JB’s Plan to Resist Trump

Resisting Trump

Donald Trump’s legislative agenda threatens to wreak havoc on the lives of Illinois families. Trump is actively working to dismantle health care in the United States, potentially stripping millions of families of their coverage and targeting those who need it most. He is waging war on science in his refusal to acknowledge climate change and his rejection of the policies that will preserve our future. Trump’s attacks on public education, immigrant families, and people of color are tearing communities apart, and undermining the principles that make this country strong. Every day, Trump is exploiting divisions and peddling hate.

Illinois will be deeply impacted by this administration’s devastating agenda, and Governor Bruce Rauner is asleep at the wheel. Rauner is silent in the face of Trump’s attacks and refuses to put in place policies that will protect Illinois families. Worse, Rauner is actively working to force a special interest agenda on Illinois that will amplify Donald Trump’s destruction. After a 736-day budget crisis, with a state economy in turmoil, and with public school funding at risk, Illinois simply can’t afford Trump’s agenda or more of Rauner’s failed leadership.

My parents raised me with a commitment to social justice. I’ve spent my life fighting for Illinois families and bringing people together to solve big problems for this state. Those values are under attack and I am ready to fight every day to make sure Illinois is a firewall against Donald Trump’s destructive agenda and hateful rhetoric. We will protect and expand health care for all of our families, invest in education, defend our environment, stand with our immigrant families, and fight for civil rights. I’m running for governor because the values that I care about are under siege by Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner and I am ready to stand with passionate Illinoisans and resist.

After Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership, there is so much work to do and this my plan to resist Trump as Illinois’ next governor.

Protecting Health Care


Donald Trump’s mean-spirited attempt to dismantle health care as we know it would strip coverage from millions, including 650,000 Illinoisans who would lose Medicaid. The state could lose $40 billion in federal funding over ten years. Trump succeeded in getting Congress to outlaw the individual mandate, which could cause more than 500,000 Illinoisans to lose health insurance and premiums to rise. Trump is also committed to defunding Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe v. Wade – a direct attack on women’s health care.


Bruce Rauner refuses to stand up for Illinois in the face of this impending health care disaster. As Republicans threaten to impose deep cuts to Medicaid and strip healthcare from millions, Bruce Rauner is sitting on the sidelines instead of fighting to save these critical federal dollars. And, instead of speaking out on Donald Trump’s attacks on women, Rauner waivered on his support of HB40, a bill that would protect a woman’s right to choose, leaving Illinoisans uncertain about their access to healthcare.


Quality and affordable health care is a right, not a privilege. I will stand with Illinois families to defend the progress we’ve made under the Affordable Care Act.  I have introduced a public option health insurance plan to allow Illinois families to purchase affordable health insurance coverage through Illinois’ existing public medical assistance program.

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are ramming through mean-spirited and deeply unpopular legislation to overhaul the progress we’ve made to make health care more accessible and affordable under the Affordable Care Act. If they are successful, the impact on Illinois would be nothing short of devastating. Millions of Illinoisan’s health care could be jeopardized, 650,000 of our neighbors would be automatically stripped of Medicaid in 2021, and 46,000 Illinois workers could lose their jobs. Premiums would skyrocket, with seniors bearing the brunt of the cost, and Illinois women could lose access to critical health services through Planned Parenthood.

Trumpcare is a direct attack on the health care of millions of families, seniors, and women in Illinois. But even after bipartisan governors across the country criticized the legislation, Bruce Rauner refuses to take a principled stand. Instead, Donald Trump’s partner in Illinois is working to force his special interest agenda on our state through his own destructive Medicaid proposal and his threat to veto HB40.

I’m running for governor to fight for Illinois families and that means doing everything in my power to protect their health care. I will resist Trump in Washington and stand with governors across the nation to provide meaningful leadership that will protect and expand health care for all Illinoisans. That means working to expand access to care, increase patient choice, and keep costs down by providing a public option health insurance plan. This public option will provide another choice in the health insurance marketplace and protect Illinoisans from rising premiums at no additional cost to taxpayers. I will also stand with Illinois women in the fight to protect women’s health care and their right to choose. Unlike Rauner, that is a promise I will never waiver on.


