Illinois Democrat

Addressing the TCJA and SALT Deductions at the County Board Level

During last week's meet and greet coffees, a voter asked me "what does the county board do, anyway?" This was a great opportunity to share about the work that the board does do, while pointing out the areas I felt could be improved. Most importantly, it was an opportunity to discuss the advocacy the DuPage County Board should take up, and could, with more Democratic leadership.

Earlier this week, Member Liz Chaplin, the DuPage County Board's only Democrat, asked residents at the York Township Democratic Organization's monthly meeting to let her know of any issues we wished to be included in the Board's federal agenda. Please see my letter to Member Chaplin below:


Dear Member Chaplin,

Thank you for speaking at the York Township Democratic Organization’s meeting last week. During your comments, you encouraged York Township residents to send along concerns we wish to be advocated for by the DuPage County Board at the federal level this year.

I feel that one of the most pressing issues facing DuPage County in the coming year is the burden placed on DuPage residents as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). During the December holiday season, we saw residents who own property rushing to pay their property taxes early. Many of these residents found later that these pre-payment may not help them avoid the penalties imposed by the TCJA towards their state and local tax (SALT) deductions if their assessment was not current for the 2018 tax year. While some DuPage families may see short-term benefits of the TCJA, the long term effects will have negative impacts on our community.

Homeownership is an essential building block to a middle class future. For many families, your home is your largest and most prized asset. The limiting of SALT deductions could make homes in DuPage county too expensive for the average family, reducing the incentive to buy a home or reducing the amount of older homeowners who can remain in their homes following retirement. An increase in property taxes also affects renters, who may see larger rent increases.

Furthermore, property taxes help provide the services which make DuPage County so desirable. From our fantastic public schools to our safe communities, DuPage residents will see a reduction in these essential services if the negative aspects of the TCJA are not addressed.

I wish the DuPage County Board to take two actions in response to the TCJA.

First, the Board should condemn this misguided and short-sighted federal bill which will increase the tax burden for many families while favoring the richest among us.

Second, the Board must take up budgetary concerns at the county level to reduce unnecessary and excessive expenditures. Without these actions, the Board could see a revenue shortfall in the coming fiscal years which could require a tax increase on DuPage residents. With the TCJA at the federal level, any increase in taxes by the Board on DuPage residents could be a significant burden for DuPage families.

Thank you for your consideration and your leadership representing DuPage County residents,

Ashley J. Selmon

Meet and Greet Events in Elmhurst

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Saturday I had the opportunity to attend two meet-and-greets with District 1 voters. Both groups were engaged and excited to learn more about my campaign and my vision for the future of DuPage County.

I discussed our county's impending budget troubles, the decisions made by the current board which have created these issues, and the solutions to avoid undue taxation on DuPage residents. I also discussed the need for real transparency, and how to improve those efforts with newly elected leadership. The attendees asked great questions and were excited to tell their fellow District 1 residents that they have great Democratic choices in the March 20 primary.

I want to thank all of those who attended these meet-and-greets as well as our generous hosts, Anne Mathias and Kirsten Powers.

Petition Turn In!


Bright and early (or not so bright out as it turns out), I went to the DuPage County administrative building to turn in your petition signatures.

I say "your" because I could not have done it without all of you.

Whether you were kind enough to answer a knock at the door from me or a volunteer, greet a "hello" outside of a shopping center, sign your name, or take a card with more information,  you helped democracy flourish in DuPage County. Thank you!

Now the fun starts. Between now and the primary on March 20, I will continue knocking on doors, making sure voters in District 1 know they have new, Democratic options for their county board and listening to which issues are most important to making their lives in DuPage County a little easier. You can make sure you are registered to vote here.

If you are interested in volunteering or hosting a meet-and-greet with your neighbors, click here to Get Involved.

Our grassroots campaign will require your support as well. If you can, give $20.18 to propel our campaign into 2018.


Collecting Petition Signatures in Bensenville


On Saturday, we spent the afternoon in Bensenville meeting some residents and collecting petition signatures. Walking around the neighborhood was a great reminder of what makes DuPage such a great place to live -- families of all ages and all backgrounds were out enjoying a warm Fall day.

Thank you for your friendliness and excitement Bensenville (and your fantastic Halloween decorations!) - we will see you again soon!

Why run for County Board?

Ashley Selmon DuPage County Board

The most common question I've received has been "So, why are you running?" It's a great question.

I have always been the sort of community member who wanted to help make life better for those around me, regardless of what community I have been apart of.

As a high school student, budget resources and access meant that our speech team was told we could no longer use the copier we had always used. I knew that my teammates needed access in order to prepare for our weekend tournaments. At the beginning of my senior year, I went right to the source and met with our principal. I brought a whole box of paperwork I needed copies of and explained that we could not be as successful that year without access to a copier. Because of that effort, we had the access that we needed in order to have another successful season.

In college, I was a first generation student paying my way through school. I was incredibly lucky to have grants and scholarships but encountered challenges along the way.  I found that the career services were not catered to students, like myself, who could not afford an unpaid internship. I had difficulty getting answers to my questions from our financial aid office and had some maintenance issues in my dorm room. How could I get these concerns addressed -- to make my student experience better and help other students like me? I asked for a meeting with the University President.

I prepared an outline, knowing we would only be able to meet for a short time, and laid out my concerns. Most importantly, I provided some ideas I thought could be solutions -- a scholarship fund to support stipends for unpaid internships, an earlier notification of financial aid for the lowest income students to allow for budgeting and planning, and a liaison for first generation students in the president's office. The meeting was fantastic. I felt heard and was able to get help for my immediate needs. As an alumna, I have seen the expansion of services for first generation and low income students in our career center that I know will help future students who are in the financial situation I was in succeed. 

When I had my first job and first apartment, I lived in a neighboring community outside of DuPage County. While I enjoyed my community, I found that visitor parking was incredibly limited for residents. Again, to address my concerns and the concerns on my neighbors, I went to the source. I emailed the village board and was thrilled to hear back from the mayor who asked what I thought would help the parking situation. I offered to do research of all the surrounding communities, looking at what their parking rules were, as well as population density. I sent him my findings along with a suggested solution. To my excitement, my parking research and solutions were presented to the village board at the next village board meeting (I could even see him holding up my documents as he spoke!) and a few short months later, there was a whole new visiting parking system.

Once I returned to DuPage County, I again wanted to be involved in making my community a great place for all residents.

So why am I running? Because DuPage county needs more voices in its local government. I'm willing to put in the work to understand the issues most important to residents of District 1 to make life in DuPage County more equitable for everyone. We live in a great community -- I look forward to working hard to make sure every resident feels heard when they have concerns and to make sure the opportunities DuPage has to offer are available to everyone.