Today, the 45th President of the United States of America was sworn in to office. I believe it is my responsibility as an elected official to respect the peaceful transition of power and do all that I can to ensure the success of the new administration. However, as Chicago City Treasurer and as a citizen, I cannot sit back and accept the behavior that has been demonstrated by President Trump and others like him, both during his campaign and leading up to today. Our city, state, and country cannot allow blatant racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination to be commonplace in our public discourse.
In Illinois, we have seen exactly what happens when our leaders prioritize divisive politics over people. Our Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, just like President Trump, wants to do away with the Affordable Care Act and leave roughly 18 million people without healthcare. Under Rauner, over one million people in Illinois have lost vital services because of the lack of a budget, and over 160,000 Illinois students have had to ask themselves if they can afford to go to college because their access to MAP grant funding has been eliminated. These partisan and political actions have placed our most underserved residents at risk, those who are working hard everyday in pursuit of the American Dream. We need leadership that focuses on a balanced budget, meaningful education funding reform and a jobs plan that works for all communities in Illinois, not just a select few. Simply stated, Illinois is no longer working for working people.
As a state and as a nation, we must unite in fighting against those who would promote hate and seek to marginalize our citizens who need us most. We must stand up to protect the important legacy of President Obama and the progress we have made as a nation over the last eight years.
Let’s get to work,