Funding Education


Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos wanted to gut the federal government’s investment in education by $9.2 billion in FY18. Rather than invest in programs that establish a foundation for academic success and provide students with support, the president has proposed decreasing funding for the federal Head Start program, eliminating after school programs, and discontinuing federally subsidized loans for college students.


The damage done by Bruce Rauner’s 736-day state budget impasse pushed over 25,000 children out of the state’s child care assistance program, drove high school graduates to out-of-state colleges, and reduced the credit rating of five public universities to junk status. After vetoing the entire FY18 state budget, Bruce Rauner amendatory vetoed the school funding reform bill (SB1) in order to insert a backdoor voucher program into the final school funding reform package (SB1947).


As governor, I will invest in a public education system that improves the well-being of every child and prepares them for the jobs of tomorrow. I will oppose school vouchers and charter school expansion and I will work to construct a stronger birth-to-five system of early childhood education. Every child deserves to enter kindergarten prepared for success. As governor, I will increase K-12 funding across the board because the state hasn’t done enough to help children in every school thrive. Finally, we will revive our community colleges and public universities by providing them with adequate resources and making college more affordable for low-income students.

Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos want to reduce the federal government’s investment in our greatest asset – our children – by threatening to cut more than $9 billion from the U.S. Department of Education. Their assault on public education will directly and disproportionately hurt low-income students. Rather than invest in programs that provide everyone with an opportunity to achieve their academic potential, Trump plans to drastically reduce funding and funnel savings into school choice programs.

Bruce Rauner has a long history with Betsy DeVos, which comes as no surprise given their overlapping agendas. Young children missed out on opportunities to learn and grow as a result of Rauner’s changes to the Child Care Assistance Program. High school graduates left the state in part because of the financial instability surrounding public universities and lack of MAP grants. The ‘short term pain’ associated with Rauner’s budget crisis came at the expense of children and families across our state. Like Donald Trump, Rauner’s narrow, special interest agenda threatens the well-being of children and families across the state.

In order to build a globally competitive workforce, we have to provide a world class education to every Illinois child. For over 20 years, I have been fighting for increased access to early childhood education and I won’t stop as governor. I’m going to take a two-generation approach to building a comprehensive, birth-to-five system of early childhood education. I plan to raise the state’s investment in K-12 schools to address the imbalance that exists between the share of state and local school funding. Finally, I will give our high school graduates a reason to stay in Illinois by making public universities more affordable, supporting our community colleges, and investing in our financial aid programs. We can achieve these goals by implementing a progressive income tax, where those who can afford it, pay more.


Restoring the Environment

Donald Trump is working to gut the EPA. He wants to eliminate both the Clean Power Plan designed to combat global warming and the Clean Water Rule, which would protect the drinking water of more than 117 million Americans. His withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is a stunning statement to the world that the U.S. will not be a partner in the work to mitigate the impacts of climate change.


Bruce Rauner has failed to join leaders and other governors across the country speaking out against Donald Trump’s environmental policies and has done nothing to defend our regional EPA office from proposed cuts. Rauner’s budget crisis has decimated conservation programs across the state and he refused to stand with regional governors in defense of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. It’s clear that protecting our precious environment is not a priority for this governor.


As governor, I will ensure Illinois upholds the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement by joining an alliance of states committed to upholding the accord. I will set the state on a path toward 100% clean renewable energy. I will fight to maintain full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and I will work to expand shared renewables like 14 other states and the District of Columbia, which already have plans in place. I will also defend our regional EPA office and restore funding to critical conservation programs across the state.

