On Thursday, Jan. 24, I met with Patrick Brutus at his South Side Chicago home.
Brutus revealed early in the interview that, while he is a Chicago resident and City of Chicago employee, he spent 30 years of his life in the South Suburbs. The candidate said his current residence and his University Park roots would give him a unique perspective when it comes to representing the city and the suburbs equally.
Speaking of the city, Brutus also touted his current role in economic development for the City of Chicago, as well as several previous public sector roles, has given him a wealth of work experience to make up for his lack of political experience.
Visit Patrick Brutus' candidate profile on Patch to watch the extended video of the interview.
Brutus said he doesn't necessarily believe in bigger government, but repeatedly pointed out how much the government can do to actively improve the quality of people's lives. Part of his platform points to past elected officials not doing enough with their influence for people.
Brutus spoke extensively about his 17 years of experience in the public sector, including 11 years with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Brutus currently works in economic development for the City of Chicago. The candidate said his experience gives him a unique perspective on improving transportation avenues, providing more affordable housing and creating jobs.
Brutus said he would work with Cook County to promote a freeze on property taxes, if elected.
"We've done one good thing, on one hand, utilizing NSP money from the federal government to address foreclosures, but we can't let those people who are beneficiaries of a program like that .... then go back into foreclosure because the County continue to evaluate your property as increasing performing property when your market rate value is declining." - On reducing foreclosures and freezing property taxes.
"When I was growing up ... Chicago Heights was a booming industrial area. Booming. Everybody was working... I remember, if you were in the South SUburbs and you lived in the Heights or further south, you wanted a quality of life that was like people north of route 30 ... We wanted to be like the Joneses." - On his connection to the South Suburbs.
Brutus's passion for the University Park and Chicago Heights area was apparent. He seemed equally invested in the South Side of Chicago. People in those areas may appreaciate that if they take the time to find out who he is.
On the flip side, Brutus's lack of experience as an elected official will make it difficult for him to make the giant leap to federal-level representative.
What do you think? Does Patrick Brutus's public sector work experience make him a viable option for you? Tell us in the comments!
On Monday, Feb. 4: Debbie Halvorson explains her much-discussed stance on assault weapons and talks about running against the woman she appointed to a state senate seat.
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