Josina Morita: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Candidate, 6-Year Term

WTTW’s 2016 Voters’ Guide to the Primary is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for Cook County office in the March 15 election.

Every candidate running for a Cook County office was given two minutes to tell voters where they stand on the issues, why they feel they are best qualified and what they intend to do if elected or re-elected. The messages were recorded at the WTTW studios at no cost to the candidates. The Voters’ Guide is an online version of Candidate Free Time, pioneered by WTTW in the 1992 race for U.S. Senate. This year, we are proud to partner with the League of Women Voters of Cook County to give voters this guide to candidates for Cook County office.

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About this office: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is governed by a nine-member board elected at-large with three commissioners elected every two years. During the March 15 primary, some candidates will run for six-year terms, while others will run for terms that last two years.

MWRD treats water collected by sanitary and stormwater sewers in most of Cook County. It also serves as the Stormwater Management Utility for Cook County. Its mission is to protect the health and safety of citizens and area waterways.

About this candidate:

Name: Josina Morita
Party: Democratic
Born: October 1980
Residence: Skokie
Family: Single
Occupation: Urban Planner
Political experience: Delegate for Barack Obama in 2014;  Candidate, Delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016;  Candidate, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District 2014; Candidate, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, 2016.

What is your vision for this office?
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is the most important agency that no one knows exists. As a $1.2 billion agency that is the second largest landowner in Cook County, MWRD has tremendous potential to invest in communities to support local economic development and create jobs while improving the county’s water infrastructure. MWRD plays a key role in protecting the Great Lakes that hold 90 percent of the U.S. water supply.  And while the agency continues to do this by improving the county’s stormwater capacity, it should also continue to be a resource recovery agency to grow green industries and a community engagement agency to educate and engage the next generation around water issues.

What is the most pressing issue facing Cook County, and how can you help address it?
Stormwater management is crucial to protecting our homes from flooding and protecting the Great Lakes from contamination. Cook County has a combined sewer system—a system where our stormwater and sewage water go through the same system. So when we have severe rain storms, stormwater goes down the drain, combines with sewage water and when they reach capacity that combined water backs up into our basements, streets, rivers and Lake Michigan.

As an urban planner, I bring my background in stormwater management, land use and regional planning. To do this effectively, we must change policy and work with municipalities. I also bring over a decade of policy experience and a background working with local municipal governments.


Hi, my name is Josina Morita and I am running for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to protect our homes from flooding and protect Lake Michigan and our rivers from contamination. MWRD is the most important agency no one knows exists. It’s a $1.2 billion agency, second largest landowners in Cook County and plays a key role in protecting the Great Lakes that hold 90 percent of the U.S. water supply.  

As we see from what is happening in Flint, Michigan, protecting our water is essential for all of us.  These issues are personal for me. I grew up under drought conditions, and I now live in an area with persistent flooding. This is also my professional background. As an urban planner I bring a background in land use, regional planning and stormwater management. As a former non-profit Executive Director I bring over a decade of policy experience. And as a community organizer and environmentalist, I bring a passion for educating communities and engaging the next generation around water issues.

I am running to make history. With your support, I will be the first urban planner to serve on this board and the first Asian American elected to a countywide board seat.  I am endorsed by Senator Dick Durbin, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Secretary of State Jesse White. I am endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party, Chicago Federation of Labor and the Sierra Club. And I ask for your support.  

 On Election Day, please remember three things: Josina Morita, Josina Morita and Josina Morita.

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