Donald Trump is compromising our future and our children’s future in his quest to disregard science and lead us to environmental ruin. Trump and his climate change denier EPA Director Scott Pruitt are systematically working to gut the EPA, proposing $2.6 billion in cuts to the agency that would slash 3,200 jobs. Trump is simultaneously working to eliminate the Clean Water Rule, which would ensure safe drinking water, as well as the Clean Power Plan, which set out to regulate energy plants powered by fossil fuels. On June 1, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, a historic international agreement between 195 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Trump’s withdrawal was a striking statement that the U.S. will not partner to reduce the impacts of climate change. 

Bruce Rauner has been silent as Donald Trump wages war on our environment. While leaders of cities and states across the country stepped forward to say that they will continue to uphold the provisions of the Paris agreement, Bruce Rauner failed to act. Rauner has done nothing to push back on Trump’s proposed cuts to the EPA, which could lead the Illinois regional office to close entirely or cut critical jobs and programs. In fact, Bruce Rauner’s director of the Illinois EPA is a former registered lobbyist who represented some of this state’s largest polluters. And, of course, the damage done by Rauner’s budget crisis has decimated conservation programs across the state.

As governor, I will stand with science, not with Donald Trump. One of my first acts will be joining responsible leaders across the country to ensure that Illinois upholds the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement. I will fight Donald Trump’s cuts to the EPA and ensure our regional office keeps its doors open. I will work to expand clean energy production and invest in green jobs. Finally, I will pass a budget that restores funding to the conservation programs that keep our environment safe and clean. Climate change is a real threat, and we have a responsibility to our children to act. I’m ready to do that as governor. 


Fighting for Immigration Reform


Instead of uniting our country to build a more tolerant and prosperous nation for everyone, Donald Trump has built his political career on divisive attacks against immigrant families. His relentless efforts to authorize an unconstitutional Muslim travel ban, build a wall on the Mexican border, and deport immigrants are tearing apart families and attacking the foundation of our American values.


Bruce Rauner has repeatedly chosen to undermine investments and policies that help improve the well-being and safety of immigrant children and families. He has repeatedly proposed eliminating funding for immigrant integration services and Illinois Welcoming Centers. He also vetoed legislation advanced by the University of Illinois that would have allowed undocumented students to serve as student trustees in their system.


I will make Illinois a welcoming state where everyone is treated with dignity and provided with an opportunity to achieve their human potential. Unlike Bruce Rauner, I refuse to be silent while Donald Trump terrorizes immigrant families. I will stand up against his bigoted policies and racist rhetoric. As governor, I will enhance funding for immigrant and refugee services, increase health care options for undocumented adults, improve the U-Visa certification process for victims of violent crimes, provide access to financial aid for undocumented students, oppose a federal registry program based on race, religion, and country of origin, and I will sign pro-immigrant laws like the Illinois Trust Act.

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Every generation, our country is strengthened by men and women from across the globe seeking freedom and opportunity here. Rather than welcome this generation of immigrant children and families, our president has demonized Mexicans, turned his back on Syrian refugees, and has implemented a modified travel ban to several Muslim-majority nations. Estimates from 2015 found that if Donald Trump were to succeed in deporting every undocumented immigrant in Illinois, the state could lose $25.6 billion in economic activity, $11.4 billion in gross state product, and approximately 119,214 jobs. We must protect our ideals and do everything possible to make the promise of America the practice of America.

Illinois should serve as a beacon of hope, a place where every person is given the tools to build a better life, contribute to their community, and help strengthen our economy. Illinois is home to approximately 1.8 million immigrants, but Bruce Rauner has done nothing to protect them from Donald Trump’s hateful agenda. In fact, he’s proactively taken steps to jettison immigrant integration programs and dilute pro-immigrant bills. Immigrants were nearly 18% of Illinois’ workforce in 2013, and in 2012 undocumented immigrants in Illinois paid approximately $793.7 million in state and local taxes.

Today’s immigrant families want the same thing my great-grandfather did when he came to the United States: safety, freedom, and the opportunity to build a better life. As governor, I will strive to build the social and economic infrastructure necessary to create opportunities for everyone, regardless of citizenship. Unlike our governor, I will welcome refugees with open arms and send a message to the president that Illinois is a welcoming state. I will restore and expand funding for immigrant integration services. Finally, I will proudly sign pro-immigrant bills like the Illinois Trust Act into law and look forward to standing with immigrant families to rebuild trust in our communities.


