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Maripat Oliver, 52

Immediate Family: My husband of 31 years Paul, 5 children together, Catherine, Hannah, Natalie, David and Zachary.

Current Occupation: Director of Sales for Best Western Hotels and Resorts

Political Party: Bolingbrook First

1) Why have you decided to run for office in the Village of Bolingbrook Trustee race?

For the past 23 years, the Village of Bolingbrook has been my home. My husband of 31 years and I have raised our five children in this Village. During my time in Bolingbrook I have sat on numerous boards; was elected as a trustee for DuPage Township; was honored as Trustee of the Year in 2014 by Township Officials of Illinois; and was also named Bolingbrook’s Female Citizen of the Year in 2014. My experience on several boards, including the Midwest Christian Montessori School, a Boy Scout Troop, and a DCFS Adoption Advisory Board show that I am a strong leader for Bolingbrook, not just for the past or present but also for the future.

I am running for trustee because I care about the future of our town. I want to see growth and further community involvement. I want our citizens to feel that they have someone who will listen to what their ideas or concerns are, feel that they have a voice and they will have someone who will take their ideas and concerns to the Village Board and follow through.

2) According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2018, 19.2% of Bolingbrook residents are African-American, 25.9% are Latinos, and 11.9% are Asian-American. Additionally, almost 24% of Bolingbrook’s population is foreign-born, while an estimated 5,000 thousand families in Bolingbrook is believed to have at least one undocumented member. What do you think is the role of local government in protecting the rights of immigrants? And what role do you believe immigrants play at the local level? (Note that this is a two-part question).

(a) The role of the local government is to protect the rights of all of its citizens. Certainly immigrants should have their issues addressed in the same manner that we will address all citizens. Immigrants should never be looked as less than. My mother immigrated from Ireland in her mid twenties and my father’s father immigrated from Bohemia/Czechoslovakia and my father’s mother immigrated from Poland. I understand the great sacrifices that are made for people to leave their motherland and immigrate to the U.S.A. the purpose for the sacrifices are to build a better life and any immigrant’s child knows that there is an expectation that the next generation does even better than the previous one. Certainly we need to address all immigrants with the respect that they deserve.

(b) I believe that immigrants play a large role at the local level. Things can change quicker at a local level at times. Local Government is a level of Government where you can meet directly with your politicians and discuss what it is that you see as the engine of change and work to see that through at a local level.

3) As you are probably aware, next year the Census will take place nationwide and will determine the allocation of resources to communities. What do you think the Village can do to ensure that all the residents of Bolingbrook, including immigrants, participate in the 2020 Census?

I would love to see a committee formed to brainstorm how we as a community can ensure that all residents of Bolingbrook participate in the Census. I understand that there may be unique and special circumstances that cause immigrants to maybe not want to participate. It will be the local level Government to make sure that we have educated everyone on why we do the census and what gains are brought to the community through an accurate census count.

4) Last year in the month of May, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted raids in to our community here in Bolingbrook. Many parents were afraid to leave their homes or take their children to school out of fear of having their families separated. Do you support a Welcoming Village Ordinance, that would make it village policy for police and all village departments to not cooperate with ICE unless there is a signed warrant from a Judge? Why or why not? (Note that this is a two-part question).

It breaks my heart to see families separated at anytime for any reason. I remember the ICE raids here in Bolingbrook. I would sincerely need to sit down with the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project to understand the how and why’s and alternatives to these practices. I do not want to answer a question that I do not fully understand the whole issue clearly. I would certainly be very supportive of how we can bring citizenship to a reality for people that are facing the threat of deportation and have been living and functioning in our community. As I stated earlier I am from a family of immigrants  and I am forever grateful that my mother, and paternal grandparents were able to immigrate to the U.S.A. and that I am a proud American born citizen due to their sacrifices to get here.