The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) announced the appointment of Precious Brady-Davis to the district’s Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Brady-Davis was formally sworn-in during a ceremony on July 12. Brady-Davis attended her first Board of Commissioners’ meeting the following day.
“I’m honored to join the Board and serve the nearly 13 million people who access MWRD services every day,” said Brady-Davis. “MWRD has a responsibility to lead in environmental problem-solving while protecting the most vulnerable members of the Chicagoland region. These are both missions I have worked for throughout my life, and I look forward to continuing that work with MWRD.”
In her new role, Commissioner Brady-Davis will work with her fellow commissioners to provide financial oversight of the MWRD and establish policies and procedures which meet the MWRD’s objective of protecting the water environment for the citizens of Cook County.
Operating an annual budget of $1.4 billion, the MWRD maintains a stable financial outlook with an AAA credit rating from Fitch Ratings and AA+ rating from S&P Global.
This strong financial oversight allows the MWRD to operate seven water reclamation plants to transform about 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater into clean water each day, while implementing hundreds of stormwater management projects, controlling 76 miles of navigable waterways, managing 23 pumping stations, 33 stormwater detention reservoirs, 560 miles of intercepting sewers, 110 miles of deep tunnel and three massive reservoir systems.
“Congratulations to Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis on your appointment to the MWRD Board of Commissioners,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “I look forward to working with you to protect the health and safety of the people of Cook County while we treat wastewater, manage stormwater and protect our source of drinking water in Lake Michigan. I have seen firsthand from the campaign trail the hard work that Commissioner Brady-Davis devotes, and we will appreciate and welcome that dedication here at the MWRD.”
The appointment also comes with history. Commissioner Brady-Davis is the first openly Black transgender woman appointed to public office in Cook County history, and according to reports, she is the first trans leader to serve on a water reclamation board in the United States.
“The appointment of a lifelong advocate and trailblazer like Precious Brady-Davis will bring another fierce voice in defense of environmental justice and equity to the MWRD board,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in announcing the appointment. “I am proud to appoint her to this essential role and hope that Black, trans youth across Illinois see a role model for civic engagement and service to others that reflects their own identities and experiences in her work.”
A native Nebraskan, environmentalist, author, diversity advocate, communications professional and public speaker, Commissioner Brady-Davis has served in a variety of roles preparing her for public office, including more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration. She has served as deputy press secretary and regional communications manager for the Sierra Club, youth outreach coordinator at the Center on Halsted, and assistant director of diversity recruitment initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree.
Commissioner Brady-Davis fills the seat of former MWRD Vice President Kimberly Du Buclet after Du Buclet was appointed to serve in the Illinois General Assembly.