female candidate

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.

How does a local candidate spend a winter Saturday?

You may be wondering: how does a local, grassroots-driven, candidate spend a cold winter Saturday in January? By getting ready to canvas and campaign for the March primary of course!

Today I wrote some language to share the news about my campaign with residents throughout District 1, designed some attention-grabbing door hangers, and ordered them. I am only able to do this because of your generous support and donations. Thank you!

Want to help get these door hangers on the doors of voters? Visit our volunteer page and let me know you're ready to help Turn DuPage Blue!

Welcome 2018: A Year of Action

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New Year's Eve is always a time to reflect on the year that is leaving and think about your hopes and goals for the incoming year.

It's easy to look at 2017 and focus only on the bad. Whether it's headlines at the national level that are startling and discouraging or just the sense of conflict, discord, and uncertainty this year brought, it's been a long and trying year in many respects. But in many, perhaps more important ways, there are many reasons to reflect on some good from 2017 and look forward with cheer and motivation to 2018.

I was unable to attend the Women's March in January, but when I reflect on the global response that day brought, I am still deeply moved. What came after is even more amazing.

2017 to me marks a reawakening in many communities of the responsibility that comes with our democracy. Government does just function because of inertia and leaders do not always look out for what is best of us simply because they should. We the people must demand it. 

This demand, that our leaders are available to us, listen to our voices, and act knowing that we are paying close attention marks much of 2017 to me. We did not always win but outspoken citizens had some amazing victories to protect our health care, stop bad policies, and demand better governance.

For 2018, that voice will only grow louder. In 2018, I look forward to being this voice in DuPage County. The size and strength of DuPage County means we have a loud voice on the local, state, and national level, if we elect representatives who are brave enough to take a stand for our communities. With your help, we can elect a wave of officials in November who exemplify that leadership.

Actions for 2018

The most important thing you can do to kick off the new year is to check that you are registered to vote, or to register if you are not. You can do that at the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Want to make sure you don't forget to vote? In DuPage County, any voter can request a ballot to vote by mail. Learn about this easy process here.

Lastly, get involved with either my campaign or the campaign of another county-level candidate. Grassroots efforts like knocking on doors, handing out literature at train stations, making phone calls, or donating your talents or funds is essential work to strengthen our democracy.

Happy New Year!

Daily Herald: Republicans, Democrats both face primaries for DuPage County Board

Below is an excerpt from the Daily Herald's article about the DuPage County Board candidates:

"Democrats are preparing to challenge Republicans next fall for control of the DuPage County Board.

Twelve of the 18 county board seats will be up for election in November and Democrats will field candidates for all those 4-year seats in the traditional GOP stronghold.

But before the two sides square off, voters in March must choose their party's nominees. Contested Republican primary races are expected in four of the six county board districts and four of the districts will have Democratic primaries.

The filing period for the March 20 primary ended Monday.

Here's a look at where county board primary races are taking shape:

District 1

Bensenville resident Paul DeMichele and Dino Gavanes of Itasca are seeking the GOP nomination along with two incumbents -- Sam Tornatore of Roselle and Paul Fichtner of Elmhurst.

The two primary winners will face Elmhurst Democrats Ashley J. Selmon and Zahra Suratwala next November.

District 1 includes all or portions of Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Elmhurst, Glendale Heights, Itasca, Lombard, Roselle, Villa Park and Wood Dale."


You can read the entire article here.

Election Night!

DuPage County Democratic candidates

DuPage County Democratic candidates

Election night is always magical for me. Knowing people have fought and died for the right to cast a ballot is empowering (even on the nights when the results are not what I would hope for).

Even though DuPage county did not have an election tonight, nearly one third of our country saw elections in their communities from the national level all the way down to school board elections. Watching election results roll in tonight was exciting -- we saw Democratic candidates winning of all ages, genders, and passions. They ran strong campaigns, full of volunteer support, focused on the issues that matter to all of us -- building strong communities, investing in our futures, and showing that we are more alike than we are different.

If you're inspired by the election results tonight and wondering how you can get involved here in DuPage, visit our Get Involved page. We have a few short weeks until petitions get turned in, a few short months until the March 20th primary, and just under a year until the November 6th general election. Join us!

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.