SUSANA A. MENDOZA
DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER
“Most” | Susana Mendoza for Illinois Comptroller
MY VISION FOR THIS OFFICE
I will be an independent truth-telling fiscal watchdog that prioritizes both the fiscal and moral health of the state. My top priority will be to continually serve and protect the most vulnerable populations in this State.
I will work to enhance the overall internal control environment of the State in order to run a more effective, transparent and efficient office. I will in concert with the Director of CMS and the Auditor General, take a fresh look at the Fiscal Control and Internal Auditing Act (FCIAA), to ensure it reflects the most current thinking on fiscal and administrative internal control guidance.
I will broker needed fiscal stewardship measures across the Illinois state enterprise and leverage technological advances to make it more efficient and easier to maintain accountable stewardship of and control over funds. I will ensure that the State Comptroller’s Office stays up to date with the best and most efficient practices for overseeing our tax dollars.
WHAT IS A PRESSING ISSUE FACING CONSTITUENTS, AND HOW CAN I HELP ADDRESS IT?
Illinois is in a fiscal crisis and is shamefully in Year Two of having failed to pass a budget. This was an avoidable crisis that Governor Rauner actually intentionally created. We have witnessed what the devastation of the past two years has done to our social services network, schools and working families. The middle and under class is under attack by Governor Bruce Rauner and his self-proclaimed wingman, Comptroller Leslie Munger. For the last two years, rather than provide a needed checks and balance to the Governor’s Office, the comptroller has checked with the Governor before releasing funds. The people’s checkbook needs to be in the hands of an independent fiscal watchdog – not in the hands of a comptroller who is beholden to the Governor and the millions of dollars in campaign contributions received from him and his billionaire buddies. Governor Rauner’s top priorities are to destroy unions and is willing to take away and sacrifice the social safety net that provides opportunities for so many families in Illinois to lift themselves out of poverty. Rather than stand-up to the Governor’s disastrous Turn Around Agenda, his hand-picked Comptroller appointee, Leslie Munger, champions it. By every measurable account, the State of Illinois, under the Munger/Rauner team, is significantly worse off than it was two years ago.
Comptroller Munger remained silent when Governor Rauner cut autism funding on World Autism Day. She was silent when he vetoed childcare assistance funding that benefits working mothers on Women’s Equality Day. I’m running for Comptroller because Illinoisans deserve much better than complicit silence.
To be clear, I will be an independent truth-telling fiscal watchdog that prioritizes both the fiscal and moral health of the State. I will advocate for the people of Illinois, as I have in Springfield and Chicago, and work to provide solutions or alternatives that can help get the State back on a sound fiscal track. I have a history of standing up to leaders in my own party, and a record of working in a bipartisan way to get things done. I’m an experienced, tested, and proven executive manager who is ready to be a part of finding solutions that will help get our State out of this fiscal disaster, and I’m looking forward to getting started on this road to recovery.
WHY I AM RUNNING AND WHY I AM THE MOST QUALIFIED:
I am an experienced legislator and executive manager, having served 10 years in the Illinois General Assembly and five years as the elected Chicago City Clerk. In my five years as Chicago City Clerk, I dramatically and successfully overhauled the Office of the City Clerk of Chicago to better serve Chicago taxpayers. Our 21st Century reboot of a City Sticker Program dating back to 1908, was lauded by both customers and national experts on innovation in government, and earned us the “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard University. Our Office is now recognized for increasing access to City Council and City government. Unlike most government offices, I have led the charge of doing more with less. That means, streamlining systems, cutting overtime by over 70%, working with 10% less payroll than when I took office, and voluntarily coming in under budget year after year. I feel a strong responsibility to protect every tax dollar. As such, I have saved Chicagoans millions of dollars, all the while improving customer service. On top of that, we have generated nearly $50 million dollars in new, sustainable revenue for the City by rooting out waste and fraud, increasing compliance, and running a more effective and efficient office. I will apply my deep legislative understanding of State government, along with my proven executive experience and management expertise, to the Office of the Comptroller to better serve the people of Illinois.
I am the best person for this role because I am a seasoned, tested and proven legislator, and more importantly, executive manager who is strong, independent and ready to help get the State back on track. I am committed to working to enhance the overall internal control environment of the State in order to run a more effective and efficient office. My bipartisan credentials and history of standing up to leaders of my own party, whether it was standing up to my party leaders on the issue of ethics reform, voting against legislative pay raises, or taking on Governor Blagojevich before it was popular to do so, provide voters with a track record of independence they can count on. I will be an independent truth-telling fiscal watchdog who will prioritize both the fiscal and moral health of the State, by championing people over politics. I am the best person for the role of Comptroller because I understand and am keenly aware of the challenges facing middle class Illinoisans, parents, and people with aging parents, yet also understand how important growing our economy is in order to keep and grow jobs in our State. As Chicago City Clerk, managing the second largest office in the City, I’ve taken an office once seen as a beacon of inefficiency and a waste of taxpayer dollars and in less than five years, transformed it into a model in government efficiency that’s created over $50 million dollars in new revenue for Chicago while dramatically improving services for taxpayers at no additional cost to them. I know how to make government work well for people because I’ve done that for Chicagoans as their Clerk. I will take that tested and proven management experience into the Comptroller’s Office, and be ready to take on the challenge by being that independent truth-telling fiscal watchdog they deserve, on day one.