Interview by Lisle Township Democratic Organization: Meet Savvy Sheila Rutledge, DuPage County Board – District 6
What made you decide to take the courageous step to run for the board?
I had considered moving into a bigger role after being elected PC for my second term. I thank Dupage Democrats for recognizing something in me I hadn’t and they are the ones who approached me to consider a run. After consulting with my family and knowing I had my husband’s full support I began what is not already a year of campaigning to win this seat. I am confident that I will win in November!
What in your background makes you especially prepared or motivated for this office?
I have spent the last two decades advocating for those in my community and working with government entities to provide greater service at a lower cost to our constituency. From school and school board issues to referendums and from working on two different boards of directors long-term I understand what it’s like to work with others in my community to effect positive change and work through the challenges that those entities might impact business.
How long have you lived in DuPage, and in District 6? What concerns you most therein?
I have lived in Warrenville for the last 25 years and in the last couple of months, I moved to West Chicago. Both terrific communities. I worry that the changes we’re seeing in our government will impact the least of us the most. Senior citizens who are at risk of losing their health care before they’re eligible for Medicare, the marginalized and homeless in our community are all people that I worry about. Yes, we are one of the most affluent counties in the country but still, too many of our citizens fall through the cracks. I believe that policies being enacted in Washington such as decisions on healthcare are going to trickle down to our county and have a negative impact on our lifestyle here.
How do you feel you compare against Republican candidates, what difference in policy decisions would you have?
I’m not sure that I’m comfortable comparing myself to Republican candidates. Both of them are incumbents who have already gained experience on our County Board. I do know that I’ll probably tend to advocate for people on the lower ends of the margins than for the top 10% earners in our County. I believe the time has come for our board to have more democratic voices to push back against the political favors that seem rampant and to enact legislation that benefits all of our county residents.
How can we most help you get elected?
Talk about the terrific candidates we have running for our county board, walk precincts, invite friends for meet and greets, and of course, make donations. The meet and greets are the most effective way I believe to get our voices and our ideas out. So consider holding a meet and greet at your home, inviting a few friends and a few candidates.
Anything else you want our readers to know?
Over the last three years, I have reinvented myself no less than three times. My husband and I started a business in 2015 from something we hadn’t previously done, I took a job to assure I would have access to healthcare in an industry I had never worked in before and now after the passing of my husband in April I’m again reinventing myself and moving forward from that loss. I’m prepared for the 4th with my election to our County Board.