PRIORITIES

Carissa believes that county government can be a tremendous power for good in our community. She knows that trust in our government can be built and maintained by providing exceptional service, seeking proactive, forward-thinking, data-driven approaches to problems, fostering economic growth and prosperity for all, caring for our environment, and governing transparently.
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Carissa knows that real fiscal responsibility comes from focusing on the root causes of issues facing our community and funding programs that combat those – not by simply throwing money at them after the fact. She also understands that making haphazard spending cuts jeopardizes the well being of the community and can result in greater costs down the line. She believes in scrutinizing costs, creating benchmarks, and assessing return on investment. 

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

  • Held the line on homeowner property taxes, decreasing the county's portion of your property tax bill while improving services.

  • Maintained AAA Bond ratings for both the County government and the Lake County Forest preserves by ensuring smart and responsible fiscal management.

  • Lake County Forest Preserve District refinanced bonds to save taxpayers over $11 million dollars.

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Continue lowering the county’s portion of homeowner property tax rates by doing our part to keep our county’s expenditures in check.

  • Continue to fully leverage funding sources other than raising property taxes by pursuing federal and state funding and grants.

  • Lobbying our state government to adequately fund public schools.

HEALTH AND COMMUNITY

Carissa believes that protecting the health of our community is one of the most critical functions of government. Carissa has worked to prioritize and address the most pressing health and wellness issues. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our community, The Lake County Board has worked to ensure that businesses, doctors, health care workers, and other essential workers are supported during these difficult times.

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

 

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Continue to work with our Lake County Health Department to advocate for modern approaches to address mental health issues in our community, eliminating stigma, and creating more safe and supportive care opportunities.

  • Continue to support the Lake County Health Department’s efforts to provide healthcare to those who don’t have access.

  • Continue to support the Children’s Advocacy Center (right here in Warren Township) that serves victims of child abuse.

  • Continue to combat the opioid epidemic and support the Lake County Health Department, the Lake County Sheriff, the Lake County State's Attorney, and the Lake County Opioid Initiative to mitigate the prevalence and impact of the epidemic.

ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Carissa believes the county must be proactive in tackling our community’s infrastructure issues. Facing a road repair and investment backlog of almost $1 billion, Carissa supported efforts to increase funding for our roads, bridges, stormwater management, and other critical infrastructure. This investment will allow the county to be more proactive with infrastructure maintenance and repair, which not only makes our roads safer by preventing emergencies, but also saves money in the long run. Our community deserves safe and secure infrastructure.
 

Infrastructure investments also make Lake County an attractive destination for businesses and tourism. Businesses want to invest in counties making long-term infrastructure investments, and the jobs created by such investments are exactly what we need to build back our communities

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Continue to advocate for the swift completion for the Lake County Department of Transportation's projects in Warren Township.

  • Support the Lake County Department of Transportation's proactive approach toward repair, maintenance and intersection improvement, using our infrastructure investment to improve antiquated and dangerous intersections in the county.

  • Continue to work on our county’s strategic plan initiative to develop multimodal transportation solutions (roads, buses, trains, sidewalks and trails) to alleviate congestion in highly traveled areas.

  • Make roads “smarter,” by using our state-of-the-art Lake County Passage System to properly time signals and enhance traffic flow.

VETERANS
Carissa believes that the way we treat our county’s veterans is reflective of our values as a county.

During her first term, Carissa:

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Advocate for legislation that would make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against Veterans who pay their rent with VA vouchers. 

  • Continue to support legislation on every level of government that is supportive of veterans. They did their job. Now we need to do ours.

TRANSPARENCY

Carissa believes transparency and accountability in government are indispensable to building and maintaining trust with our community.

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

  • Create the first-ever Independent Ethics Commission — a huge leap in transparency for our county government. The creation of this commission means that County Board Members will no longer be tasked with policing each other when responding to ethics complaints. A transparent and independent commission of residents will now be in charge of responding to ethics complaints lodged against County officials.

  • Create the county’s first public, ranked capital improvement program, so allocation of funds for capital improvement projects in Lake County will be handled through a fair and transparent process. 

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Improve the county’s website to make it more searchable to make information more accessible to all.

  • Make county information more accessible to non-english speakers.

  • For all county construction projects, make a list of "projects in process" available and searchable on the county's website, including purchase orders revealing main contractors and all subcontractors used. 

ENVIRONMENT

​Carissa believes that everyone in our community deserves to breathe clean air and drink clean water. We all must work to make Lake County a beautiful, clean, and safe environment for all. Carissa and the Lake County Board have worked to ensure Lake County remains a leader in innovative solutions to pressing climate issues.

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to: 

 

Carissa has also regularly advocated for our community with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to expedite reports about ethylene oxide (ETO).

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Continue to work with our county staff toward our government's goals of achieving net-zero energy status by 2040 by exploring and implementing innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint, saving taxpayer dollars.

  • Continue to advocate for our community with other elected officials to inform residents about the effects of Ethylene Oxide (ETO), and support legislation to reduce and monitor ETO emissions.

