This may be the most important election in Illinois recent history. Everywhere one turns whether it’s TV, radio, newsprint, the Internet or a tweet we are reminded of that fact. The stakes are high in this election, the citizens of Illinois have everything to lose, conversely, we also have everything to gain. The choice is ours to make. What will it mean to my family, my neighborhood, my city and my state? We cannot predict that “the good life” will return for most Americans, but we do know that the choice is at hand. We can choose to move forward with the candidate who has a proven track record of moving Illinois forward or go with a corporate raider who has never served the public and has no track record of acting in the interest of the people whom he will work for if elected. If we choose to move forward then we are taking action for our benefit if we turn back to relinquishing our power and lose the ground we have fought to regain then we have contributed to our detriment. Fifty years ago, civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer spoke before the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City—and her speech became one of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. She delivered the sentiment we all feel, ‘I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.’
We are all a little tired, we are all a little worn, we have all sacrificed but it has not been in vain. This is what we know to be true at the Chicago Defender. It takes time and patience to implement change. For this reason we wholly support Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn to retain his seat and return to Springfield for another term.
Illinois did not fall into fiscal crisis overnight and Illinois will certainly not rise to its greatest height overnight. If you compare this to weight loss, we all know that weight gain doesn’t happen in a day and that in order to lose the weight we must do the work over a period of time. Governor Quinn has demonstrated his understanding of what it takes to and his ability to lead while navigating through the turbulent challenges. The Great Recession of 2007 and 2008, took its toll on all of America; the nation, states, counties, cities and individual families all absorbed the blows dealt by the banking and housing debacle.
Pat Quinn stepped up and assumed the helm of the tumultuous freefall that was our state’s economy. Pat Quinn delivered his promise to the people of Illinois, to bring jobs, to right the ship, promise to lead us back to stability. He has made great ground, but his turn at the helm is not over yet.
Today more Illinoisans are working than five years ago. Since January 2010, Illinois has added 257,000 private sector jobs.
Under Quinn’s leadership, Illinois acquired more than 18,000 new business establishments since 2009, a number that was third in the country.
Quinn created the Illinois Small Business Tax Credit so businesses with 50 or fewer employees receive tax credits for new, full-time Illinois jobs. He also extended the Research and Development Tax Credit to help foster economic growth and innovation by providing Illinois companies with an incentive to increase their research activities in the state
Is it easier to stand in front of people and say what you think the people want to hear, to propose what you think you will do, or to throw money at them in an attempt to get them to vote for you. It is infinitely harder, to stand and say with conviction what is real, and stand on your record of what you have done when there is still so much to do.
We know that the work that Pat Quinn has done and what he has set in motion has set Illinois on the path for regeneration. He has made tough decisions that may not have been popular with the entire state, but were in the best interest of its people, and that’s what we elect a governor to do.
Weeks after being sworn in, Governor Quinn signed into law and launched Illinois Jobs Now!, the largest capital construction plan in Illinois history and the state’s first infrastructure plan in ten years.
Across the state, the program has the program has built and repaired 7,700 miles of road, 1,330 bridges, 1,048 schools and more than 3,000 miles of broadband have been laid.
Governor Quinn also led efforts to move forward with the construction of the South Suburban Airport, ending decades of gridlock. He also launched the $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative to rebuild and repair Illinois’ aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
Illinois’ Jobs Comeback by the Numbers:
400,000 jobs from investing in infrastructure through Illinois Jobs Now!, the largest capital construction plan in Illinois history.
28,000 potential long-term jobs and 9,000 construction jobs from the Illiana Corridor Project, an innovative public-private partnership to build a much-needed, regional highway.
28,500 jobs from the Illinois Clean Water Initiative to rebuild and repair Illinois’ aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, including 9,700 construction jobs;
4,600 indirect jobs in supplier industries (mining, manufacturing and services) and 14,300 jobs supported by growth in related businesses.
1,956 jobs from the 2011 Advantage Illinois program to provide Illinois businesses and entrepreneurs with access to the capital by leveraging federal funding.
26,000 jobs created and maintained, and 470 new business through the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network, a formalized structure for coordinated services to small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the state.
1,030 tech jobs created from Governor Quinn’s leadership and support of 1871, Chicago’s leading hub for digital startups.
4,200 full-time equivalent jobs in 2013 alone from the Film Tax Credit and bringing more than $1 billion in revenue to the state. Illinois broke the 100 million-visitor mark for the first time in 2012, generating an estimated $33.5 billion and 298,700 jobs for the state’s economy.
Governor Quinn worked with businesses across the state, across the country and across the world to make sure they grow and invest in Illinois. These successes include:
Navistar is creating and retaining 3,000 permanent jobs and 400 construction jobs over the next several years and investing $205 million to relocate its headquarters to Lisle, beating out several states.
Automotive Production Jobs
→Ford Motor Works’ Chicago plant grew from one shift to three shifts, now with more than 5,100 workers.
→Chrysler grew from 200 jobs to more than 4,700 jobs at their Belvidere plant.
→Continental Tires expanded its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Mt. Vernon, creating nearly 500 jobs.
→Woodward Inc. expanded its manufacturing plant and offices in Loves Park, creating more than 660 jobs and plans to double its workforce in the Rockford area by 2021.
→Boeing located a new facility at MidAmerica Airport in St. Clair County.
→Astellas Pharma built their new corporate headquarters for the Americas in Glenview, creating 150 jobs.
→Nippon Sharyo established their U.S. headquarters in Rochelle creating hundreds of jobs.
Contrary to his opponent’s claims, Illinois has had a net gain of jobs since Quinn first took office, not losses, and the unemployment rate has been reduced down from 8 percent to 6.6 percent since his taking office.
A great elected official keeps the best interest of the people at the forefront of every decision. Whether it’s popular, or he/she will be ridiculed, the endgame always has to be what will be the best decision for the welfare of all citizens. Through his smart and stable governing, Quinn has led this state back from the brink. He has made the right moves to get this state back working and we applaud his efforts.
It takes integrity to face an opponent who has no record of ever governing anything taking jabs at your record. Rauner called Quinn a liar in an emotional rant that had no validity. It’s politics, but truth is truth, that Mr. Rauner spins a carefully crafted tale of untruths and half-truths as he proposes to be the one to lift this state, in a miraculous way, out of our troubles. He sees government as a business, which focuses on the survival of the fittest. In his world of corporate buyouts, dismantling and shutting down jobs, the almighty dollar comes before people and the humanity of compassion and empathy.
Government is not about the individual but about the people by and for the people, which is the opposite of business. Government answers to the people, business answers to the investors. The first question we should ask a corporate raider is, ‘What qualifies you to serve the public?’ Because you’ve made millions of dollars, dismantling the businesses of others does not qualify you to think about the concerns and issues of people who make up the communities throughout the state; or to create and manage programs that benefit everyone regardless of their station in life. Public/private partnerships, privatized schools, privatized medical care, privatized everything is the business way. The free market is not the answer to government, government is not the same as business.
The Quintessential Choice for Governor| The Chicago Defender Endorses Pat Quinn for Governor was originally published on chicagodefender.com