The Wednesday Journal sent questionnaires to each person running for public office in 2023. The Journal’s questions are in bold and the candidate’s responses are below.

Daniel Roche

Name: Daniel Roche

Age: 47

Previous / Current Community Involvement: Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST); coach, basketball, soccer and baseball, River Forest Park District

Occupation: Information security and privacy, Northern Trust 

Education: bachelor’s degree, Loyola University Chicago; master’s degree, University of Denver

1. Why are you running for the board of the Park District of River Forest?

Ours is a participatory democracy and citizen involvement is both a right and responsibility.  I am fortunate enough to have been born and raised in the area and utilized the Park District extensively.  I have also lived overseas, often where citizen engagement was minimal.  As a result, I feel serving the communities in which my five siblings and I grew up—and my own children now live—presents both a unique opportunity and genuine responsibility.  

2. What experience and perspectives would you bring to the position and how would they be valuable as an elected official?

I would bring to this office a diverse set of experiences that range from large corporations to city and national government.  I began my career working in personal finance and moved to the Denver Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.  After 9/11, I served in the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington DC and overseas.  I ultimately returned to my hometown of Chicago and the private sector after about 10 years in the government, and I now work at Northern Trust.  Each of these diverse experiences has informed and tempered my professional style, specifically my concern for objective, fact-driven analysis.    

3. What do you believe are some of the greatest challenges facing the park district?

Our location and borders.  We are a land-locked community and many additional services, facilities, and programs must be reconciled with the fact that there will be compromises among competing wants and needs of current and future community members.  

Communication.  Because of the above facts, there must continue to be ongoing and extensive communication and engagement; the Park District simply cannot function without the contributions and suggestions of its citizenry.  Conversely, the Park District board is entrusted to act in the community’s best interest by demonstrating radical transparency regarding their fact-gathering and decision-making process, knowing full-well that the best solutions are likely to be those where no single party gets everything they want. 

Financial Stewardship.  The mindful management of this community’s finances is paramount. Providing ongoing transparency on funds collected as well as their intended and actual use cannot be neglected by this body.   

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