Candidates Views – General Elections April 6 – Rockford 5th Ward

Groovy Ballot Box

On January 9, 2021 The League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford sent a questionnaire to reachable candidates in the Municipal Elections being held April 6, 2021. Early voting started March 12, and mail-in ballots available when a request is sent to: Rockford Board of Elections at, Boone County Clerk’s office and the Winnebago County Clerk’s office.

The results below are for the Rockford and Belvidere city races only. Candidates not submitting questionnaire information will have their names present, all candidates are in ballot order.

General Voting and Election Information

Ballots, voter rights, contact info, literally everything, is on the LWVGR Voter Information page. Office winners are checked.

Rockford 5th Ward General Election - 2021

NameGabrielle Torina ✔︎Unopposed
Gabrielle Torina
Street Address2104 Lucille Street
Preferred public campaign contact,, Facebook "elect Gabrielle Torina"
Highest Education AchievedMasters Degree
Field of Experience, either paid or volunteerCommunication and Government Relations
Candidate PartyDemocratic
Elective OfficeAlderperson
Constituent Area5th Ward
Candidate StatusChallenger
Why do you want to be on the City Council? What prompted you to run for office?I want to serve on City Council to represent the diversity of the 5th Ward and advocate for my neighbors. I am running to show young people that we can and should take a leadership role in our community.
How much time, in hours, do you think you will have to spend each week in committee meetings?5
How much time, in hours, will you have available each week to address constituents concerns, discuss issues, and personally meet with some constituents?10
Do you have any plans, or ambition, to seek other elected positions in government after serving on the City Council?Maybe. Let's see how this goes.
Do you plan to hold regular public constituent meetings?Yes, monthly
What are the special challenges of your constituent area and how do you plan to address those needs?Problems: communication, economic development, youth programs, more sidewalks, blight, safety, cultural attractions, recreation, greenspace, etc

Fixes: communication strategy, work with labor and developers, capital improvement, organize
What specific talents from your previous experiences make you a good candidate for your office?I am the only candidate in this race with government experience, and specifically, constituent services experience. I have made a career working with my neighbors to achieve success and I will continue to do that on Rockford City Council.
For Rockford aldermanic candidates: On which committees do you wish to be a member? Rock River Development Partnership
Finance & Personnel
Community Action Agency
Planning & Development
What specific skills do you bring to the committees?I have worked in non-profit, Fortune 500, & public and private sector. Having worked in all of these environments has provided me with extensive experience in how to communicate, effectively collaborate, and find synergy amid diversity.
What is your experience in group negotiations for stated goals? (In partisan situations certain guidelines may need consensus.)On nonprofit boards I have advocated for how money should be allocated for programs, salaries, etc. & provided ideas for revenue generation. While other board members advocate for things they are passionate about which aren't the same.
If you feel strongly about a particular issue and your constituents feel the opposite, how would you vote when the issues comes up on the Council?Vote as the majority of my constituents want. I represent them.
In decisions where your constituent area will gain at the expense of the community as a whole, where does your allegiance to your constituent area end and your concern about community-wide issues begin?I will represent the will of my community. My job will be to represent the interests of the 5th Ward and I will do that even if it is a city wide issue.
What is the core reason(s) for crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole.The core reason is a lack of investment in people.
What ideas do you have to reduce crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole? Please include funding ideas.We need to invest in our public schools and local economy in order to give our kids and residents the greatest chance at opportunity.
Do you support retraining police to reduce confrontational police tactics?Yes, police retraining is needed and additional social resources are needed to augment the ability to keep the peace.
What method would you support to pay for additional social resources to keep the peace?Re-allocate current police funding to pay for additional social resources. No higher taxes.
What do you think the community can do about the increase in gun violence that has not already been done?Violence intervention groups. Increase resident participation in activities that promote public safety. Provide mentorship, soft skills, and job-readiness training. Increase employment while decreasing recidivism.
What ideas do you have for more commerce that brings jobs to the community for middle-class wages and benefits?We need to work with private sector partners on investment projects like Barber Colman. We need to build wealth in our community with small and minority-owned businesses.
What do you think needs done to address the issues of social-economic and race inequity this community?We need to invest in our people, schools, and businesses.
Concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, what mitigation-level rules you support?Recommended CDC-recommended masks and 6-foot social distancing.
Please state any other areas, important to you, that you want the public to know.I am a 3rd generation Southside resident and a product of Rockford Public Schools. I am well educated and I give back to my community. I do not wish to depart from the city that made me, instead to remain planted and contribute to growth for all. A vote for me, is a vote for us.