"Illinois Needs a 'People's Agenda'"

Amisha Patel is executive director of Grassroots Collaborative.

We are entering into another budget season with diminishing hope. Governor Bruce Rauner’s third budget address went fully as we expected. The billionaire governor continued his war on the people of Illinois. Over the last year, as everyday folks felt the misery the governor’s refusal to fund the state had wrought, Rauner was amassing a war chest from his wealthy friends and building a gilded Republican political machine.

The people of Illinois want a fair and just state governed by the people for the people. Unfortunately, voters who believed Rauner would turn around Illinois have learned that he is the ultimate of insiders — one that gets the work done for his wealthy corporate friends at the expense of the people of Illinois. He enriches his friends, plays politics with people’s lives, and is destroying the social contract in Illinois.

The people of Illinois do not need watered down worker protections, unfair minimum wages, and retirement security deals struck between corporate lobbyists and political power brokers in back rooms. We need a full about-face from the policy of disinvestment. We need a People’s Agenda.

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