do feel like limiting patrons at restaurants and events makes sense, but not entirely closing them. I choose to wear a face mask to protect people I encounter and also myself.
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?
Although we are required to follow the lead of the state and national government, I think the local government needs to prioritize as it has done front-line workers, people with deadly conditions and 65 and older population. Ensure that they are done receiving vaccines before they open it up to other individuals and ages. Finding a way to make appointments more accessible to individuals.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
My involvement with the community for the past 13 years has allowed me to establish relationships and discuss issues with residents sharing similar concerns. Having a degree in Asset based community development will assist me in utilizing the talents and gifts our residents have to make Alsip a great place to call home. Being bilingual will assist me in communicating information to our diverse community.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community?
In my opinion the current board has failed the community by removing/ rescinding the freeze on rents at the Heritage Senior apartments. They overturned a vote and allowed a trucking company to begin construction on a site where planning and zoning unanimously voted against it.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
My campaign runs on communication and relationship building. In order to see positive change in our Village I believe we have to start the healing process and have the hard conversation that may be affecting our community. Also working with federal legislators to assist our village with the mail service. We also need to move with the times and update our computer software to allow for automated payment for service to residents, like with our water bills.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
As the treasurer of the Alsip Little League I was able to successfully return the budget to black and have done so for the past 7 years. I have maintained a successful business for the past 15 years even through a pandemic.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
To be able to work in collaboration with the entire board and work as a unit not as separate parties. I want to emphasize projects to benefit our residents so that they know that the decisions that are being voted upon are for their benefit and that of the community.
Why should voters trust you?
I know how difficult it is to trust people in politics. I hope that I am given the opportunity to prove myself and the genuine passion I have to serve the Alsip community. Their voice matters as it is said “Actions speak louder than Words”
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
Due to the Mayor’s efforts to change contractors with the red-light camera contract it lost revenue for the village. Therefore, the mayor pushed the approval of more slot machines and alcohol sales in our community. That is not economic development. The budget needs to be looked at thoroughly and correct allocations of funds need to be made. We need to look more in depth on how to ensure that the village fire and police pensions are funded at least at an 80% capacity.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family? None
The best advice ever shared with me was:
I have been blessed and surrounded by many wise people. It’s better to speak the truth and to be hated then lie to be loved. Can’t please everybody. You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control your reaction to them.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I consider myself to be a genuine person, what you see is what you get. I will try my hardest to make a positive impact in our Village.
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