Gubernatorial endorsement: Illinois needs a democratic governor

By Editorial Board

Election day is here, with eager voters heading to the polls Nov. 6, and The Chronicle is proud to endorse Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker for governor of Illinois. 

Eighty-seven percent of staff voted for Pritzker, 7 percent voted for Rauner and 7 percent voted for Jackson.

Under current Gov. Bruce Rauner, Illinois has been in a poor financial state and went two years without a completed budget. In 2015, Rauner vetoed an education bill that would have brought $250 million in grants to Chicago Public Schools.

We need a governor who cares about the financial viability of Illinois, who cares about all education—including CPS—and wants to make a difference for the people suffering from the financial effects of poor leadership.

J.B. Pritzker said he vows to support small businesses and middle-class families, invest in higher education and nurture the agricultural economy—all of which would benefit the state’s overall financial status.

According to Pritzker’s campaign website, agriculture accounts for one in 17 jobs in Illinois. Rauner has proposed to cut more than 300 agriculture education programs, which would lead to further debt and reduction of Illinois prominence in corn and soybean farming.

Pritzker also supports raising minimum wage to $15 per hour so families can make a living wage. Furthermore, Pritzker promises to end gender pay gap.

Families and women in Illinois should earn the wages they deserve. By increasing wages in both aspects, families will no longer have to struggle to put food on the table, pay rent and exist in their home state.

Under Rauner, living in Illinois as been a challenge.  According to a March 22 report by Illinois Policy, 83 of Illinois’ 102 counties saw their population decline from July 2016 to July 2017.

As of Oct. 27, 2,530 people have been shot in Chicago in 2018 alone, as reported Oct. 29 by the Chicago Tribune.

In a Aug. 9 letter to the Chicago Sun-Times, Pritzker vowed to stop gun-violence in Chicago by improving trust between law enforcement and communities and by investing in community-based programs.

“Strengthening communities also requires that we invest in community-based programs working to interrupt gun violence before it happens and give children and families the tools they need to build better lives,” Pritzker said in the letter. “After-school programs, mental health services and violence prevention organizations were decimated by Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis. These are the tools of prevention, and they must be restored to full strength.”

Pritzker’s efforts to focus on Chicago communities is something this city has needed for years. Investing in after-school programs, holding CPD accountable, and prioritizing education will help Chicago.

We need a Democratic governor who cares for the people of Illinois and the city of Chicago. Rauner has failed to help the infrastructure of Illinois, but there is hope with J.B. Pritzker. The Chronicle is proud to endorse him for governor of Illinois.