FLOODING

Flooding is one of the most significant issues facing our community here in District 7. Flooding events cause disruption and damages, and the effects of climate change have caused more frequent and severe floods.

Carissa has worked to eradicate flooding issues by:

  • Serving on the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission.

  • Working with neighbors, Carissa is speaking for us with the County and the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission. She has ensured that projects right here in our community are prioritized for funding to deliver flood relief dollars.

  • Working with Lake County Stormwater Management staff to create a request for ARPA funding to mitigate smaller neighborhood flooding issues. 

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Continue to work with our community and the Stormwater Management Commission to leverage state and federal funding to mitigate flooding concerns in our community’s unincorporated neighborhoods by identifying and addressing problem flooding areas.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

As a community leader, Carissa believes that she should be accountable, responsive, and present in her community.

During her first term, Carissa worked to ensure her community knew she had their back by:

  • Attending over 100 community events, meetings, fundraisers and other gatherings to support our community.

  • Holding an info session with Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim to explain your property tax bill.

  • Running a senior outreach program to connect senior citizens with COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

  • Speaking with and meeting regularly with other local leaders to ensure that we are working together in the best interests of our community.

  • Holding weekly office hours, meeting with constituents to hear their thoughts and ideas on how to strengthen and improve county government. Carissa also helped address constituent concerns and casework request​s.

Goals Moving Forward: 

  • Continue to deepen relationships with fellow local leaders and community groups while maintaining responsiveness to individual community members.

  • Hold more information sessions for the community on topics of interest, like property taxes, healthcare, etc.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Carissa understands that safety is of the highest priority in our community. Before she was elected to the board, Carissa identified the replacement of the county’s 911 call center as being our county’s single greatest capital need, and she has supported of the Regional 911 Consolidation Project.


Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to: 

  • Prioritize the Consolidated 911 & Emergency Operations Center at number 1 on the County Facility Capital Projects Plan.

  • Leverage federal COVID-19 relief funding to support the design of the combined 911/ETSB building, which will be safer and more resilient to adverse weather events and meet the needs of the consolidation plan.

  • Approve contracts for enhanced public safety technologies, including 911 technology and approved a contract for architectural/engineering design services for the proposed Consolidated 911 & Emergency Operations Center.
     

Gun Violence Prevention

Carissa is responding to the alarming increase in gun violence.

  • As Vice Chair of the Legislative Committee, she voted in favor of adding the Assault Weapons Ban to our state and federal Legislative Agendas. The ban includes on the sale and possession of assault weapons, mandates firearm safe storage, reforms the FOID card process, and mandates training related to the sale or possession of firearms.

  • Voted to allocate federal COVID relief dollars to fund the Lake County States Attorney's Gun Violence Prevention Initiative to stop gun violence before it happens.

Carissa believes that constructive, lasting change comes from respect and care for all people and their needs by listening and responding to the voices of those in our community who feel unsafe and targeted, but not by vilifying and degrading people who devote their lives to our safety.

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

Goals moving forward:
  • Continue to support the Lake County Sheriff and State’s Attorney’s participation in the Lake County Safety and Justice Challenge, reducing the jail population by incarcerating only those who are a danger to society.

  • Provide increased training and support for our Lake County police officers.

  • Continue to support the State’s Attorney’s Office’s efforts to enhance victim’s services.​​

WORKERS

Carissa knows that workers are the foundation of every highly functioning entity – government or otherwise. From custodians to department heads, and everyone in between, each member of our government community deserves to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity. Treating workers with decency is not only humane, it is more cost effective and yields better results in the long run. Carissa understands that by keeping a good relationship with our county government staff at all levels, she can better serve our community.

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

  • Institute a family leave plan, so new parents can take time to be with their newborns in their first, most critical, six weeks of life. 

  • Treat every member of the Lake County government staff with respect and courtesy, even when asking challenging questions.

  • Tour most departments so she could meet our staff members personally and ask deeper questions about their goals and operations. 

  • Push the county to finally update labor contracts that had been years behind.

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Continue to treat our county workers with the dignity and respect they deserve.

  • Continue to work with our county staff members productively to serve our community.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

Carissa believes having a skilled job is the foundation to a fulfilling life. She understands the importance of feeding and growing our thriving economic engine in the county. Lake County is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other county in the Midwest. It is also the third largest tourism county in Illinois.

Carissa is leading the way, helping the Lake County Board to:

  • Allocate funding for Workforce Development. 

  • Allocate funding to small businesses during the pandemic.

  • Allocate funding to assist the tourism industry in Lake County.

Goals Moving Forward:

  • Advocate for Workforce Development to:

    • Ease Federal restrictions on funding in order to serve more people.​

    • Advocate to allow them to raise more money to serve more people.

    • Increase funding, for even a short time, in order to allow them to innovate to serve more people

  • Support the continued implementation of our county's Comprehensive Development Strategy. ​