Chicago Crusader Endorsements

    Our Choices for the Democratic Ballot

    0
    2039

    Hillary Clinton for President

    This election is not as much about saving President Barack Obama’s legacy as it is preventing Republicans from throwing out the baby with the bath water. As Americans we must continue to protect what works and make improvements where needed, both on a national and local level. Electing a woman as President of the United States in 2016 is as history making as electing the first African American man. It might even be transformational. It all comes down to voter turnout.

    If Hillary Clinton wins and brings other Democrats along with her to Washington, her party might be able to take over the Senate. Only five seats are needed for Democrats to gain control. In the short term, that could translate into an African American woman being confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

    Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, earlier this year, the nine-member Supreme Court is without its 5-4 conservative voting advantage. As a result, the Senate refused to consider the president’s nomination of District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland until after the election of Obama’s successor. The next Supreme Court will rule on issues of race, sex, religion, guns, immigration, unions, and the exorbitant amounts of money being spent on political campaigns. With three of the surviving Supreme Court Justices in or near their 80s, the next president might very well have an opportunity to make more than one nomination. As president, Hillary Clinton promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who see the Constitution as a blueprint for progress.

    We believe there is too much at stake not to support the Democratic ticket this election. The gridlock we are experiencing in both Washington and Springfield continues to stymie progress and is having a devastating impact on those who need government help the most. That is why the Chicago Crusader Newspaper is endorsing the following federal and state representatives:

    NATIONAL

    TAMMY DUCKWORTH U.S. Senate PUNCH BALLOT #9
    TAMMY DUCKWORTH
    U.S. Senate
    PUNCH BALLOT #9

    Currently representing the 8th Congressional District, Tammy Duckworth is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Mark Kirk. This is the same seat once held by Roland Burris, Barack Obama and Carol Moseley Braun.

    In congress since 2013, Duckworth is the first Asian American woman representing Illinois and the first disabled woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Born in Thailand, her father was an Army officer in the Vietnam War and her mother Chinese.

    An Iraq War veteran, Duckworth was injured severely when the U.S. Army helicopter she was co-piloting came under enemy fire. She suffered the loss of both legs and damage to her right arm. She continued to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard and retired in 2014. Duckworth was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and later served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Although Duckworth’s outreach to the Black community during her senate race is disappointing, this is one of those times when too much is at stake. The Illinois seat is one of the five that could help take back the senate and give a President Clinton the votes she needs to enact her policy agenda–which includes job creation, raising the minimum wage, making college more affordable and criminal justice reform–all of which Duckworth supports.

    Duckworth serves on the Committee on Armed Services and Subcommittees on Tactical Air and Land Forces, and Oversight and Investigations. She also sits on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Subcommittees on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, and Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs.

    BOBBY RUSH U.S. Representative, 1ST District  Punch Ballot #22
    BOBBY RUSH
    U.S. Representative, 1ST District
    Punch Ballot #22

    First elected to Congress in 1992, Bobby Rush is seeking reelection to his 12th term. The incumbent congressman represents the 1st Congressional District, which has a long history of Black political empowerment. At one time having the largest number of African American residents in the nation. While still majority Black, the Chicago South Side and south suburban district has a population of 51 percent African American, 10 percent Latino and 2 percent Asian.

    Rush is known for taking on controversial issues and for focusing on issues of importance to low- and middle-income families and communities. He has taken a leadership role in advocating on energy issues, consumer product safety and protection, infrastructure projects and quality healthcare. Most recently, he introduced a bill that would create the Bronzeville-Black Metropolis National Heritage Area. The legislation authorizes up to $1 million in federal matching funds per year to provide national recognition of the African American story in Chicago from the Civil War until today.

    Rush sits on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the subcommittees on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, Communications and Technology, and is a ranking member on Energy and Power.

    ROBIN KELLY U.S. Representative, 2ND District  Punch Ballot #22
    ROBIN KELLY
    U.S. Representative, 2ND District
    Punch Ballot #22

    Robin Kelly took office in 2013, following a special election to replace Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. She is the first woman to represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Chicago’s far southeast side, and the suburbs of southern Cook County, Will County and Kankakee County. The population is 55 percent Black, 37 percent white, 13 percent Latino and .8 percent Asian.

    Kelly is known for being a strong advocate against gun violence. As a former Illinois state representative and U.S. representative, she is a champion of common sense gun reforms and responsible community policing.

    In August, the incumbent hosted the inaugural 2016 Congressional Black Caucus on Black Women & Girls symposium to explore public policy and community-based solutions to eliminating the significant barriers and disparities experienced by Black women. Since being elected, Kelly has worked to increase job opportunities, reduce health disparities, and increase public safety across the state. She also supports a South Suburban Airport.

    Kelly is the lone Illinois representative on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She sits on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

    DANNY K. DAVIS U.S. Representative, 7th District Punch Ballot #22
    DANNY K. DAVIS
    U.S. Representative, 7th District
    Punch Ballot #22

    Danny Davis is one of only three Black congressmen representing the state’s 18 congressional districts. Serving since 1997, he was elected to the 7th Congressional District following the retirement of Cardiss Collins. The district represents a diverse population covering the city’s West Side, Gold Coast, Chinatown, Bronzeville, Englewood and Humboldt Park communities. Davis also represents parts of suburban Bellwood, Forest Park, Oak Park and Maywood. The district is 55 percent Black, 32 percent white, 13 percent Latino, 5 percent Asian and 6 percent other.

    A former educator, community organizer, health administrator, civil rights advocate and city and county elected official, Davis is well respected throughout the nation for his knowledge of healthcare issues. He also is an advocate for criminal justice reform. Early in President Obama’s administration, he signed the Second Chance Act, which provides transitional assistance to ex-offenders coping with the challenges of reentry. It reduces recidivism, helps reunite families and protects communities, enhances public safety and saves taxpayer dollars. Davis was a sponsor of the bipartisan bill in an effort to provide resources to the more than 650,000 offenders released from state and federal prisons every year.

