Shell DeYoung Dunn
Shell (DeYoung Dunn) DYD
Dekalb County Board District 11
Who am I?
I am 67 years young and LGBTQIA.
That describes the shell (heh, heh) but who is the person underneath. Why should anyone care? Well, I guess we start at the beginning.
I grew up in South Holland, where my ancestor founded the town, to a laid-back intelligent father and a spitfire intelligent mother. I demonstrated my politics when I objected to living in a room decorated with Nixon paraphernalia while I wanted Kennedy! That was about the strongest political storm in our household. Though I grew up voting Democrat in every single election, I didn’t really do anything else.
Like many people 2016 changed everything for me. I had recently come out fully to everyone (Obama gave me such hope!) and started to embrace all that I had ever hoped and dreamed when I first knew “who” I was. Now I was hearing and seeing horrors of the past. The discriminatory rhetoric and inflammatory bigotry. I had to do something.
So here I am. At this point in my life experience, I feel that I can still accomplish some of my dreams starting right here in Dekalb County. As for that experience, I’ve worked retail early on, then stepped into secretarial work in a high school, then the FBI, the Fortune 100 (at the time) Waste Management, Inc., then based in Oak Brook, free-lance desktop publishing, computer consultant for small law offices (converting the paper systems and word processing to PC), teacher’s aide and lunchroom monitor in local grade school (Woodridge) and finally my final 21 years at a foreign owned company as a website manager and email campaign administrator.
At different points in my life, I’ve been a law clerk, briefly, as well as a database administrator. My actual degree is in secondary education, French major and German minor, but foreign languages were being phased out upon my university graduation. So I bring a lot with me. But what will I do for Dekalb County?
I want to help the County adapt. Adapt to the Covid-19 (pandemic) reality and the economic shift that will need to take place. Adapt to the changing weather patterns by changing farming techniques and diversifying crops. Encourage more local cooperative town gardens to supplement local households with sustainable foodstuffs. Adapt by bringing trades back to schools so that our children can gain experience in hands-on work again. Adapt the schools by devoting more time and resources to in-home class success, as it should be considered a part of education (some classes face to face with smaller groups gathering and some classes over the internet). Unfortunately, we will face more and more frequent pandemics. Support our local tradesmen and unions and buy local as much as possible.
Candidate for Dekalb County Board District 11
Climate change and knowing that there will be a new normal, whether we like it or not, means we will need to adapt. And adaptation is the title of my platform. Each of the issues that are nearest and dearest to my heart are based upon the changing weather patterns and how they impacts our lives in small everyday matters.
- Education is the first step in adapting: bring back trades and encourage thinking outside the box
- Support local in every endeavor, if possible, and Unions all the time
- Encourage mentorship / internship
- Encourage cooperative local gardens
- Make EVs affordable and end restrictions on individual sustainable energy generation
- Universal Healthcare which automatically includes vision, dental, hearing and mental health in the care of each individual (as these are all parts of a body, after all)
- Give the disabled full rights and access and stop holding hostage the desire to marry by threatening to reduce benefits
- Stop threatening to reduce benefits to anyone who wants equality
Shell DeYoung Dunn
County Board District 11
Grew up in unincorporated South Holland
Attended school in Harvey
Achieved both Associates Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in French and German secondary education
3 years secretary Thornridge High School
18 months with F.B.I.
6 years environmental legal secretary Chemical Waste Management
1 year teacher’s aide
21 years in marketing with Bernina of America (Swiss company)
In between the longer stretches, I worked as secretary in collections office, computer consultant to small law offices, assistant to financial advisors and partnered in bridal show management and small B2B marketing.
As a small business owner, I belonged to the Woodridge Chamber of Commerce. My partner was a founding member of the Woodridge Junior Chamber of Commerce.
When my second husband (my business partner) became paralyzed, I became very knowledgeable about the grotesque inadequacies suffered by our disabled neighbors. I also learned how tenuous the health system can be and to be extremely grateful for the hospitals and healthcare professionals in Dekalb County.
I grew up on the edge of farm country – waking to roosters and bobwhites. I love what family farms mean to our health and our economy. My high school had a huge facility just for the trades and many of my lower income friends learned valuable trades and moved on to productive lives. I want to get back to self-sufficiency. I want to support everything local, as much as is possible. And I want to make it economically viable for lower income families to do the same.