Emily Young: Candidate profile.
Name: Emily Young
Office sought: Village trustee
Family: Don Young (Father) and Kathleen Kenney (Mother)
Occupation: Development and Communications Manager at Impact Behavioral Health Partners
Education: B.A. in History from Northwestern University
Civic involvement: Natural Resource Conservancy Commissioner in Streamwood Illinois, Cook County Election Judge in 2016 General Election, Pillars Community Health Volunteer, Fur Keeps Animal Rescue Volunteer
Previous elected offices held: None
Incumbent: If yes, when were first elected? No
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
[cedilla] Mental Health Resources: There is an urgent need for mental resources in Barrington, especially for the village's younger residents. In a 2017 study sponsored by the Healthier Barrington Coalition, 34.5 percent of Barrington households report one or more young persons struggling with anxiety in their home. The Village Board needs to be a leader in destigmatizing mental health treatment through education and community engagement.
[cedilla] Environmental Initiatives: Barrington residents have expressed interest in Barrington's green initiatives and the need to preserve green spaces. For many people, the area's natural beauty is why they chose to live here and what they enjoy most about our town. We need to make sure that new development accounts for the natural resources in the area and the impact on the environment. We must continue to expand green initiatives and prioritize education about local ecosystems.
[cedilla] Pedestrian Connectivity: As someone who lives in the heart of the Village, I feel strongly that all of Barrington needs to be easily accessible. This is a sentiment that I have heard echoed by Barrington residents in their calls for more bike paths. By improving pedestrian connectivity, we can help to increase traffic to local businesses.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I moved to Barrington right after graduating from college because I fell in love with the local community and its unique charm. I offer a fresh perspective for Barrington through my background in nonprofit management, marketing, and communications. I have experience managing tight budgets and crafting creative solutions. Growing up as the daughter of a small-business owner and watching my dad work hard to make his business succeed despite the struggling economy, I know how important it is to provide local businesses the tools to thrive and continue to listen to their changing needs. While I graduated from Northwestern University in 2016, it was a challenge getting there, and I am very familiar with the pressure and high-stress environment that Barrington High School students cite as they prepare for their futures.
The issues that Barrington faces are issues that I am well-equipped to handle. While we do face new challenges as a town, we have a lot of exciting opportunities and I feel confident that Barrington is poised to be a leader. If elected, I will bring a unique set of skills and experience to the board and serve as an advocate for everyone in Barrington.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
As a department leader at work, I am always taking multiple perspectives into account. Whether it is writing a grant or developing a strategic plan, this often requires detailed consideration of different programs with different priorities. By working in a collaborative way and keeping the mission central to the discussion, I've found that diversity in leadership is an advantage. If elected, I would bring a unique perspective not currently represented by the Barrington Village Board. I believe this would expand the representation available for Barrington residents and be an asset in decision making.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
Barrington's Village Board and government staff have been effective in managing the budget over the past few years by reducing staff and securing sustainable long term funding. We need to continue this level of fiscal responsibility and oversight while remaining transparent with Barrington's citizens. I would love to see the budgeting process take community feedback into greater account. Looking further into the financial benefits of green initiatives and funding mental health resources are steps that have been successful in other towns, and doing so could be successful in Barrington as well.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
One idea I have been discussing with residents is creating a Human Services or Mental Health Commission in order to prioritize and allocate funding for the health and wellness of Barrington's residents. I have not heard health, especially mental health, being discussed enough at a municipal level. In Barrington's 2010 Comprehensive Plan, "cooperation with the Lake County Housing Authority and additional efforts with other nonprofits is encouraged." I believe that, as we look forward toward the next ten years, we must aim beyond cooperation and achieve active collaboration. Nonprofits in the area are providing lifesaving services, and they need the support of the Village. By establishing a Human Services Commission, the Village could take steps to allocate appropriate funds toward these much-needed services.