1.) What is the importance of the US Congress to residents of Champaign County?
We need real representation in Congress fighting for federal investment in Champaign’s infrastructure and economy. The opportunities here span from investments in clean energy by encouraging the installation of solar and wind farms to addressing the housing crisis with federal funds for new construction and modernization of affordable housing. Given the presence of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the federal government can also play an important role by providing student assistance through Pell grants and loans or investments in research and development and small businesses.
2.) Why are you qualified to be a member of the US Congress?
The job of our representative is to carry the concerns of the people of the 13th to Washington. As a lifelong resident, voter, taxpayer and mother in this community, as well as a UIUC graduate, I know firsthand the challenges that people in Central Illinois face. I have focused my campaign on bringing people together to solve these challenges and I believe the broad support for my candidacy demonstrates the strong coalition we are building. I am proud to once again receive the endorsements of End Citizens United, an organization dedicated to getting big money out of politics, as well as by the League of Conservation Voters who share my belief that clean water, air and land are human rights. Additionally, EMILY’s List and Planned Parenthood are once again supporting me because I join them in trusting women to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families.
3.) If elected, what is something you want to accomplish as a Member of Congress, and how long will it take?
In 2009, when my son Jack was 12, he lay in the pediatric intensive care unit in critical condition. Jack had developed a rare, life-threatening illness from a tick bite. We were sitting in a hospital where our previously healthy son was in a medically induced coma with a ventilator breathing for him, fighting for his life. After 24 days, Jack started on the long road to recovery. I am so grateful for the medical team that saved his life, for the community that rallied behind us, and for the insurance coverage that helped us avoid bankruptcy. In 2009, my husband and I lived every parent’s nightmare, but because we had access to quality health care we brought my son home and our family did not go bankrupt.
4.) Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
From the high costs of prescription drugs to preventing gun violence to climate change, we need representatives working together to find commonsense solutions. Instead of working for us, however, we currently have a Congressman who works for the big corporations and special interests. Rep. Davis has voted eleven times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Pharma corporate PACs while voting against lowering prescription drug costs. He has taken money from Big Oil corporate PACs and the NRA while voting against legislation to keep us in the Paris Climate Accord and against requiring universal background checks for firearm purchases.