JB Pritzker has come a long way to earn the Crusader’s endorsement as the next governor of Illinois. His running mate, state Rep. Juliana Stratton is the perfect choice for a candidate who seeks to serve low-income neighborhoods where incumbent Bruce Rauner has failed miserably in the last four years. Together, Pritzker and Stratton would bring much needed relief to the Black community with their agenda to revitalize public education with better funding to attract and maintain quality teachers. For far too long, Rauner and the folks in Springfield who for years have relied on an archaic system of school funding
that severely disadvantage minority students. Pritzker also want to build to restore a vocational education curriculum that could provide an alternative future for students learning a trade.
Pritzker is a billionaire who comes from a family of great wealth, but the Crusader applauds his pledge to protect the common ordinary voter as he and Stratton set out to grow an Illinois economy that also includes Black and Brown communities in Chicago and Cook County. With Rauner and Stratton in Springfield, they will push for a long overdue $15-an-hour minimum wage. With rising costs of living, wage earners among the working class have struggled to make a decent living with Illinois’ $8.25 an hour.
There are other issues Pritzker has championed that will serve the Black community well. He wants to ease property taxes and wants to reduce the state’s enormous debts through a graduated income tax
that will demand more money from the rich. The Crusader applauds Pritzker in his opposition to President Donald Trump’s populist agenda.
At the beginning of his term, Rauner has pledged to clean up Illinois and lift the state out of its financial mess. But in the past four years, Rauner has been an absolute failure. His polarizing leadership style led to the state two-year’s budget crisis that crippled public schools and colleges and cut funding to affordable daycare. During the crisis, Illinois fell behind by $15 billion in payments to creditors. And let’s not forget the fiasco in 2017 at Chicago State University, where Rauner orchestrated behind the scenes a failed effort to put Paul Vallas as the president of the predominately Black school. Vallas was eventually forced out by the board and today Chicago State has a brighter future with its new president Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott.
Longtime Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan earned praise during her 15 years as the state’s top attorney. She will long be remembered for her uncompromising standards, tough leadership and tenacity to keep business and governments in check. The Crusader believes that State Senator Kwame Raoul will be the perfect successor to pick up where Madigan left off. Raoul’s background has prepared him to confront issues head on and lead the state into the next decade.
Raoul has served as a state senator since 2004, but he wasn’t your typical elected official who rode on empty promises and political correctness. A dedicated public servant, Raoul led the successful effort to abolish the state’s death penalty at a time when many inmates on death row were Black and Hispanic. With coerced confessions, a common practice in police departments in Chicago and Illinois, Raoul advocated for laws that would reopen cases wrongfully convicted men who were The Crusader looks forward to seeing Raoul keep the pressure on City Hall and the Chicago Police Department in implementing police reforms under a consent decree that Madigan pushed after Mayor Rahm Emanuel began backpedaling on a promise to former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
At a time when distrust in government is at its highest, Raoul is pushing for more transparency by pledging to increase funding for a public access counselor and make it easier to file Freedom of Information Act requests without bureaucratic red tape.
Born in Chicago to Haitian immigrants, Raoul Kwame Raoul began his legal career nearly 25 years ago as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, handling child welfare cases, prosecuting violent criminals and helping crime victims access resources and exercise their rights. Raoul has been a leading voice at the state Capitol for equal rights, criminal justice reform and a woman’s right to choose. He has developed a strong reputation for leading difficult negotiations and sponsoring landmark legislation, including background checks on private transfers of guns, law enforcement and criminal justice reform and the strongest voting rights protections in the country.
Crusader stands behind Raoul for his relentless pursuit to address the problems of the state’s disadvantage residents through effective legislation and dynamic leadership
Secretary of State Jesse White is seeking an unprecedented fifth term and he deserves it. Under White’s leadership, customer service has been improved through the creative use of technology as well as modernizing and streamlining operations. Wait times in driver license facilities throughout the state are shorter than ever before. Illinois has become a national leader in road safety as White strengthened
DUI laws, reformed the CDL program and overhauled teen driving guidelines. As a result, traffic fatalities have been reduced, with drunk driving deaths down by 60 percent and teen driving deaths reduced by nearly 50 percent.
