On Thursday, October 1, the DeKalb Public Library and the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County held a virtual, public Candidates’ Forum on Zoom. Candidates for each locally contested office on the November 3rd ballot had the opportunity to speak.
Candidate Rukisha Crawford’s audio did not work properly the entire time so her transcribed answers can be found by scrolling down.
This forum featured three DeKalb County offices (State’s Attorney, Coroner and Circuit Court Clerk).
Coroner: Cat Brian Prescott (Democrat) and Dennis J. Miller (Republican incumbent).
State’s Attorney: Rick Amato (Republican incumbent) and Anna Wilhelmi (Democrat challenger).
Circuit Clerk: Rukisha Crawford Democrat) and Lori Grubbs (Republican).
It was moderated by Jan Dorner.
The next DeKalb County Virtual Candidates’ Forum will be held on Thursday, October 8, at 6:00 p.m. This Forum will be for candidates to the DeKalb County Council. This Forum will also include Jeff Keicher and Paul Stoddard, candidates for House Representative to District 70, and Tom Demmer and Seth Wiggins, candidates for House Representative to District 90. Candidates from each contested district will have the opportunity to speak and given the same amount of time to answer.
Candidate Rukisha Crawford Transcript
Good evening and thank you to the League of women voters for your platform to express my purpose for running for the Dekalb County Circuit Clerk’s position. I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and moved to Dekalb County to finish school and to raise my son in a safe environment. I am the proud mother of a soon to be college graduate come May 2021. I’ve obtained 2 Master’s degrees one in Education and the other in Literacy. My undergraduate degree is in Early Childhood education where working with families and children is my passion. I serve on the Dekalb County Board District #6. The sub committees that I sit on are the Health and Human Services and the Economic Development. I also sit on the Dekalb County Board of Health as a representative of the County Board. I am an educator. I am an advocate.Crawford
Name something specific that the clerk’s office could do better & how to do it.
Something specific that the clerk’s office could do better and how to do it would be 1.) Making sure that the data processing system the office uses is up to date. 2.) Allowing for online images of court orders 3.) Making sure that documents are processed in a timely fashion with correct dates and accurate court room numbers listed on the court documentation. By making sure the data processing system is up to date could alleviate the lack of information recorded to be entered in correctly. Having an online system were residents can access their own court orders and other information online would help resident and the clerk’s office to become more efficient and help with convenience. It is very important that residents receive information in a timely fashion and the information to be accurate to prevent any issue with in the court system. While out meeting with residents this was one major concern. A resident explained to me that his documentations had been lost in the system. This was a big concern to me going forward.Crawford
What technology, if any, does the clerk’s office most need to implement best practices?
Listening to residents while out literature dropping I am learning that court documentations are getting lost within the system. I am also learning that residents have concerns and issue and have nowhere to address them. The technology that could be implemented for best practices would be to allow residents to leave reviews on the website/app when working with a certain clerk supervisor and or office staff. This would allow for feedback on how the Circuit Clerk office is being ran and for room for improvements. Having a practice where court dates can be text to you would also be implemented. This would help the office and the residents who use the app/website, and texting options to become more accurate, efficient, and accountable.Crawford
If your office got a 5 percent budget increase, what would you spend it on?
If the Circuit Clerk’s office got a 5% budget increase it would be spent on the technology and the data processing system. It would get used to better the office for the clerks to become more efficient, effective, and accurate. By having the data system, texting, and the website reviews in place would create the Circuit Clerk’s office to run a fair, organized, and more trustworthy office. I strive for excellence and professionalism. With the 5% budget increase it would allow for accountability to be held by the measure set in place with the technology.Crawford
If your office got a 5 percent budget decrease, what would you cut?
If the office received a 5 % decrease I would not want to cut anything. I would find ways to improvise and work around the decrease by possibly creating a survey box for residents to use when they are visiting the Clerk’s office to leave reviews for improvements. Research how other counties may have adapted to decreased budgets cuts. I would find ways to keep the clerk’s office running.Crawford
What do you bring to this office?
What I bring to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office is my accomplishments, my values in life, and my professionalism. Having raised a son who will soon be a college graduate is one of my greatest accomplishments. Obtaining several college degrees and certifications is another accomplishment of mines. Serving my community as an advocate and County Board member is one of my last accomplishments. My values in life to be a leader, transparent, and hold integrity is something I hold dearly to me. I like to be held accountable for my actions. Building positive relationships in the work place is important. Having to be professional is part of being a leader, and building positive relationships shows that people are important to you. I will oversee that the clerks follow through and are accountable. I am passionate about change and leadership. Being a voice for my community bring me joy.Crawford
Again, thank you to the League of women voters for your time, commitment, and platform to share my purpose for running for the Dekalb County Circuit Clerk’s position. I am asking for your vote on November 3rd. Thank you for your time.Crawford