Pro-Union. Pro-Worker. Pro-Veteran.
Why is Angel Pro-Union?
Angel’s father, Jerry, grew up in a poor farming family, which consisted of him, his mother and sister after his father died when Jerry was 12. Jerry dropped out of school after the eighth grade to find work. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served several years as a boiler technician, then spent most of the rest his working life employed as either a long-haul truck driver or as a machinist. He retired from his machinist position at Gates Air several years before he died at 72. He’d never made “good money” and had never been a member of a union, and all he had to live on after retirement was a $1,400/month Social Security check and a few thousand dollars in a 401k. When he died, he Jerry had more than $20,000 in medical debt that he was never going to be able to pay off.
Angel’s stepfather, Dennie, grew up in a poor family too, raised by a single mother along with his sister. Dennie started working for Union Electric out of St. Louis at the age of 18 as a union lineman. He made good money and had excellent benefits, and he was understandably always a staunch advocate for unions. He died too young at the age of 60, but thanks to his union pension and benefits, Angel’s mother will never have to worry about money ever again during her lifetime.
Angel is a member of AFSCME Local 1787. Her salary and benefits as a union employee are better than anything she has ever earned in Quincy where she worked in a variety of minimum-wage jobs. Thanks to her union-negotiated salary and a VA loan, she was able to buy a home a few years ago.
That’s the union difference ̶ the difference between a marginal life of poverty or near-poverty, and one that supports a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle before and after retirement. Everyone who works deserves the dignity of a living wage, and unions help ensure that their members get paid what they are worth.
The Fair Tax proposal that will be put to Illinois voters this fall will reform the current flat tax, which puts an unfair burden on low-wage workers and the middle class.
More unions and stronger unions:
Expanding union membership to currently exempt workers; creating "… overlapping systems of worker power, union representation and employee protections" to address " … the crisis of economic inequality and its corrosive effects on our democracy."
To address the very common problem of workplace bullying that is not legally considered harassment by the EEOC and the Illinois Department of Human Rights (Workplace Bullying Institute).
Illinois has some of the richest topsoil in the world, and we need to change agricultural practices that send so much of it down the river, so our children and grandchildren can become farmers too. Likewise, the State Department of Agriculture needs to reevaluate its processes for green-lighting confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to ensure groundwater and streams are untainted by animal waste.
Better pay and benefits for current jobs:
Illinois’ new $15/hour minimum wage is just the start; annual minimum wage increases should be the law, and ideally should be tied to national personal income growth, productivity growth, and/or inflation, whichever is higher. Guaranteed paid leave.
Maximum wage law: compensation for the highest-paid positions should be directly tied to the lowest-paid positions "At Walmart, we now know, typical employees would have to work 1,188 years to equal the pay that went last year to Walmart’s CEO. At McDonald’s, typical workers would have to work 3,101 years."
MORE POLICY POSITIONS:
Encouraging cooperative farming to spread economic risk (reduce bankruptcies and farm worker suicides) and increase food production efficiencies.
Full legal and cultural equality of all people – women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people – EVERYONE.
Sustainable energy production; actively and aggressively addressing climate change.
Background checks for gun ownership; domestic violence/animal abuse disqualification.
Affordable child care, maternity leave and support, free school meals, smaller class sizes, minimum two adults per classroom, free trade schools and college education.
Better public transportation in rural areas; increased mobility = increased economic opportunities
More jobs in IL-94 in stable and growing industries, such as green energy and recycling.
Universal health care: No person should go bankrupt or go without treatment because they can’t afford or lack access to healthcare.