Property tax relief is desperately needed in the Southland region. Illinois relies too heavily on property taxes to fund local governments. We need an alternative source of revenue. A graduated income tax system would provide the necessary funding for local governments and give Illinois residents much-needed property tax relief. I am committed to our region and will fight to improve the lives of working families. I will work to reform Illinois’ flat rate tax system because it is unfair to lower- and middle-income families while favoring millionaires and billionaires. We can move Illinois away from long-standing over-reliance on property taxes to fund public schools and local services by instituting a progressive income tax: people with higher incomes would pay a higher income tax rate, allowing homeowners to pay lower property taxes, while our children get the resources and education they need to succeed.

School Funding:
We must invest in our youth. Illinois has a funding crisis facing K-12 education. Funding based on local property taxes in many rural, urban and suburban areas is inadequate. Illinois must further reform its funding method. Educational funding should be based on a graduated income tax. Illinois needs a highly skilled workforce with requisite training for 21st Century jobs.

Living Wage:
We need to eliminate this root cause of poverty. Income inequality keeps many urban, suburban and rural families in poverty. When our minimum wage does not provide a living wage, we create structural barriers to economic and social mobility! Government can effectively boost economic and social mobility by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and increase thereafter to account for inflation.

My priority will be bringing state resources to the Southland region of the Chicago metropolitan area. The Southland region has a population of 441,000 but only about 130,000 jobs in the region; 74 percent of Southland residents work outside the area. We have an overall poverty rate of 19 percent, more than the average poverty rate across the Chicago region. I will work to advance the issues of resource allocation and equity for the Southland to address mass transit and transportation inequities, education funding reform, property tax relief and reform, and a lack of coordinated economic development.