On the Issues

Quality Education For All

Every child deserves a quality education. As an educator and college counselor, nobody understands this need better than us. As your State Representative, I will fight to ensure our community schools are properly funded and that our children get a fair shot at a strong education and the opportunities that come with it. I will fight to make a college education accessible and affordable for students and eliminate undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities. I will support initiatives to substantially cut student loan interest rates and look at ways to allow students to refinance loans at a lower rate.

Good Jobs for All

As a proud member of the Chicago Teachers Union and son of hard working immigrant parents, I want our community to be a place where all our neighbors can find meaningful work that pays a livable wage. When I serve you as State Representative, the 1st District will be open for businesses that treat workers with the respect and dignity they deserve. I will be a champion for workers in Springfield and strengthen protection for workers and enforce existing laws. 

 

In addition to bringing good jobs to the district, I will bring the Fight for $15 to Springfield to increase the statewide minimum wage to at least $15 per hour. I will promote and pass legislation to provide paid sick days for all workers in Illinois. It's a simple decision, no worker should have to decided between work and their health. 

Responsible Budget for All

Our state’s budget crisis is a result of irresponsible leadership and politics as usual in Springfield. The result? Middle class families across our state have been forced to pay more for less. It’s time for a leader that isn’t afraid to stand up to the status quo. By implementing new ways for the state to bring in revenue, I will demand that the wealthy pay their fair share and properly fund the pensions and programs our communities depend on.

 

I will tax the rich, not consumers and regular people. I will work with legislators to pass a well designed financial transaction tax, the Robin Hood Tax. It's a win-win for the economy. Higher revenues would result in more funds for social insurance programs and much-needed public investments.

Affordable Housing for All

Funds from property taxes in our city are used to pay for critical programs, like schools and social services, that thousands of our community members depend on. I believe it's time to stand up against millionaires and billionaires who avoid paying their fair share by reforming the property tax system. As your State Representative, I will speak out against the status quo in Springfield by demanding a fair and transparent property tax assessment process.

 

As our district grows and changes, I will stand up to make sure our community has access to affordable housing. This is important in order to protect longtime residents and keep our neighborhoods affordable. I will work to lift the ban and establish rent control standards that preserve quality of life for our community members.

Healthcare for All

I am committed to making our district stronger and healthier by fighting to expand Medicaid for all. Healthcare should be a right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy. As your State Representative, I will take action to make sure we all have access to quality healthcare.

Justice System For All

The justice system is not functioning for communities of color. Illinois leads the nation in overcrowded prisons. Nationwide, African-American and Latinos comprise well over half of all prisoners, even though African-Americans and Latinos make up approximately one quarter of the total US population. We must stop the mass incarceration of our communities immediately, it's destroying our communities and it's an unnecessary expense for the state. We have to tackle economic violence, but not by putting more people in jail. We must find alternatives, like promoting restorative justice. 

 

I will sponsor legislation to end the cash bond system that keeps low income individuals incarcerated for minor offenses and lacking the financial stability to post bond. I will push the legalization of Marijuana at the state level not just for the economic benefits, but to reject the failed drug war in our neighborhoods. I will commit to funding programs to repair the communities destroyed by these outdated laws. I will tirelessly advocate to increase protection for immigrants, with no loopholes or carveouts to allow ICE to terrorize our neighbors and separate families. 

Why This Election Matters

Dan Burke, brother of longtime Chicago politician Ed Burke, has held a seat in the Illinois Legislature for nearly 30 years. Between him, his brother, and their father, Joe Burke, the family has held powerful positions in Illinois politics for nearly 100 years. Ed Burke has become a millionaire representing wealthy downtown property owners, including Donald Trump, who are taking advantage of a broken property tax system. The family has irresponsibly, carelessly, and undemocratically ruled Chicago and Illinois during that time. 

 

Even after all of that time in Illinois politics, when asked what the major issues of this campaign would be, Dan Burke responded first by saying, “I could be cavalier and say a Latino name versus an Irish name.”

 

Unlike my opponent, I'm not running for office because of my political name, or on my family connections. I'm a son of immigrant parents, and I made my own name as an educator, school council member, and community activist, connected to the issues that matter most to my neighbors, students, and families. Simply put, I am running because I'm tired of career politicians out of touch from the issues affecting working families in the 1st District.

 

This election isn’t about last names or dividing up our community by ethnicity. This election is about real issues affecting our working families. It’s about fighting for the issues that matter most to our community, a district we all share. It’s about electing a representative who understands our challenges and is ready to fight for solutions.

 

In this election, let’s reject the status quo and send people who will fight for working families to Springfield. Let's fight for a future where our families and our neighborhoods are the priority.

 

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