Mary Alexander-Basta- 52 years old
Sheldon Watts- 43 years old
Michael Carpanzano-32 years old
Immediate Family: Basta- 2 sons, Watts- Twin son and daughter, Carpanzano- son.
Current Occupation: Basta- Event Manager, Watts- Global Compliance Management – International Telecommunications Solutions Provider, Carpanzano- Account Management with a Physical Therapy company.
Political Party: First Party for Bolingbrook
1) Why have you decided to run for office in the Village of Bolingbrook Trustee race?
All three of us, (Mary, Sheldon, and Michael), have been active in volunteering for a number of Bolingbrook community organizations for many years and chose to run to support the community we love. We are proud to be involved in Bolingbrook because of the many successes the community has seen – the business growth, the incredible growth of a greatly diverse population, and the many community organizations which enrich the lives of everyone in town. We all see the role of the Village Trustee as a way to use our strengths and skills to make Bolingbrook an even better community in the future.
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) As people should be aware, Bolingbrook has recently been recognized as the most diverse community in the State of Illinois. The fact that people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds choose to move to Bolingbrook says a lot about the work that has been done to make our community welcoming to all people. They would not choose Bolingbrook for their home if they felt Bolingbrook was not welcoming.
(b) The Village supports several efforts to celebrate diversity and inform fellow residents of other cultures. Larger examples include Juneteenth festival celebrating the emancipation of African Americans, Piyesta Pinoy celebrating Filipino ancestry, Taste of Pakistan, El Grito, and Day of the Immigrant. These larger events and many smaller events are widely recognized as making the “door-to-door” diversity so appreciated by everyone.
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?
As you may be aware, some federal funding is based on population. As such, and to ensure we do our part to ensure full participation in this very important initiative, the Village actively promotes participation in the census by advertising the opportunity to work for the census effort and to encourage participation of residents. This effort will be strong again for the 2020 census. During the rapid growth era when population rose from under 30,000 to the current population of over 76,000, the Village even paid for efforts to update census records in between the effort every 10 years.
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).
Bolingbrook Police are not permitted to question residency status, religious affiliation, or political affiliation of anyone during any official interaction, thus protecting the rights of all. This policy is effective for all Village employees, not just the Police. If Bolingbrook Police are notified of ICE representatives in Bolingbrook on a judge’s order or warrant, they accompany the representatives on the call to ensure safety for all involved.