Charise Williams: Candidate for Cook County Commissioner, 3rd District

WTTW’s 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the March 20 election.

Candidates were 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’s Candidate Free Time is produced with and underwritten in part by the League of Women Voters of Cook County.

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About this office: Cook County Commissioner

Seventeen elected Commissioners constitute the Cook County Board, the governing policy board and legislative body of Cook County. The Board sets policy and laws for the county regarding public health and public safety and oversees safety and maintenance of county highways. The Board approves the annual budget and oversees financial integrity of the County.

About this candidate:

Name: Charise Williams
DOB: 5/5/1977
Residence: Chicago
Family: 16 year old son
Occupation: Deputy Chief of Staff for Illinois Michael Frerichs
Political Experience:
Chicago Urban League/University of Chicago Booth School IMPACT Graduate
Woodlawn, Washington Park, South Shore Community and Economic Development Organization‐ Board Member
Black Tech Mecca‐ Board Member
Financial Services Pipeline‐ Co‐ Chair
National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP)
Co‐Chair of the United States of Women Galvanize Chicago Conference
Future Voices Council Member
University of Chicago Alumni Association
LINK Unlimited‐ Mentor
Chicago Scholars‐ Mentor
Local School Council (LCS) Kenwood Academy ‐ Elected Member, Co‐Chair
Minorities in Public Policy Board Member
Cook County Fellowship Program
Education Pioneers Fellowship Program

Candidate Q&A

What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?

We are living in a time in which it is imperative to be TRUE voices of our community and put our personal self interests aside. With Illinois having the highest Black unemployment rate in the country, the highest murder rate, coupled with losing residents through reverse migration; we need elected officials who not only understand these issues, but who are committed to identifying and implementing real solutions. In the 3rd District race, I am the only true progressive, independent candidate. I am blessed to be endorsed by a broad cross‐section of leaders, who are not a part of the "machine", and who genuinely want to strengthen Cook County.

In order to be successful, I understand the importance of working together through all layers of government and community activism to achieve the greater goals. I have achieved success with that through my current job in the State Treasurers office. As a County Commissioner, I plan to work to cease excessive taxation and find new revenue sources. The continued method of adding new taxes without doing due diligence, is hurting the middle class and driving residents out of the County.

Candidate Statement

My name is Charise Williams and I am running to represent my neighbors and community stakeholders of the 3rd District on the Cook County Board.

Along the campaign trail, many people have asked me why am I running. The answer is quite simple and extremely personal – our County needs strong and progressive leadership that will be accountable to taxpayers and a true voice of the people.

Like many families in our county, I have been personally touched by senseless gun violence. Last August, my godson was killed by a young man who was in the Cook County jail system but was released erroneously by the Cook County court system. That pain can do two things – it can paralyze you or it can empower you. I chose to let it empower me to fight for criminal justice reform.

As a hard working mother of a sixteen year old son, I have had to rely upon the County health system to provide medical care to my child. Likewise, as I have traveled the District during my listening tour, I heard seniors express fear over the lack of access to quality health care. Given the aggressive attacks to Obamacare, I plan to protect and improve Countycare for all residents.

Additionally, we must put an end to the tale of two counties and create fairness in contracting. Presently, the County awards over $1Billion in contracts with less than 2% going to Black firms on CCHHS contracts. I will fight for our fair share.

Lastly, without question, we need to hit the restart button on the tax system in Cook County. From the regressive sugar tax to our flawed property tax assessment process, taxpayers deserve transparency and fairness.

I understand the issues. I am not afraid to stand up and fight. I am committed to protecting the interest of the people and I am ready to make history by being elected the first woman to represent the 3rd District on the County Board.

My name is Charise Williams and I need your vote on March 20th. Vote Charise Williams - The Choice for Change.

See more candidates for Cook County commissioner, 3rd County Board District.

Return to our 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary

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