Name: Cheryl Newsome
Office seeking: St. Clair County Board- District 13
City of residence: Belleville
Campaign website: cherylnewsome.com
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? I was raised to believe that you should use your time, talents and possessions to serve others. I did this as a working professional, and now that I am retired, I want to be of greater service to my community. I have a strong and varied educational and experiential background. I have been a military spouse for 35 years. I believe I can offer solid reasoning, and an ability to bring diverse groups together to find common, positive solutions to the problems we face in St. Clair County.
What is the most important issue facing your county and how would you handle it? One primary concern is workforce development. Workforce development is essential to move our area forward economically. I believe that partnering with businesses to provide training opportunities for everything from entry level social skills to high tech precision skills encourages new businesses to come to our area, and also allows residents to develop their potential to earn family-sustaining wages. A ready work force and reliable employees lead to higher revenues for our area overall. Such business/employee partnerships can be explored with schools, unions, and local and national business partners.
What other issues do you want to focus on as a county board member? How would you approach those issues? Economics- Inconsistent payments from the state of Illinois creates difficulties in planning for programs and services. Eliminating duplicate services, identifying county priorities, and compiling accurate data for decision-making and economic development are essential components of successful future economic growth in the area. Mental health- Poverty, homelessness, hunger, and the opioid crisis are issues that require coordinated efforts among governing bodies, agencies and service providers. Determining the course of action to address these concerns requires research into programs that work, accurate data of scope and severity of the problem in our area, and priority setting to allocate limited resources where they can be best utilized.