Virginia Rodriguez

Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Riverside-Brookfield Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.

Age:  35

Previous political experience: No political experience.

Previous community experience:

The following is a list of my community experiences I have been involved in:

  • I volunteered at St. Adalbert Church doing clerical work and assisting in community events.
  • I volunteered at a Special Olympics Fashion show as a stylist/makeup artist.
  • I volunteered at the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago playing with felines and walking dogs. 

Occupation: 3rd Grade Special Education Teacher at Cicero School District 99


B.S. Quincy University – Concentrations in Elementary Education

with Special Education Endorsement. 

Why are you interested in the position of village clerk?

I’m interested in the position for multiple reasons. First, we need to modernize our operations and clearly focus on getting all residents the necessary information they need from Village Board Meetings on a timely fashion. Throughout the years the Village has been reluctant in posting many of the minutes and agendas on the Village’s website. We also must persist on a timely standard to advertise these proceedings at the Village Commons and the Village Library.

What is your understanding of the role of the village clerk and what do you feel is the most important aspect of that role?

My understanding of the role comprises of the Village Clerk providing Village Board Meeting Agendas and Village Board Meeting Minutes in a timely fashion. Gathering “extra information” from residents, business owners and concerned individuals and respectively noting their positive or negative viewpoints at Village Board Meetings. In the past, it seems like all Village Clerks have added only positive responses and completely ignored all neutrality or negativity. We need to include all aspects of every meeting, record & document all interchange that occurs at Board & Committee Meetings and be fair and partial to all descriptions that are part of our correspondence.

There is virtually no information about village board or village commission meeting dates and times, minutes of past meetings or meeting packet information available to the public on the village’s website. What is the clerk’s responsibility to ensure information about village government is available to the public? Is the village compliant with state law with regard to these matters?

They’re Village Commission meeting minutes, agendas and dates posted on the bulletin board beside the entrance of the Village Council Room. We need to post all these documents online (Village’s website and Facebook) including availability (at the Village Commons and Village Library) to all who don’t have access to computers. 

To what extent, if any, should the clerk participate in the discussion of issues being considered by the village board?

The Village Clerk has no voting power amongst the Village Board. If there’s a certain issue the Clerk needs to address, the Clerk can attend a specific Committee Meeting and/or Village Board Meeting and voice  her opinion on a certain issue.

Are there any services the clerk’s office should offer that aren’t being offered now?

The Village Clerk’s Office should provide a wide array of measures to register all Residents. We should initiate “Voter Registration Days” to not only encourage those who’ve never registered to vote before, but also promote campaigns that will sponsor new Residents to be politically involved. Registering to vote and actually coming out on election days is what we should focus on. 

We have witnessed many media channels, organizations and politically affiliated entities attempting to register new voters. This has to occur on a grander scale in our Village and we have to vehemently support any measures to register as many Residents as possible and surpass the national voting average.

What would be your priorities as village clerk and how would you accomplish meeting those goals?

My priorities would consist of:

  • Organizing and modernizing our Village Commons to offer a secure a network and implement Wi-Fi availability in order to move us into the 21st Century.
  • Creating tutoring centers where qualified Volunteers can provide help for any Village Students that are in need of academic support. 
  • Induct more cooperative methods for the Community Watch Program. Residents can volunteer their time to patrol streets at any given hour in order to deter any violations of the law.
  • Expand and categorize our “Special Needs Programs”