It’s never too late to get answers on the important issues. With only hours before counting returns from the election begins, we bring you the last Q&A in our series.
For the past several days, we’ve asked some politicians from our area how they would help their communities in terms of race and poverty.
In our final installment, we’re featuring the 10th Congressional District race. The race includes Rep. Derrick Smith and Independent candidate Lance Tyson. Smith, who was expelled from the Illinois House for allegedly taking a bribe, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
What was the biggest mistake made in the General Assembly last year? What would you do differently?
The General Assembly missed some important opportunities to cut costs with marginal impact to Illinois citizens. Chief among those low-impact cost cutting opportunities is their failure to close the Tamms supermax prison. Though Governor Quinn supports the closing, legislators are apparently willing to approve the $26 million needed to keep the prison open even in the face of watchdog groups’ claims of inhumane conditions and a low 20% occupancy.
When elected, I will support the Governor’s commitment to close Tamms and not vote for the $26 million budget to keep the prison open.
If elected, what’s the most important thing in the next term that you want to accomplish that will benefit communities in the 10th district?
I’ve worked hand-in-hand with President Barack Obama to create over 75,000 jobs for our community, so I believe that the most important thing I can do for the people of the 10th District is to continue the work I began with the President. I will work tirelessly in my first term to expand the Illinois Finance Authority to issue new debt and create new jobs w/out burdening taxpayers.
How do you see that you can make a difference in people’s lives when it comes to race and/or poverty?
First, ending poverty and improving the 10th District’s quality of life begins with jobs. I will continue my efforts to create more jobs in the 10th District, including programs to get ex-offenders into the workforce. That starts with a tax credit for employers who hire ex-offenders. Second, when elected, I will provide access to desperately needed State funding for programs vital to the 10th District, especially those for seniors, access that my opponent does not and will not have.
Photo credit: Tyson campaign