I am running for Congress because I am committed to building a better future for everyone. We need a representative who shows up, listens and keeps her word — real representation for real people. This means investing together in strong public schools, safe communities, universal health care, and protection of worker’s rights for a prosperous economy.
On the Issues
Learn more about Sara’s plan to build an Illinois that works for everyone — no matter who no matter where.
Everyone deserves a quality education, no matter your background, what zip code you live in, or where you are from. My kids go to the same public schools I went to here in Rockford, and I understand how important their education is to their future. I believe we need to invest in early education programs so that every kid has the same opportunities to succeed. That means investing in programs like Head Start that help all lower-income families start their children on a path to success.
Quality education does not stop after high school graduation, and we need to provide our children with options once they graduate. If a student wants to attend a 4-year university, they shouldn’t be saddled with student loan debt for their entire adult life. My own student loans will not be paid off until my daughter is a sophomore in college and at this rate, her college loans won’t be paid off until her granddaughter is a sophomore in college! This is unacceptable, and we must allow our students to refinance at an affordable rate.
At the same time, we need to acknowledge that a 4-year degree is not for everyone – but that shouldn’t lock young men and women out of quality jobs. We need a renewed focus on certification programs, vocational training, and union apprenticeships that prepare young adults for the workforce. Continuing education programs, like those at Rock Valley College and Illinois Valley Community College, allow adults to go back to school to learn a trade and earn higher salaries. These programs need to be affordable and accessible to residents across our district.
As a college student in 1992 I campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment and nearly 30 years later it is outrageous that it is still an open question whether women should be recognized as equal to men under our Constitution. I know that federal law can be used as a tool for positive social change if we elect people of courage and vision who have the will to advocate for the fair and equitable treatment of all people.
Landmark Voting Rights, Civil Rights and Equal Pay legislation in the 1960s was intended to eliminate discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin as well as end segregation and remove barriers to voting, but we still suffer from grave injustices in our country from institutional racism to sexual harassment. We must preserve the civil rights so many fought for and work for the day when every member of our society is treated with respect and dignity regardless of what they look like, where they are from, who they love or what they believe.
The top issues facing the 16th district are: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. We need a representative who will prioritize manufacturing, family farming and small business jobs in our District. Illinois pays more in federal taxes than we receive back in quality, well paying jobs in the our district. When my kids graduate from school, I want them to have every opportunity here in their backyard — no one should have to leave home just to make a living.
The 16th District is made up of farmers, small business owners, union members, and those still searching for good, high paying jobs. I have seen industries leave our region over the decades, and in turn I have seen neighbors move to other districts or states. If we want to continue to grow our economy and build stronger communities, we need an effective representative to advocate for a pay increase for the middle class.
I support growing the middle class by:
- Raising federal minimum wage to $15
- Strengthening workers’ right to unionize and banning Right to Work on the federal level
- Taking the burden of health care costs off the backs of employers and employees by passing Medicare for All
- Affordable, quality childcare for all working families
- Paid parental leave
- Affordable college and trade career training without a lifetime of student debt
- Invest in infrastructure suitable for the 21st Century
There are no stand alone issues. Whether it is health care, education, child care, infrastructure, immigration, environmental protections or workers’ rights, all these issues directly relate back to jobs and our economy. The strength of our local economies depend on access to college and vocational certification programs, universal health care, the ability of working men and women to unionize, investing in renewable, clean energy and creating welcoming communities for all residents. We need to take the long view on all issues so we are building a safe, stable, prosperous country for everyone.
In 2004, I lost my mom because she was uninsured and didn’t have access to the care she needed. There is no reason that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, anyone should ever lose a loved one because they lack access to health care. I will fight for universal health care in D.C., and for healthcare that is not only affordable, but accessible to everyone whether they live in a big city or in a rural town. From medical emergencies to annual checkups, every resident deserves to have access to a doctor without having to travel miles away or waiting for weeks for an appointment.
Adam Kinzinger follows the Trump/Ryan agenda on health care and has voted to repeal the ACA time and again without any replacement plan. I will make protecting and expanding Medicare and Medicaid coverage health care reform one of my top priorities – the ACA was never meant to be the final word on health care but it made a giant step forward in covering 22 million Americans, we must improve our system to ensure that all of our neighbors have access to affordable healthcare.
Too many Americans struggle to pay their monthly premiums, are afraid to take the risk to start a new business, and are stuck in a low paying job because they need their healthcare. Congress needs to take steps right now to stabilize the markets, reduce prescription drug prices and expand coverage. We need to unlink healthcare from employment so workers’ pay raises are not eaten up by increasing premiums and give people the option of starting a small business or going back to school without fear of losing access to health care.
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