What do the Candidates Think?

MWRD Sidestream Elevated Pool Aeration Station on the Calumet River.

Explanatory note: As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Friends of the Chicago River is not permitted to support or oppose candidates running for office; however, we are allowed to educate voters on issues related to our mission.

In order to provide our 41,000 members, volunteers, and online advocates with the information they need for the upcoming Illinois primary election on March 19, this year Friends of the Chicago River solicited positions from the four candidates running to fill three spots as Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioners with six-year terms.

Click here to download all of the candidates’ responses.

As the agency responsible for stormwater management and sewage treatment in Cook County, the MWRD has an outsized impact on water quality in the river system and the commissioners’ opinions matter. The water quality in the river system has improved dramatically with investment in the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, sewage effluent disinfection, and increasingly the use of green infrastructure to capture rainwater where it falls. Yet, the MWRD bears the brunt of the climate crisis with heavy, unpredictable rainfall sometimes overwhelming the sewer system again with more complications to come. While voting, it is crucial to make an informed decision regarding who should be responsible for leading the charge towards a more resilient region.

Please know that candidate responses to our questionnaire are for informational purposes and voter education only, and are listed in alphabetical order. Friends of the Chicago River is not making any endorsements or campaign contributions to any candidates who participated or did not participate in the questionnaire. 

Our partners at the Illinois Environmental Council offer more detailed information about the upcoming primary. Please be sure to register and make a plan to vote.