About Me; Why I’m Running

When I moved back home to Central Illinois, I saw firsthand the economic woes, the fragmented nature of both the social and political conversation, and how desperate most people are for real change. Our politicians at every level of government just aren’t making a tangible difference for regular folks in Illinois.

My platform offers a new and realistic vision for the 15th District.

I’ve always fought for the rights and for the benefit of others. From my efforts at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, and throughout Indiana fighting for greater acceptance of diversity in the 90s, to my advocacy and prevention efforts with HIV and STDs in Indianapolis in the 2000s, I’ve found fighting for others to be a source of great passion and drive in my life.

My ongoing conversations with people across this district have broadened my understanding of the systemic issues and concerns that we all share; I grew up in Sullivan, after all.

Party lines become meaningless for average workers, the working poor, and those that need government services to survive. They don’t care about party loyalty.

They just need someone to serve their interests, not special interests. 

People struggle to find jobs. When they do find a job it may not even pay their ever increasing bills. Property taxes are way too high, and the burden falls too heavily on the working class and most small businesses. 

Mostly, constituents downstate haven’t had someone relate to them in any consistent, respectful way for decades. I want to change that and make a difference for them. There is a reawakening taking place, it needs only to be fostered, nurtured, and above all listened to and acted upon in Washington and Springfield.

The people of Central and Southern Illinois are eager for real change. They are also tired of receiving little for their hard work and not having enough to not only enjoy their lives but to give back to their families and communities. We all deserve a better economy and a real shot at the American Dream.

I’m running to make a difference. Having sat on federally mandated advisory boards that advised state boards of health on how to manage healthcare funds, as well as having served as Vice Chair of a services and planning council, I gained a better understanding of how vital government services are to those who are most in need. It also exposed how easy it is for some in positions of authority to strip away access and services. Meanwhile, local and state governments and the federal government are starved of the capacity to deliver for the American people.

Government has to work for the people.

It has to do a better more efficient job. This has to change.

Not after elections or primaries are over, either.

Is there any chance real progress will happen before November 2018? 

Slim to none.

I’ve also witnessed firsthand how vital Social Security and Medicare are and how the system fails too many of our most vulnerable citizens. We need to be expanding Social Security, not cutting it. The greatest generation and baby boomers deserve the best our country has to offer, not to starve on scraps. We need to increase the capacity of these agencies and services, not diminish them.

Having taught in both rural and inner city schools, I also have witnessed how important education and outreach is in both these areas. Currently, I’m a self-employed tutor, partnering with teachers and other educators to make a difference for students. I can appreciate the burdens on parents, families, students, communities, and schools.

These experiences have taught me we need a movement to expand capacity in vital services across the board, renewing the trust and respect in our institutions and with one another. Having our representatives to Congress be so aloof and so distant as to not hold one town hall meeting is as disrespectful as it is out of touch. That’s why I listen to everyone. That is why I’m running for Congress.

It’s time for a change!

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