By Dorothy Leavell, Hermene Hartman and Carl West
We know David Moore. He’s earned our trust. Our faith. Our support. We’ve witnessed what he stands for – independence, service, experience, integrity. When he says he accepts his candidacy for Secretary of State as a “calling,” we believe him.
Moore knows us, too. He’s lived with our challenges, shares our hopes, fought as a child in Chicago public housing for working families, organized as a teen to get out our vote, aid seniors and youth, and rid his streets of drugs. As a young man, the friends he made on the diverse campus of Western Illinois University in McComb, Illinois, are some of his earliest supporters. His dual majors in accounting and operations management served him well at several Fortune 500 companies in the private sector. His master’s in government studies from Loyola University-Chicago was instrumental in the public sector.
As an alderman of his home ward in Englewood, David marched with teachers, service workers, and others for fair wages, working conditions, and equity. Despite opposition from his party’s mayors, governor, legislators, and fellow city councilors, he cast the lone “no” vote on projects that limited the inclusion of our businesspeople or diverted long-needed infrastructure funds from his constituents. David was the key alderman in renaming Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable.
David’s creative, multi-purpose plans for improving the office he seeks stem from his progressive values and understanding of the state’s diverse residents. He is the only candidate to propose digital license plates as a way to eliminate the need for in-person renewal, registration, and titling; help reduce the carjacking epidemic; decrease the number of uninsured motorists; and bring in additional revenue – all of which means cost savings to Illinois residents and possible reduction in fees for seniors, without additional burden to taxpayers.
The SOS office is often the younger generation’s first contact with the state government. David has proposed creating a Jesse White Youth Engagement Office in Illinois’ 122 driver services facilities via public-private partnerships to encourage civic responsibilities like voting, bicycle safety, and educating distracted driving.
David agrees that the SOS office must be modernized for better efficiency, convenience, and security. To him, fiscal management is critical, but only after a cost-benefit analysis of which departments to target to achieve the best bang for the buck. He believes the already highly automated office must give equal attention to the “digital divide” that negatively affects service delivery to seniors, economically disadvantaged, and rural populations without adequate internet, for whom even phone and in-person access may be limited. He envisions library and mobile satellite branches to provide greater accessibility as viable remedies.
Illinois’ office has one of the largest, most diverse collections of responsibilities nationwide. It oversees what keeps the state moving — transportation, business, and knowledge – and through its 4,000 employees, touches almost every resident in Illinois. Most of us know about its driver services. The Secretary of State is also the chief librarian. The office is responsible for maintaining the buildings and infrastructure of the capitol complex, has its police force, certifies the incorporation of businesses and nonprofit groups, oversees lobbyists and financial advisors, and regulates the ethics of state workers and elected officials running for office.
While this portfolio highlights the importance of the office, it also creates many opportunities for wrongdoing. Before Jesse White, secretaries of state unabashedly used the position to profit themselves, their families, and friends. David is the only candidate who has pledged to maintain the seat as one of service, rather than merely a steppingstone to higher office, with the independence to pursue progressive issues without ties to machine politics or organization leaders with deep pockets.
David has proposed a comprehensive approach to rooting out waste, fraud, and corruption, while promoting transparency and accountability, including expanding the authority of the Inspector General through designating integrity officers in every region of the state; ensuring spouses and immediate family members are included in financial disclosure statements; evaluating workers for the quality of their performance, rather than political considerations; and enforcing and increasing fines for failure to disclose conflicts of interest.
Beyond its official duties, David sees the Secretary of State as an advocate for all Illinois residents. He would work with the Legislature and other elected officials to speak out for policy changes, fee reductions, and equity in contracting and hiring. We applaud that proactive approach as another reason we consider David the best candidate in the Secretary of State’s race.
We join Illinois Black chambers of commerce, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, nationally based The Collective PAC, the Chicago Austin-Area Coalition PAC, LGBTQ IMPACT, the elected officials, and more than 100 clergy statewide and others who have endorsed David Moore. In the words of Rev. Lucius Barber, pastor of Danville’s Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, “I feel we would be blessed to have … David Moore as Illinois Secretary of State. His education and work in Chicago as an alderman have molded him for such a time as this. He is willing and ready to serve all Illinois citizens.”
Despite the financial resources of the other candidates in the race to do television commercials, Moore continues to poll competitively. According to the last poll, over 50% of voters were undecided. Your vote in the June 28 primary election is so important. To quote the candidate, “Illinois doesn’t deserve less, we deserve more, David Moore for Secretary of State. Punch 15.