I Stand For The People, and By People—Not Only District 67—For All Americans As We Fight For Progress And Greater Causes That Will Benefit Everyone
I am very concerned about the decline in Rockford’s great manufacturing base. Once a nationally-recognized manufacturing powerhouse, home to hundreds of industries, our city has transitioned into more of a service and medical economy. Bringing new (and retaining) manufacturing jobs to our city and supporting our small and medium-sized businesses are vital. Rockford needs to continue to be the center of innovation that it has historically been. I support increasing job-training and re-training programs, investments in smart growth and technology, and tax incentives and public/private sector partnerships to promote business growth. Rockford property taxes are too high and many of our schools are still inadequate. I will fight for property tax relief, fair education funding, lower and middle class tax cuts and credits, closing corporate loopholes, a fair minimum wage and the right for workers to organize and collectively bargain in their workplaces. There has been a “war on workers” for decades and I will stand strong for the hard-working people of this state who have often been left behind. I will vigorously fight for the continued revitalization of the west side of Rockford and downtown and to bring dollars and programs from Springfield to Rockford.
Like everyone, I am alarmed at the increase in crime in our city. We didn’t even have real keys to our house until the 1990s and our neighborhood used to be filled with people walking day and night. Crime is part of every section of our city, but it disproportionately affects minority and low-income people. I support innovative programs to reduce crime and recidivism, the State’s Attorney’s Office’s Deferred Prosecution program for non-violent offenders, more street lighting, increased police patrols and community policing, elimination of for-profit prisons, and strong neighborhood organizations and youth programs to aid law enforcement. JOB CREATION and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT is KEY to REDUCING VIOLENCE!
As a consumer advocate for many years, I support stronger ethics, transparency and accountability in our government functions. Government is supposed to be “of the people, for the people and by the people”. Too often it serves special interests and not the interests of average hard-working people. Our government must be efficient, cost-effective and responsive to the people. Elected officials must serve their bosses – the citizens and taxpayers of Illinois. I support increased consumer and environmental protections that are vigorously enforced. Strong environmental policies mean better public health. We must protect people, particularly the vulnerable like children and the elderly. Innovative energy savings strategies are smart for the health of our economy and put dollars back into the family budget. Legislators in Springfield and Washington, D.C. must work together to forge common solutions to problems that people face and not be beholden to big-money interests. The failure of Illinois to produce a balanced budget for two years was very destructive. State colleges nearly closed, scores of social service agencies went out of business or barely survived, state bonds teetered toward junk status – and as a result, we are terribly in debt. The “Turn Around Agenda” of Governor Rauner “Turned Us Upside Down!” I want to help keep people in Illinois and restore respectability and vitality to our state and not be on the national news for being “last” in things or “first in public corruption!”
Our state could be much more family-friendly. Parents often have to make difficult choices without adequate support systems that were once in place. There are many stressors today on parents that didn’t exist before. I support health care as a right, mental health and drug addiction treatment programs, child care assistance and family leave programs. Poor people must have affordable and adequate healthcare. Assistance programs for disadvantaged families must not be weakened. We must address the epidemics of opioid addiction and domestic violence with strong interventions. Women must receive equal pay for equal work and make healthcare decisions for themselves. People should be able to love the person of their own choosing. The rights of the disabled must be protected and job opportunities for them and disadvantaged people must increase. Families are the foundation of our community and they are struggling. We must support them with compassionate, sensible and cost-effective programs.