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Over the past year, I have enjoyed getting to know Emily Rodriguez, candidate for Champaign County Board District 8. As a current board member also representing District 8, I was eager to learn about her vision for serving on the board.

Every time we talk, I come away impressed. Rodriguez has a clear, progressive vision for serving the constituents of Champaign County.

Her vision is that the board can and must do more to address the fact that one in five residents in our community lives below the poverty line.

Her vision includes shrinking our incarceration system while at the same time expanding our efforts to combat homelessness and substance abuse in our County.

Her vision involves growing green energy and making sure county leaders do our part in ensuring that local construction projects pay fair wages to local workers.

Her vision is that as Champaign County grows, opportunities for our constituents should grow as well.

The thing that has impressed me the most about Rodriguez is that she does not just have a vision. She does her research. She asks insightful questions. She listens to different voices and demonstrates an ability to draw people into the conversation about how we can build a better Champaign County together.

I cannot imagine a better partner than Emily Rodriguez to join me in serving the people of District 8. She deserves to be the Democratic nominee for this seat.

STEPHANIE FORTADO

Champaign