Democrat Alexi Giannoulias seeking ideas as he announces transition team days after secretary of state win

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Just days after winning the race for Illinois secretary of state, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is turning his focus to governing.

The secretary of state-elect on Thursday unveiled a transition team made up of Democrats, business and union leaders from several corners of the state and launched a website, revupillinois.com, where Illinoisans can share their ideas on how to improve the office’s services, including its facilities for getting driver’s licenses and license plates.

“We’re doing what we said we would do and we’re already putting that baseline work in,” Giannoulias said in an interview with the Tribune.

Gianoulias’ win marks a political comeback for him a dozen years after he lost a bid for U.S. Senate. He was Illinois’ treasurer from 2007 to 2011.Over the past decade, he worked as a wealth manager and was appointed head of the Illinois Community College Board and a member of the Chicago Public Library Board.

His campaign platform focused on modernizing the office to reduce the “time tax” Illinoisans face at secretary of state facilities. His proposed reforms include electronic vehicle titles, digital Real IDs and a “skip the line” program for driver’s licenses services, efforts he said “might take some time.”

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“We have a lot of work, a lot of promises, a lot of things that I’d like to accomplish, but we want to do things the right way,” Giannoulias said.

Giannoulias’ transition team is being co-chaired by retiring U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline, who has represented northwest Illinois’ 17th District since 2013; Stephanie Neely, Chicago’s former city treasurer who now works as a managing director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Martin Cabrera of Chicago, who used to head the City Colleges board and founded Cabrera Capital Markets; and Ed Smith of Carbondale, a longtime downstate union leader who endorsed Giannoulias’ bid for secretary of state and is CEO of the insurance company Ullico.

Giannoulias said using ideas from Illinoisans about how to change the office will be an important part of his administration.

“Some of the best ideas we received, in terms of policy proposals on the campaign, we got from everyday people,” he said, adding that public feedback helped him flesh out his plan to provide formerly incarcerated people with state identification cards.

Giannoulias plans to share updates on his administration’s plans and policies on the transition website.

jsheridan@chicagotribune.com

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November 10, 2022 at 06:11PM

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