On Tariffs and Trade

I’m all for a reinvigorated American-based steel industry. We need these jobs to come back to America. Not only does that increase inflation risks but it could lead to layoffs in the manufacturing sector. We need to elect representatives that listen to workers, stand up for workers’ rights, and start doing their jobs. The people deserve nothing less than that. 

Firearms, Rights, Action

In the last two weeks and wherever I go, the issue of gun violence has been raised. It’s a serious problem in our country. For a few, some types of firearms are simply more important than children. And, I’m a supporter of all of our rights not special interests.

Focused on the 15th District

My dedication and perseverance is to each and every citizen here, not some committee in Springfield or Chicago. Not some group that came up with a talking point list for politicians to regurgitate on command.  I respond to and for the constituents of my district. That’s what they should expect from their representative, and that’s what they should demand from any candidate seeking their support and their vote in any election.

School Threats and the Gun Debate

A number of our schools in Central and Southern Illinois have been receiving threats or rumors of threats in the wake of the Florida school shooting. I’m tired of the 'for or against' culture in America because it doesn’t serve anyone.

Immigration and Economic Insecurity

This is about depressed wages, fewer opportunities for Union workers, and lack of fairness for taxpayers.  Just like this mother is fighting for her family’s future, these families are fighting for the future of their children.

‘Pray the Gay Away’ Still a Threat

There are some that strive to demonize, castigate, and perpetuate subclasses of humanity in order to raise their own stature above others. This behavior is the reason why children, adolescents, and adults are traumatized, roughed up, and killed. This behavior is why Ryan White was cast out of his home when he was suffering from HIV and AIDS. 

Building a Better Campaign

We’ve raised nearly $6,000 in just 6 months. That’s not a lot when compared to Rep. Shimkus’ special interest money, but it is more than our opponent in the primary has raised in a year. We also have more cash on hand as well, because I spend only the money necessary to reach the citizens of this district. I also spend campaign monies at great Illinois union businesses that do amazing work every day. One thing I will never do is loan our campaign any money. My primary opponent has loaned his campaign over $12,000. That’s nearly triple what he’s raised. We all make choices, but that’s just a bridge too far for me.

Shimkus’ Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Reality

In Rep. John Shimkus’ recent WJPF interview, he offered the usual GOP talking points demonizing Democrats. What he failed to mention is that the legislation he helped to craft and […]

A New Year, A New Direction

2017 was a year of tremendous change for our country. So many of us have responded to this change by standing up and doing something about the problems our families, our communities, our state, and our country face. As the drivers of the change we deserve, we can lift our families and communities up. We can only do that together. 

Ending Net Neutrality

With the ending of net neutrality, providers can make consumers pay for faster speeds. They can limit what sites we have access to unless we pay more. It’s actually the same dilemma workers often face when negotiating with the boss, which is why collective bargaining is such a crucial right for workers. Individually, they have little power. There are reasons why consumers see rises in both their prices and the profits of these companies. We have few mechanisms afforded to us to protect us from the decisions of companies and government.

What Makes Me Different

I'm not one to blame our problems on one person or one party. I also don't believe that one solution will solve any of it. Throughout much of my life, when I see a problem I do something about it. I don't complain, I get to work instead. 

The Reality of the Shimkus Tax Plan

Our current over two-decade incumbent Representative John Shimkus is now sitting on the House-Senate conference committee responsible with hammering out the final tax reform bill to be sent to the White House to become the law of the land. The unfortunate reality for the 50% under the median is that they will be hurt by this tax bill. That’s what happens when you focus on one point along a continuum in order to obscure the massive tax cuts for the top 50% and permanent corporate tax cuts that we all know won’t be used to increase wages but be given to stockholders instead.

Say Never to Privatization of VA

What we should do is the following: continue repairing the damage of decades of denial and decay have representatives show up and hold the VA accountable in hearings have representatives show up in their districts by listening to veterans and the groups that serve them increase assistance to hard hit areas like Danville and Vermilion County open VA sites within community health providers where VAs hospitals don't exist make the pipeline bigger for people going into healthcare specialties increase grants and scholarships for students increase money to colleges and universities increase faculty and staff that educate and train these specialties actually stabilize funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and local healthcare providers instead of starving them of resources.

Allegations, Realities, and Standing Up

These allegations and realities from the past and present are as disturbing as they are common. We have to do better. What we can do is to take the politics out of the equation, focus on the facts, and respect one another without ignoring the reality staring us in the face.