    The West Side congressman serves on the Committee on Ways and Means, Oversight and Government Reform including subcommittees: Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs; Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements; and Subcommittee on Human Resources.

    STATE

    KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD State Senator 4th District Punch #32
    KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD
    State Senator 4th District
    Punch #32

    Incumbent Kimberly Lightford is unopposed in the Illinois State Senate District 4 general election. Elected as the youngest African American to the senate in 1998, the Maywood resident became Senate Assistant Majority Leader in 2009.

    She is a leading voice on women’s issues, healthcare, criminal justice and education. Recently, a bill she sponsored to limit long-term suspensions and expulsions in Illinois schools became law. The legislation also eliminates the use of zero-tolerance policies, which disproportionately target African American students. Lightford is chairing a commission to find new ways to fund schools. Illinois is ranked as the worst in the country in school funding.

    The 4th Senate District includes a dozen suburban communities in western Cook County and the Austin community on Chicago’s West Side.

    Susana Mendoza COMPTROLLER Punch #16
    Susana Mendoza
    COMPTROLLER
    Punch #16

    The current Chicago City Clerk knows what it is like to be first. She is the first woman to ever hold the office and if elected Illinois Comptroller, Mendoza will be the first Democratic woman in charge of the people’s checkbook. Before being elected city clerk, she served six terms in the Illinois House of Representatives.

    As city clerk, she transformed the Chicago City Vehicle Sticker sales program from annually to year-round. Disbanding the 105-year-old program, proved to streamline the process, improve customer service, lower cost and save money. Earning her the “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard University.

    Running an efficient, effective and transparent office as comptroller are Mendoza’s top priorities. She also promises to be an advocate for the people of Illinois—especially, the state’s most vulnerable.

    Electing a democrat, as comptroller, will give the office the independence it needs from Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. The governor, following the sudden death of Judy Baar Topinka, appointed the current comptroller. Like the governor, the incumbent has no government experience. We believe Mendoza’s legislative understanding of state government and management experience will be invaluable to the Office of Comptroller.

    Juliana Stratton STATE REPRESENTATIVE, 5TH DISTRICT  Punch Ballot # 42
    Juliana Stratton
    STATE REPRESENTATIVE, 5TH DISTRICT
    Punch Ballot # 42

    Running unopposed in the general election, Juliana Stratton will bring an experienced voice to Springfield on issues of children’s advocacy, criminal justice reform, education and civil rights. A lawyer, she is the director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Stratton won one of the most hotly contested and expensive house races in Illinois when she defeated state Rep. Ken Dunkin for the Democratic nomination in the city’s 5th House District. All total, both sides spent more than $6 million on the race. Much of Stratton’s money came from unions and big labor organizations, while campaign financial disclosures show the majority of Dunkin’s contributors had ties to Gov. Bruce Rauner. The district stretches from Grand Crossing on the South Side to Goethe Street on the Near North Side.

    This seat is seen as crucial to providing House Speaker Michael Madigan a reliable super majority in the house to break the budget impasse, overturn the governor’s veto of spending cuts to social services, union-backed legislation, and to pass legislation to generate new revenue sources to offset deficit spending.

    COUNTY

    DOROTHY BROWN CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT Punch Ballot # 64
    DOROTHY BROWN CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT
    Punch Ballot # 64

    For the past year, incumbent Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown has been in a fight on two fronts. First, to retain the office she has held since 2001 and second against the Democratic Party leaders, who withdrew their endorsement of Brown amid an FBI investigation into the sale of a building given to her husband. To no one’s surprise, Brown won re-election without the leaders’ support, just as she did in her initial race for circuit court clerk.

    The Cook County Court System is the second largest court system in the United States and is a very complex and complicated legal operation with 2,000 employees and over a $100 million budget. Brown is uniquely qualified for the office both as an attorney and Certified Public Accountant. Contrary to her critics, she has implemented many common sense, revenue-generating procedures in the clerk’s office, and continues to digitize court documents to improve access.

    KIM FOXX COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY Punch Ballot # 62
    KIM FOXX
    COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY
    Punch Ballot # 62

    Kim Foxx is the embodiment of when preparation meets opportunity. An accomplished prosecutor and fierce advocate for children and families, Foxx defeated the incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney overwhelmingly.

    In response to public outrage over the release of police dashcam video showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the former assistant state’s attorney announced her candidacy. Her qualifications and personal story of overcoming homelessness and a mother struggling with mental illness and drug addiction, helped to focus attention on McDonald’s tragic life and so many other children. A Chicago native raised in the Cabrini-Green housing projects, she worked in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for 12 years.

    Foxx says she would leave cases like McDonald’s and the many others that have come forth since last year to independent prosecutors, to prevent the “politicization” of police shootings.

    karen yarbrough  RECORDER OF COOK COUNTY Punch Ballot # 65
    karen yarbrough
    RECORDER OF COOK COUNTY
    Punch Ballot # 65

    Karen Yarbrough is the recorder of Cook County, Illinois. First elected in 2012, Yarbrough is running unopposed for re-election in the general election on November 8, 2016. Yarbrough is a former Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing District 7 from 2001 to 2013. She is faced with political operatives that desire to eliminate her office and will undoubtedly be faced with a revived call for its elimination after the November 8 election. We oppose the elimination and endorse her re-election.

    METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT

    Barbara McGowan Punch # 51
    Barbara McGowan
    Punch # 51
    Mariyana T. Spyropoulos Punch # 52
    Mariyana T. Spyropoulos
    Punch # 52

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