Your Vote, Your Community, Their Answers: Danny Davis vs. Rita Zak

Your Vote, Your Community, Their Answers: Danny Davis vs. Rita Zak

The 7th district includes the suburban neighborhood of Oak Park, which is known for its Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and stately homes. But Oak Park, and many other communities in the 7th district, also have low-income residents whose needs include affordable housing and employment.

In this series we’ve been talking to politicians about issues surrounding race and poverty. Today we’re featuring Democratic Rep. Danny Davis and his Republican contender Rita Zak. Independent candidate John H. Monaghan did not respond to our repeated requests to answer our questions.

Rep. Danny Davis
Davis

If elected, what's the most important thing in the next term that you want to accomplish that will benefit communities in the 7th District?

Put people back to work through such legislation as the Act for the 99% bill which:

  • Creates 2.2 million jobs through on-the-job training and direct hire programs for cops, teachers, firefighters, construction and maintenance workers for schools, parks and public land workers, work study jobs for students, health providers including nurses and assistants and a new Community Corp to take care of our neighborhoods.

  • Buy America: requires materials for government contracts are manufactured in the U.S.

  • Infrastructure bank: creates an infrastructure bank that will allow private sector partnering with regions, States and localities to create infrastructure projects

  • Protection of our wounded veterans - ensures that our veterans are not discriminated against in the workplace for time spent receiving treatment for injuries

  • Investment in infrastructure and transportation - provides $50 billion to fix our crumbling roads, bridges, rail lines, sewer systems and to upgrade power lines and mass transit system, and:

  • Ensure no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while ending the Bush tax cuts for those with income over $250,000


What are the biggest concerns in the 7th district?

After the issue in question 1, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act expanding health care in our community

How do you see that you can make a difference in people’s lives when it comes to race and/or poverty?

By continuing my role as an activist and advocate for social and economic justice as well as a committed progressive legislator.


Rita Zak, small business owner

If elected, what's the most important thing in the next term that you want to accomplish that will benefit communities in the 7th district?

If elected, l would do all l can to alleviate the poverty and hopelessness of a great majority of the citizens of the 7th Congressional District and help them achieve the American Dream. As an immigrant to this country, this is a goal l truly embrace.

What are the biggest concerns in the 7th District?

The 7th Congressional is a very diverse community and despite decades of continuous one-party rule, the great majority of people are no better off. The district is still plagued with under-performing schools, loss of jobs, high-crime rates… There is no excuse for these conditions. Notwithstanding all the funds that have flowed into this district, people are not much better off.

How do you see that you can make a difference in people’s lives when it comes to race and/or poverty?

Being an immigrant, l refuse to categorize people. We are all Americans! And - we should all have the opportunities to succeed in this great country. Yes, many of us need a hand up - but - stop perpetuating this culture of victimization! If elected, l would make sure that funds destined for this district make it to their targeted programs and do not end up in some crony's pocket. My focus would be on job creation, less government regulation on small businesses, economic opportunities, better education for our children -- and -- the restoration of pride in ourselves and our country.

Photo credit: Davis campaign and League of Women Voters of California

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