About the Candidate
Hi, I am Yumeka Brown, and I am running for Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
What’s astonishing about this race, MWRD represents over 5 million residents in Cook County of which 2 million reside in the southland region where I am from. Currently, on MWRD’s board, there isn’t a voice or representation from the Southland region.
I know firsthand why representation is important. In 2019, my son was diagnosed with a waterborne environmental illness called Blastomycosis that nearly took his life. A perfectly healthy 14-year-old boy unexpectedly fell ill, all because of the air he breathed. For me, this race is an opportunity to utilize my education, my 20-plus year career in the non-profit sector, strong governance background, heart for the people, and most importantly it will allow me to turn my pain into purpose so that no mother has to endure what I went through.
If elected, I will highlight and prioritize the public health and safety of Cook County residents, I will work diligently to eradicate environmental injustices, and I will fight each and every day for clean water, clean air, and healthy and equitable communities throughout the entire county.
After a rigorous process, I have been endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party and the Chicago Federation of Labor. Coming from a proud union home, I know and understand the importance of supporting labor and working-class families. As a solid democrat with a proven track record of transformative progressive ideas, I humbly ask for your support on June 28, 2022, to become Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Thank you so much!
Why are you running?
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District represents over 5 million residents of Cook County. Currently, in the Southland region, where I live, we do not have any representation on MWRD’s board. From my experience as a Governance professional, highly functional boards are a mix of being competency-based, technical, and representational.
Over two million people in the Southland need a voice and their needs heard and prioritized. Our issues and concerns in the Southland are very different from the rest of the county.
I know firsthand why representation is important. In 2019, my son was diagnosed with a waterborne environmental illness called Blastomycosis. A perfectly healthy 14-year-old boy excited about being a freshman in high school, playing basketball and video games with his friends, unexpectedly fell ill and started to deteriorate right before my eyes, all because of the air he breathed. I am running to utilize my education, strong governance background, heart for the people, and most importantly, turning my pain into purpose so that no mother has to endure what I went through.
If elected, I will fight each day for clean water, clean air, and healthy and equitable communities throughout the entire county. I’ll be an advocate for the marginalized, underrepresented communities who do not have the means to incorporate stormwater projects into their community.
What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?
MWRD is responsible for stormwater management. I strongly believe there is room for improvement to provide resources and education to marginalized and underrepresented communities to eradicate environmental injustices.
What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?
The most pressing issues facing constituents is flooding and infrastructure issues in marginalized and underrepresented communities. I plan to highlight environmental injustices and bring resources to communities who do not have a voice and are often forgotten about.
What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?
As the Village Clerk in Matteson, I am the keeper of the record, and my job is to ensure government is accessible and transparent to all residents. I will continue to provide residents access to information, employment, and opportunities. I will partner with civic organizations and municipalities to create public education opportunities. As I have been traveling across this County, the number one question I am asked is....what does MWRD do? I have never heard of MWRD before. As Commissioner, I want to change that narrative.