Illinois’ Secretary of State’s office is the largest and most diverse office of its kind in the nation, providing more direct services to the people of Illinois than any other public agency. White’s office issues state ID cards, vehicle license plates and titles; registers corporations; enforces the Illinois Securities Act; administers the Organ Donor Program; and licenses drivers and maintains driver records. As State Librarian, Secretary White oversees the State Library and literacy programs, and as State Archivist, he maintains records of legal or historic value.
In 1959, White founded the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for children residing in and around the Chicago area. Since its inception, more than 17,500 young men and women have performed with the team. Many of the participants are Black and come from tough neighborhoods. White has spent 57 years working as a volunteer with the team to help kids stay away from gangs, drugs, alcohol and smoking, and to help set at-risk youth on the path to success. The program has received international praise. This year the team will make more than 1,500 performances using seven units, consisting of 225 young men and women. Currently, there are 51 members enrolled in college. In 2014, the Chicago Park District opened the Jesse White Community Center and Field House in honor of White’s lifelong contributions to the community. In addition, a school in Hazel Crest, IL was renamed the Jesse C. White Learning Academy, and a Chicago street was designated Jesse White Way in honor of White.
Without Susana Mendoza, the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit would be even higher. Mendoza advocated tirelessly to override Governor’s Rauner’s mind-boggling veto of her Debt Transparency Act, the most significant reform bill in the history of the Comptroller’s Office.
The Governor’s veto was overturned with an unprecedented 112-0 vote in the State House of Representatives and became law on January 1, 2018. She built upon the success of the DTA with the Truth in Hiring Act, which recently passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities and awaits action by the Governor.
Comptroller Mendoza led the charge to put pressure on Governor Rauner to refinance a large portion of the State’s unpaid bill backlog. Instead of paying 12 percent interest on most of that debt, the State will pay only 3.5 percent, in turn saving taxpayers a net $4 to $6 billion over the life of the bond deal, and freeing up the bond funds to pay social service providers, schools, and State vendors who had been waiting up to two years for payment.
Comptroller Mendoza expedited payments to those struggling most during the budget crisis. She sent more categorical payments to State schools in one year than any Comptroller in State history and prioritized payments to social service providers, including those offering hospice care and care for seniors, that had languished under the prior administration.
As a legislator, Treasurer Frerichs focused on helping Illinois businesses thrive. In 2012, Treasurer Frerichs co-chaired the bi-partisan committee that extended the state’s Enterprise Zone Program. This innovative program has been credited with creating or retaining over 900,000 jobs in the state over the past 30 years.
Treasurer Frerichs is also committed to expanding access to college savings programs so Illinois families can better plan for their future.
Within weeks of taking office Treasurer Frerichs signed Executive Order No. 15-01 – an Employee Bill of Rights – to safeguard Treasury employees from being pressured to do political work, and to underscore the importance of maintaining a safe, professional, and harassment-free workplace.
The Crusader endorses Judge Kimberly D. Lewis for retention in the November 6 election. Lewis was elected to the bench in 2012. She currently serves in the Juvenile Court Child Protection Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, where she presides over child abuse, neglect and dependency matters. She was previously assigned to the Traffic Division in the 1st Municipal District. During Lewis’s tenure on the bench, she has been a featured lecturer or guest speaker at numerous seminars for continuing legal education, other law related forums, and community outreach programs which have included audiences of lawyers; judges; students of all ages; and psychology specialists. Lewis also served as a contributor to the 2016 First Municipal Traffic Court Benchbook, which is used as an instructional guide for sitting judges.
Prior to becoming a judge, Lewis served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County. She later worked in private practice in the areas of criminal and traffic defense, as well as family law. Lewis also served as an Administrative Law Judge, presiding over cases in several divisions, including, but not limited to, Environmental and Consumer Fraud. In her spare time, she also served as a pro bono attorney for the Geneva Scott Outreach Services, for whom she served on the Board of Directors and was later appointed Chairman of the Board.