Benny White

Candidate Name: Benny White

Office Seeking: City Council

Campaign Website: bennywhite.org

Subdivision/Neighborhood: Kinloch

Occupation and/or Professional Training: 

1. Retired United States Army Officer 2. Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Senior Army Instructor/Department Chair

How long in years have you been a Naperville resident? 15

Service on Boards, Commissions, Task Forces, etc. with dates served (nonprofit too): 

IPSD 204 School Board: 2012-2017
Board of Fire and Police Commissioners: 2015-2017
Naperville City Council: 2017-Present

Council Liaison to:
Naperville Development Partnership (NDP)
Downtown Advisory Commission (DAC)
Naperville Community Television 17 (NCTV17)

The following answers have only been edited for formatting purposes.

1. Why are you running for City Council?

Naperville is a great city that I have called home for the past 15 years. For the past 3.5 years, I’ve been fortunate to serve as a member of the city council during a time where we’ve made tremendous strides in moving Naperville forward, but we should not rest on our laurels as there is still work to be done. If re-elected to the City Council, I will continue to engage our community; especially in terms of public safety, diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m excited about keeping our city on firm financial ground and to increase our inventory of affordable/attainable/workforce housing in our community.

2. What is Naperville’s most pressing need?

Right now our most pressing issue is dealing with the current pandemic crisis. Continued collaboration with city leadership and community stakeholders will give us the best opportunity to encourage measures that keep residents safe while allowing our businesses to thrive under these challenging conditions.

3. In your opinion, what’s the City’s most important private/public partnership?

Naperville Development Partnership. NDP has the important mission of promoting our city and its businesses. This directly impacts our tax base by shifting a greater portion of the burden to the business community. Consequently, the City provides a great platform for our businesses to be successful; a win/win for everyone.

4. Name three policies that need review or immediate attention.

  • Selection process for boards and commissions.
  • Re-negotiation of contract with Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA)
  • Examining a shared cost model for affordable/attainable/workforce housing.

5. How often are you in touch with members of the current Naperville City Council of City Staff?

I am currently on the City Council and am in contact with other council members and staff on a consistent basis.

6. What planned development will have the greatest impact on the City?

Costco on East Ogden. The Costco on Rt 59 is the top tax producing entity for the City. Having another one will clearly be value added to our community. Furthermore, it will be the anchor that will help to revitalize the East Ogden Corridor.

7. What up-and-coming development is most important to the City of Naperville?

5th Avenue Train Station Development

8. How often do you patronize Naperville restaurants?

2-3 times/week

9. When folks come to visit, where do you take them in Naperville?

River Walk. They are always impressed with this part of our city as well as our wonderful parks.

10. How has the Special Events and Cultural Amenities (SECA) Fund served the City of Naperville?

SECA has served the City well. It has given us the opportunity to conduct many events and has given the community the opportunity to celebrate the arts and our diverse culture. The City has also been able to host events over the past such as the Last Fling which have been instrumental in making Naperville a destination city.

11. When was the last time you read the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?

As a JROTC instructor, each year we teach the Bill of Rights as part of our curriculum.

12. What do you think is significant about Naperville’s council-manager form of government?

This form of government is very good for local municipalities. It allows the residents to elect the representatives who make policy for the city. The manager and staff have the expertise to execute the policy that is set by the Council. The Council is also the decision maker for the City; keeping the best interest of the residents in mind.

13. What is a recent book, television program, or movie you have read/watched that you think everyone should read/watch to gain perspective on life?

CNN Film “John Lewis: Good Trouble”
This is a documentary that chronicles the late Congressman’s 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, health-care reform, and immigration.

Anything else would you like to add?

I am a retired United States Army officer with 22 years of active service. Since retiring, I have chosen to focus my service in my local community. I was proud to be elected to serve as a member of the IPSD 204 Board of Education. During my tenure, IPSD 204 was routinely recognized as one the best consolidated school districts in the country. As a member of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners; in addition to supporting our public safety officials, I had the opportunity to be part of the process in choosing women and men to serve in the fire and police departments. I also serve on many not-for-profit boards and appreciate the great work they do to serve our community. Finally, as the founder of Naperville Neighbors United, I have led community forums that have brought residents together to discuss issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion. These discussions have allowed audience members to grow in their empathy of others and thus build trust and understanding between each other.

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