Cameron Davis

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Evanston resident Cameron Davis and Evanston Township High School alum Sharon Waller are two of several people mounting write-in campaigns to fill a vacancy on the board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

This position is the vacancy left by the death of Commissioner Tim Bradford. Mr. Bradford’s death occurred two days before the close of the ballot-petition period, and no names will appear on the ballot for that position, although several others are mounting write-in campaigns. Names will appear as usual for three six-year seats and for a seat with a planned vacancy.
Sharon Waller

Ms. Waller earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Purdue University in Civil/Environmental Engineering and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University, where she taught for two years. She is a licensed Environmental Engineer and owner of Sustainable Systems LLC – Consulting established in Chicago in 2006.

 “I want the next generation to have clean water” says Ms. Waller.

“I have wished for an Environmental Engineer with water quality and treatment experience to run for MWRD for over 20 years, so I stopped waiting and stepped up. Water will be a significant issue for the next generation as we experience more droughts and floods. The Great Lakes Region will increasingly attract jobs from drought stricken areas, and we should be ready to support job growth and protect the environment.  Paradoxically, flooding is predicted to increase in the Chicago region and summers may feel like Atlanta by 2099 according to Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

“This is an opportunity for us to change the way we manage water to benefit both industry and environment while we prepare for future job growth in our region” Ms. Waller said in announcing her candidacy.

Cameron Davis

For eight years, Mr. Davis served as President Barack Obama’s point-person for the Great Lakes, traveling between Washington, D.C. and his home in Evanston, doing work to protect the watershed. Prior to that he served as president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

“I’m running because I’ve dedicated my entire 32-year career to working for clean water,” Mr. Davis said on his website.

Mr. Davis was born in Evanston, grew up in Wilmette, and returned to Evanston. “The lake was a centerpiece for my belief in protecting water for everyone,” he told the RoundTable.

“We have to be careful not just about the quantity of water but also the quality of water. We have to be careful of what we use and how we put it back. … Water unifies us. … I will make sure that our water is clean and safe,”  he added.

Two current MWRD Commissioners have endorsed Mr. Davis. Debra Shore said, (current MWRD commissioner): “There’s no one more experienced, more qualified, more knowledgeable to join the board of the Water Reclamation District than Cam Davis.”

Josina Morita said, “I’m proud to support Cam. We need a Great Lakes expert on this board. I can’t wait to see what we can do together at MWRD.”

How to Win

James Scalzitti, Deputy Communications Director, for the Cook County Clerk’s Office, told the RoundTable, “In order to win, a write-in candidate must at least have gotten as many votes as the number of signatures that would have been required to get on the ballot as a non-write-in candidate. In this instance, a Democratic write-in candidate for a position in the MWRD board must receive 8,075 votes, and a Green Party candidate, 1,720 votes. Whoever receives the most votes will win, as long as he or she receives 8,075 or more.”

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...