Candidate for Chicago City Clerk

About the Candidate

Name: Anna Valencia
DOB: Jan. 16, 1985
Family: Husband, Reyahd Kazmi
Occupation: City Clerk of Chicago
Political Experience: I come from a blue collar, middle-class family: my dad is a union painter with District Council 58 Local #120 and my mother worked for a non-profit. I was sworn in as Clerk of the City of Chicago in January of 2017. As City Clerk, I have worked to build a more accessible, equitable and inclusive Chicago including implementing the City’s first Municipal ID program, the Chicago CityKey, combining access to government and City services into one card for all of Chicago’s 2.7 million residents among other initiatives to increase accessibility to the many services our office has to offer.

I truly think the best public policy is made with community and those impacted by it at the table. That is why in October, we announced the Status of Women and Girls working group with the goal of creating a better Chicago for all of its young women and girls and earlier this month announced the Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative to review and reform the City’s fines and ticketing practices.

I also serve on the National Advisory Council for Accelerator for America chaired by Mayor Eric Garcetti along with labor leaders and other mayors across the United States, a nonprofit focused on strategic support to the best local initiatives to strengthen people’s economic security. I was also recently featured on Apolitical’s list of The World’s 100 Most Influential Young People in Government and one of Business Insiders’ 8 of the Most Influential Millennial Women in U.S. Politics. I currently reside in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood with my husband and dog.

Candidate Statement

Hi, my name is Anna Valencia and I am running for City Clerk of Chicago. I am the second Latina and second woman to hold this position since 1837. I was first in my family to graduate college and a proud daughter of a union painter and non-profit advocate. I believe that good government works when all voices are at the table, putting people at the center of its policies.

We service 1.2 million residents a year and bring in $130 million in revenue. When people think of the City Clerk’s office, they tend to think of City stickers, permits and dog licensing but we do much more than that.

Making government accessible is something I’ve always been passionate about and as City Clerk, I’ve been able to do just that. In my short time in office, we’ve implemented programs to help residents not only access City services more efficiently but help them understand these services.

We have created more policies centered around people, grassroots from the bottom up not the top down, like the City’s first Municipal ID card, known as the CityKey, combining access to government and City services into one card for all Chicagoans. The CityKey serves as a library card, Ventra card, prescription discount card and a medical ID card making it inclusive to all our communities.

We understand the value of investing in our young people which led to the creation of the Next Gen City Council giving our young people from neighborhood high schools from Roseland, Austin, Pilsen, Uptown and Albany Park, the opportunity to experience the inner workings of City Hall first hand.

And most recently, our Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative, a collaboration with community organizations, City departments, City Council members and local universities to reform existing policies and payment plan structures to make them easier and more efficient for all residents. Including discounted city stickers for our veterans, people with disabilities and seniors. about this candidate.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

My vision for this office is to make it affordable, accountable and accessible.

My top priorities include making this office more accessible to the people of Chicago, advocating for social and economic justice issues and encouraging the next generation of leaders to become civically engaged.

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

Accessibility is a serious issue at every level of government, but it is a particularly pressing issue at the local level. The best way to tackle this problem is to continue to build bridges between the government and our communities. I plan to address this issue by building off the programs and initiatives that I’ve implemented like CityKey, The Women and Girls Working Group and Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative. As Clerk Clerk, I, along with my team, are always working to meet Chicagoans where they are to make city services more accessible. We’ve set up mobile offices and super sites in neighborhoods that often feel ignored. My office is also looking at an updated eCommerce platform in hopes of improving the customer experience and implementing a more affordable reduced-term City Sticker. We're also working on a council modernization initiative and working to create templates and streamline access to council documents to both the public and Alderman. Additionally, I have made it so that all residents can now stream City Council on any device from mobile phones to iPads when previously it was only available on one platform on a desktop. Lastly, we are currently revamping the way that you'll be able to buy our products online to create better digital accessibility and convenience. These initiatives not only give Chicagoans a better understanding of government services but make sure they have the opportunity to actually utilize these services.