Standing Up to Intolerance


Donald Trump’s rhetoric has curated a culture of bigotry and fear in this country and he is now implementing policies to back that up. Trump rescinded critical Obama era criminal justice reform policies that led to fewer prosecutions of nonviolent, low-level drug offenders and fewer mandatory-minimum sentences. Trump also rolled back essential protections for transgender students and recently attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Trump even defended some neo-Nazis and white supremacists at a confederate rally in Charlottesville, Va.


Bruce Rauner has effectively defunded social services that give children, families and seniors the tools they need to build better lives.  And, under Rauner, Redeploy Illinois, which provides critical services to Illinois youth to address mental health issues, substance use, abuse, trauma and neglect, was cut approximately 33% from previous funding levels. Rauner likens Chicago’s public schools to prisons


As governor, I will bring people together to create opportunity and stand firm against hate. I will expand access to capital and support local entrepreneurs creating jobs where they are needed most. I will reverse Rauner’s cuts to critical after-school and anti-violence programs. I will declare that transgender individuals are welcome to serve their state as state troopers and I will stand against LGBT bullying and intolerance in our schools. Most importantly, I will seek diverse input and ensure all Illinoisans have a seat at the table and a voice in their government.

Donald Trump and his administration have supported and enacted flagrantly racist policies, from pledging to build a wall on the Mexican border to placing a travel ban on Muslims who want to come to the U.S. Trump rescinded a Department of Education guidance designed to protect transgender students. A new policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds a 2013 memo from then-Attorney General Eric Holder, which sought to reduce the use of mandatory minimums for non-violent offenders. Long sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders have not been proven to increase public safety, deter violence, or effectuate greater rehabilitation. However, they have been found to criminalize communities of color and drive up incarceration costs.

Under Bruce Rauner, hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, Arabs and Hispanics in Chicago hit five-year highs in 2016.  His administration has decimated social services in Illinois that primarily serve communities that need it the most. After-school programs for at-risk youth and preventative HIV programs for LGBTQ populations have been particularly devastated, despite clear evidence of their effectiveness. Rauner has done nothing to stand up for transgender Illinoisans in the face of Donald Trump’s blatant discrimination.

I’m proud to have worked with Holocaust survivors to build the Illinois Holocaust Museum, which educates tens of thousands of Illinois students and teachers on how to fight intolerance and hate every year. As governor, I will listen to the diverse experiences and views of Illinoisans and ensure those who have gone voiceless for far too long have a seat at the table. l will fund our social services and ensure access in communities that need them the most. I will stand with our transgender students and all Illinoisans against bigotry. Finally, I will fix our school funding formula and provide access to capital in communities that have been left behind. Illinoisans deserve a governor fighting to give all communities the opportunity to thrive. 


Join Me

Donald Trump has been president of the United States for over six months. This was not a sentence I ever anticipated having to write. It’s no secret that I opposed Trump in the 2016 election. I saw the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as one of the most consequential of my lifetime and I did not stay on the sidelines. I knocked on doors, made phone calls, raised money, and went on national TV to call out his hateful agenda. Like so many Americans, I woke up on November 9 saddened by the results. We lost.

In the days that followed, my greatest hope was that Trump would prove me wrong. For the sake of our country, I hoped that Trump would rise to the responsibility of holding our country’s highest office. Those hopes were quickly dashed. I won’t mince words. Donald Trump’s administration has been plagued by staggering incompetence on his best days and a flagrant disregard for our values, ethics, and the rule of law on his worst.

Our basic values and way of life here in Illinois are under threat. The long-term stability of this state and the well-being of our families is at stake if we don’t act. We need a governor ready to resist Donald Trump with every tool at their disposal and I am ready to be that governor.

I hope you will join me.


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