After getting involved in local politics through the Bernie Sanders campaign, David Amor, a retired Knox College professor and administrator, will be running for the Knox County Board in November. As a progressive who has became increasingly more interested in local politics, Amor will be running for the open seat in District 3.
“[The county], like the city, is struggling for revenues and provide services,” Amor said. “I thought, ‘I’m retired, I got the time, let’s see what I can do.’ ” Amor also mentioned that he will have to learn more about the revenue issues and will not be approaching the position with a specific political agenda.
Earlier this year, Amor was recruited by the Democratic party to help campaign for Bernie Sanders, which helped spread his name through the city. Greg Bacon, who will be leaving his position on the County Board, asked Amor if he would run.
“I think people need to get involved in politics right now,” Amor said. “You know, a lot of politics is local.”
Amor pointed to the Republican Tea Party as an example, as a lot of their progress came from running for local political positions, such as running for the school board or city council.
Although Amor said his first major accomplishment would be to “go to the meetings, shut up and listen,” his interests lie in several of the organizations which the board oversees, such as the Knox County Board of Health, which works with lower income communities and offers various grants and free dental clinics.
He also mentioned that the county, which has its own sheriff’s department, courthouse and landfill, may have some areas that could be more ecologically balanced or generate more revenue.
“I think that whatever we can do for economic development locally should be broad based and should be really trying to help everybody,” Amor said.
In the past, Amor has been involved in a few activist movements, but was for the most part unaffiliated with party politics. One such movement in the late ‘80s attempted to push Galesburg toward passing an amendment for LGBT rights. Later, he was involved with a Knox County Peace and Justice Coalition that protested the Iraq war.
So far, Amor has been knocking on doors and creating signs for his campaign in order to get his name out to more people within his district. He has also been working within the context of campaigning for other Democratic Party candidates. According to Amor, the county board is less visible than other governing bodies, such as a city or state government. Unlike the current presidential election, the county board will not be hosting any debates for candidates to speak on issues they feel are important.
“It’s one of those things that tends to be invisible until something comes up,” Amor said. “One thing that’s different, even though the elections for county board are partisan, is that it doesn’t operate in a partisan manner because people care about the county.”
He also mentioned that, although there will be obvious key differences between board members when it comes to issues such as spending money, those differences will not necessarily break along party lines.
Amor said that not working in a fully partisan manner is what sets the county board apart from the federal and state governments.
“It seems to me that it’s something that where a government body should do, it has the opportunity to do.”