More of the same or something different is what the voters in the 2nd Congressional District will have to choose from when they step into the voting booth tomorrow. For historical purposes, let's talk about what more of the same has done. The past three congressmen (Gus Savage, Mel Reynolds, and Jesse Jackson Jr) have taken turns embarrassing the district, one couldn't keep his hands to himself, another likes young girls and the last one used campaign funds to buy cashmere capes. Also, most of the district is mired in neglect. In Chicago, city services isn't the same as in other places, toxins are still breathed in by the residents of Altgeld Gardens and Hopkins Park continues to be one the poorest towns in the state.
In terms of something different, it's time to leave the two party system behind. Fanning the Flames since 1978 believes that Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones is up for the task. Jones has a history of being aware of the concerns that are unique to the district. He's been a journalist, an activist, an author and a community leader. You may know him from the two documentaries he created with his childhood friend Lloyd Newman called “Ghetto Life 101” and “The 14 Stories of Eric Morse.” Both documentaries won several awards.
Jones supports the following: A woman’s right to choose, same-sex marriage, a worker’s right to unionize ,a concealed carry law and programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released. He also wants to eliminate the income tax.
This is Jones’ take on education:
The drive to turn our school systems into corporations headed by CEOs and profit off the education of our children is deplorable and must be stopped. Our education machine is more efficient at shipping kids to prison than getting them ready for college. Our schools should develop free-thinking citizens, not standardized robots. I also support free higher education because it is the best path to prosperity in our society.
Jones’ take on illegal immigration:
I propose a long-term transition to global citizenship so no one would be considered "illegal". This is the only way to manage the global demand for jobs. In the short term, we must honor those who have worked hard for this country with equal access - and protect those most vulnerable to employers who violate labor laws. Building fences and demanding IDs poorly covers up a much bigger problem. That is, multinational corporations and trade deals exploiting American workers.
The front runner Robin Kelly has taken her queues from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Super PAC. She tried to downplay her connection but ultimately, she will have to do their bidding. Special interest groups having politicians in their back pocket? The voters know how that will play out. While Republican Party candidate Paul McKinley has a genuine concern for the voters in the district, he represents a political party that still has a long way to go in mending fences with African-American voters.
Jones doesn't have name recognition but for what he lacks in popularity, he makes up for in being an independent voice. The Democrats and Republicans have both ignored the people on the Southside and the south suburbs for too long. It's time to show the two-party system what's it like to be ignored. That can be done by electing LeAlan Jones to be the next Congressman from the 2nd Congressional District.