Educational opportunities, public safety, and economic stability are interconnected issues that greatly impact the public health of communities. I will continue to work to increase access to safe public schools, decrease gun violence, and invest in our communities.
I believe public safety is the result of good jobs, affordable housing, and fully funded public mental health services. Growing up in Englewood, there were few opportunities for mobility and high gang activity. Violence that we see in predominantly Black communities is the result of a lack of resources. Therefore I will fight for increased state funding for public mental health services, common sense gun control laws, and investments in public resources for working class families.
I believe safe and good quality homes and housing make people’s lives stable, and also creates stability in a community. Living in Black neighborhoods across the city, I became familiar with what happens when there is a lack of stable housing: homelessness, increased mental health issues, and community violence. Therefore I support lifting the ban on rent control to help alleviate the rising rents that are displacing residents across the 9th District. I also support implementing a real estate transfer tax which would generate revenue from luxury properties; this revenue can help alleviate homelessness across the state, bringing stability back to the individuals in our neighborhoods who have been victims of homelessness and displacement.
I attended Chicago Public Schools and have three sons currently in CPS. Growing up in Chicago, I know the impact that underfunded schools have on our communities, our teachers, and our district. Therefore, I will fight to restore Chicago Teachers Union’s bargaining rights so that they are able to provide the best environment for our students. I will fight for fully funded neighborhood schools regardless of zip code, for an elected representative school board, and to increase the MAP grant and funding for city colleges so that the children of the 9th District have the same opportunities as any other community in Illinois.
I believe health care is a human right. Everyone deserves to live comfortably throughout all stages of their life. As a health care worker, where I became a leader in my union and fought
to expand coverage for my fellow workers, I saw how the poorest and oldest of us are mistreated and have been left behind. I have struggled to afford quality health care while working a minimum wage job, and I’ve seen how common medical issues can cause significant financial strains due to health care policies. Therefore, I won’t take campaign contributions from insurance and drug companies, and will fight to bring Medicare for All to our state so that everyone is guaranteed free, comprehensive health care coverage.
INVESTMENT IN WORKING FAMILIES
The 9th District needs development to support small business, create jobs, and provide opportunities. I believe we can have these things without destroying what already makes our neighborhoods great: the people, the businesses, and the sense of community. Therefore, I support development without displacement and the Fair Tax which asks the wealthy to pay their fair share and creates progressive revenue for equitable investment in the people and neighborhoods of the 9th District.
I believe all workers deserve the right to livable wages, and the right to organize and fight to raise standards in the workplace. As a former nursing home worker who was at one point one of two CNAs assigned to 65 dementia patients, I experienced the importance of a union to ensure workers can push back against CEOs that were profiting off of our poverty and our seniors’ poverty.
Illinois has had some recent victories – raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was an achievement, but the work doesn’t stop there. Therefore I will fight to make sure that the minimum wage continues to increase to keep up with the rising costs of living, including for tipped workers, fight to protect collective bargaining rights, and ensure that as we transition to a green economy, there is a just transition to green jobs for our trade workers.