Hinsdale’s Kari Galassi and Greg Hart run for DuPage County Board Positions
By Larry Atseff
Recently, at Salt Creek Club, a fundraiser was held for Kari Galassi, who is running for a seat on the DuPage County Board, District 3, this fall. She was endorsed by Greg Hart, a board member, who is running for the position of Chairman of the DuPage County Board. Ms. Galassi was also endorsed by Robert Berlin, DuPage County State’s Attorney. Afterward, we had an opportunity to speak with Ms. Galassi about her candidacy. Following are questions and her answers.
Q. You are running for DuPage County Board member for District 3. Describe the size of the area, key towns in the district, and population.
A. District 3 is home to approximately 160,000 residents in Southeast DuPage County. The district includes eleven different communities: Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Willowbrook, Westmont, Downers Grove, Woodridge, Darien, Naperville, as well as the DuPage portions of Lemont and Bolingbrook. The district is home to the nationally known Argonne Laboratory, multiple historic districts along the BNSF Metra line, and thousands of small businesses and nonprofits.
Q. What in your personal background qualifies you for being on the DuPage County Board?
A. I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in accounting. I worked as a CPA in the audit division of Arthur Andersen and then moved on to executive recruiting. I was the Managing Director of my firm when our first son was born and Nick, my husband, and I decided our family would be best served with me home with our children. Since staying home I have been a very active member of our community. I headed our elementary chess team that qualified for nationals and fundraised for Hinsdale Little League. I served on both the Hinsdale Central Football and boys Lacrosse boards. I then created “Yes Productions” when I saw a greater need for youth theater in our community. I managed the campaign for two newly appointed District 86 board members. When the vaccines first rolled out, I volunteered at every vaccine clinic I could to expedite the rollout, particularly for our senior citizens and immunocompromised. Most recently I was asked to be a part of the Hinsdale Hospital Cabinet to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) renovation. I lead the efforts for a fundraiser that raised $650k in one evening and am still an active cabinet member. I believe I have proven to be a source for good and bettering our community and plan to do the same for the entire DuPage County.
Q. What are you best known for in serving the public?
A. I am best known for rallying the D86 community to pass the facilities referendum in 2019. We faced a large opposition campaign and the referendum had failed in two previous elections, so it was a difficult task. I formed 12 subcommittees and had over 300 community volunteers helping with our effort, including students. We raised over $600k during the campaign at many different fundraising events. From canvassing, to signs, to community tables and call banks, we successfully were able to raise awareness and pass the referendum by nearly 20 points. This effort not only enabled each school’s facilities to be greatly improved, but it also reinstated many extracurricular activities that had been cut including most sports like football, band, and National Honor Society.
Q. What problems and opportunities do you want to address specifically for district 3?
A. The DuPage County Board is involved in a wide scope of issues. It is often said that 90% of what garners media attention occurs at the State and Federal levels, but 90% of what affects our daily lives occurs at the County or local levels. My primary agenda for District 3 stems from my desire to stem crime in my entire district – particularly the acutely affected parts along the Ogden Avenue corridor in between 355 and 294. I also want to address flooding concerns across the District. For example, I would look to find opportunities to finance needed dredging projects in unincorporated communities like Bruce Lake and Timberlake.
Q. What problems and opportunities do you want to work on for the whole of DuPage County?
A. Crime. Crime. Crime. We have seen a major increase in crime in DuPage over the past 4 years and I would like to support Bob Berlin and Sheriff Mendrick as much as possible so they can fight the crime surge. We need to feel safe in DuPage County. Many of us moved to DuPage for public safety. I also want to ensure our educational systems remain strong in DuPage County and that parents have a voice in their student’s education. Finally, I would like to promote economic development in DuPage County, while ensuring we maintain a balanced budget and do not raise taxes.
Q. If someone wants to help you in your campaign, what is the contact information?
*Photos provided by Kari Galassi