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Disability Candidates Forum - Illinois Secretary of State

 

June 1, 2022 | by Ashley Eisenmenger

Illinois Secretary of State Candidates Discuss Disability Issues Ahead of Primary Election

 

Ashley Eisenmenger

Disability Inclusion Training Specialist

aeisenmenger@accessliving.org

CHICAGO – Candidates for Illinois Secretary of State today discussed specific issues important to the disability community handled by the office including accessible parking enforcement, digital accessibility, and mobile response units.

Three of the six candidates for the office on the June primary ballot were in attendance: Dan Brady, Republican and former state legislator from Bloomington, and two from the Democrat ballot: David Moore, a southwest side Chicago alderman, and City Clerk of Chicago Anna Valencia.

Candidate Brady said it was important for him to ensure equal access by people with disabilities to the services offered by the Secretary of State’s office.

Candidate Moore said he intends to break down existing access barriers to the office and services provided by prioritizing multiple ways to increase community accessing to the services through community offices and evening and weekend hours of operation.

Candidate Valencia described her plans to create an advisory council of people with disabilities to help the office prioritize accessibility of services available.

All candidates said they recognize the importance of creating better accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. Because the office of the Secretary of State touches more Illinoisans than any other state constitutional office, it is essential that people with disabilities are considered in all decision making processes.

The Secretary of State office provides a variety of services and support to Illinoisans with disabilities. It is up for grabs for the first time in decades, as long-serving Jesse White isn’t running for reelection. As the second-largest constitutional office, the Office of the Secretary of State is visited by more Illinois residents than any other in state government. The office generates approximately $2 billion in annual revenue.

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Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully–engaged and self–directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.