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About the Candidate

Name: Mike Cashman
DOB: May 7, 1981
Occupation: Teacher and Coach
Political Experience: First time running for office – Volunteered on various campaigns
Twitter: @cashman4mwrd

Candidate Statement

Hi, my name is Mike Cashman and I am running for Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

For what is now close to twenty years, I have dedicated my life to the field of education as both a high school teacher and a coach.

And this is my first endeavor into public office.

If elected, I will take all of the experiences and lessons that I have learned while working in the classroom to provide a new and fresh perspective to the board.

The MWRD is the most important government agency that the majority of citizens do not know about.

It plays a crucial role in our everyday lives by protecting our health, safety, and the areas waterways.

If elected, I will initiate a community outreach program for the public at large and our students on the impact of stormwater in our areas' sewerage, flood control, and water systems.

In the classroom, I want to partner with the EPA and the Department of Education to implement programs in schools that focus on green technologies.

My overall goal is to educate "for a better understanding" but also to spark an interest in a rapidly growing field of green jobs.

Internally, it is my vision that the MWRD become a leader in the fight against climate change - one way this can be done is by working hand in hand with national organizations to take fiscally responsible steps to implement best practices in the District's day to day operations.

Through providing the protection needed, raising awareness, education, and being socially responsible, it is my belief that we will stop thinking of waste-water agencies as WASTE agencies and focus on all the ways we can reclaim and reuse by-products of our daily lives.

Thank you for your time, thank you WTTW for this wonderful opportunity and please do not forget to vote.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I am running to get involved in public service and utilize my experiences in education to provide a new and fresh perspective on the district’s board commissioners.

What is your vision for this office?

My vision for this office is one of a protector, leader, and educator. As the legislative branch of the district, I believe it is important to stay true to the district’s mission of protecting our water environment, and to be a fiscally responsible leader within our community.

Furthermore, I believe it is important to have a more visible presence in the district to educate the public on the issues of flood control, sewage, and water systems on much more local level.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

Again, The District’s mission is to protect the water environment. The agency was in fact created to keep sewage out of Lake Michigan. Therefore, the District must take the leading role in reducing combined sewer overflows (“CSOs”). But the district cannot do this alone, as much of the infrastructure that needs to be updated to reduce CSOs is owned and operated by the various municipalities throughout Cook County, including the City of Chicago. The District needs to work together with these agencies to determine a plan. We should also be looking to new and different technologies, such as “end of pipe” treatment, to reduce the negative effects of CSOs when they do occur. At the same time, I would push the District to complete the McCook Reservoir ahead of the 2029 schedule. The reservoir will hold 10 Billion gallons of combined sewage, keeping it out of the waterways. Every day counts when we are discussing the health of our water environment.