Basic Values and Platform: Quick List of Platform Statements
Position Statement by Randy Auxier
- I favor the development of commuter rail systems in southern Illinois. Infrastructure investment should be heavily dedicated to reviving mass transportation. Particularly I favor the use of hydrogen powered trains. Please see this short video: https://vimeo.com/294881380
- I favor the development of the industries needed to supply the building of the new infrastructure, including the steel and materials needed to build trains and tracks. In particular, we need to take advantage of the presence and encourage the growth of the National Rail Equipment Corporation, right here in our district: https://www.nre.com/ Rails are our future, roads are the past. The kind of economic development associated with passenger rails will boost our small towns and their downtown businesses while making our workforce able to go wherever we can attract industry to build along the commuter lines.
- I favor a very small tax (sometimes called the “LaSalle Street Tax”) on contracts for the exchange of stocks and commodities exchanged in Illinois. The average contract is over $225,000, and a tax of $1 to $2 on each contract, an amount absolutely unnoticeable to the traders, would create 10 to 12 billion in revenue for Illinois every year. The people paying this tax are those best able to pay it, as distinct from the state lottery, which preys on the poor and essentially taxes those least able to pay. If we can tax the working people with a lottery, surely we can ask the wealthy traders of the world to chip in a dollar or two for the privilege of trading on the Wall Street of the Midwest. Entirely by itself, this tax can resolve our problems with state pensions, fully keeping our promises to retired state workers, and those still working and worrying about whether they can be secure in retirement. See http://lasallestreettax.org/
- Along with 67% of Illinoisans, I support the Fair Tax reform. It is deeply unwise for our state to make working families pay 12 to 14% of their household income to the state while the wealthiest pay less than 8%. Fixing Illinois starts with setting this inequity right. A fair tax in Illinois would secure our future and stop the exodus of residents and businesses from our state. I support the Responsible Budget Coalition, and the more than 300 organizations that make it up. Illinois has indeed taxed property owners and business owners to the point of draining our state of needed commerce, and of its very future. This makes sense and only the rigid and the rich would oppose it. Some will say that “we cannot trust the legislature with this, we need the state’s constitution to protect us.” I agree that the legislature has never been trustworthy, but I would point out that the state constitution is not protecting you right now from being taxed to death. The difference will come when you can actually hold your local legislators accountable for the taxes they levy. Right now you really can’t. The current arrangement isn’t working. We need to punt and start over.
- I favor single-payer universal healthcare. If the federal government cannot get this done, the state government should. Healthcare is a human right, but it is also a crucial part of maintaining a competitive workforce. Good healthcare in Illinois is in our best interest and could give us an advantage over neighboring states that have been too slow to take care of their workforce. The COVID 19 pandemic has alerted us to grave inadequacies and inequalities in our healthcare systems in Illinois. We must not let the lesson of the pandemic pass us by. We must be prepared, both economically and in terms of healthcare, for such events in the future. I favor the formation of taskforces to recommend both reforms and new initiatives to enhance our economic and medical preparedness for future challenges, including all threats to the health and well-being of the citizens of Illinois.
- I favor school funding reform to restore to our primary, secondary, and higher education systems in southern Illinois to the levels of funding and of excellence they once attained. Teachers are underpaid and over-supervised. We discourage our most talented teachers from remaining in the classroom, or from remaining in Illinois. We must provide teachers with autonomy, not requiring them to teach to a test that has no relation to our communities’ real educational needs. I favor local control of education, but I do not believe that property taxes alone can ever support K-12 and pre-school in the ways that make our region attractive to new businesses and young families. I favor large-scale reform of school funding at the state level, but if this is not workable, we must be pro-active in forming coalitions in our part of the state to create systems that do the work we need done.
- I have taught in higher education for thirty years, 20 of them at SIU Carbondale. I understand intimately what has gone wrong with higher education in Illinois, and with SIUC in particular. I favor the formation of a wide-ranging SIU system that includes the current community college campuses. Instead of competing with one another, where the quality of the education is not uniform, we need all higher education to be accessible to all of our people, convenient to their homes, and with as little out-of-pocket cost as possible. SIUC priced itself out of its market some years ago. The recovery will come from active measures to make SIUC affordable to people who live in this region, and to people who can reach this region by train. We can keep our young people in southern Illinois by making an excellent education affordable close to home.
- I will advocate the demilitarization of police and advocate new standards for qualifying to join a police service (no police "forces" are needed, anywhere). I do back the blue, but I want the police service in blue, not in camo and kevlar. I also join with the people who have demanded Justice for Molly Young, https://www.facebook.com/groups/180686205383827/. The problem lies with back-room dealing among executive offices, municipal and county, with backing from the state authorities, to suppress information from the public, to refuse prosecution, to manipulate investigation, and institutional protectionism that buttresses the blue wall of silence. It has to change. I will co-author and then introduce legislation to be sure that it does change.
- I support the best possible treatment for disorders and disabilities brought on by service to the US military, and the broadest possible benefits for those who have served our country.
- I support the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay for women, strong mechanisms of support for those who experience discrimination based on gender or sex.
- I support equal rights and benefits for the LGBTQ+ individuals and communities, and I support reasonable legislation to secure the rights and opportunities of these citizens of Illinois.
- I will support sensible gun legislation, including a ban on assault rifles or other firearms whose only realistic purpose is to kill multiple human beings. Apart from that, I believe local communities should have the right to determine their own policies regarding gun ownership and use, consistent with both their values and the safety of everyone who enters a town or county.
- I favor sensible plans for forgiving college debt. Our current college debt nationally exceeds the GDP of China for a year. That debt is preventing our young people from entering into the kinds of creative endeavors in business and other sectors that makes for a dynamic economy. It is in the interest of Illinois to have people making money, spending it, starting businesses, buying homes, and investing in their own futures, not paying huge chunks of their incomes to greedy companies that ought not be allowed the usury they currently enjoy. They do nothing but feed on young people’s hopes and then drain those hopes away as they collect interest, adding nothing to the working economy, for decades. We have taken the laudable ambition of young people to better themselves and used it to saddle them with half a lifetime of injurious debt. Not only must this end (see above), but we must help those who were damaged by this bait and switch to get on their financial feet and become masters of their own money.
- The legalization of recreational cannabis is a great step forward, but it is only one part of a much larger problem. I oppose with all of my energy the racist incarceration culture of the US, where Illinois is no exception, and I would begin the process of altering it by pressing for decriminalizing of victimless “crimes.” We must repeal and reform mandatory sentencing and work toward viewing “corrections” not as forced labor in exchange for profitable state contracts (it isn’t just license plates, folks: we sell our prison labor to many industries), as with the current model, but as education and training and work that leads to genuine opportunities for productive lives. Prison labor must be elective, and paid at a fair wage, with the wage partly directed to the support of families of those incarcerated, partly to help with the costs of incarceration, and partly held as a fund, with interest, to give those who are in transition a genuine opportunity to start productive lives after their terms have ended. We need fewer people in prison, and those who are should be working toward becoming productive citizens again.
- I favor alternative energy research and implementation, as well as the elimination, as quickly as possible, the unsustainable use of fossil fuels and non-renewable resources. I favor the extension of the tax credits that have accompanied solar conversion, and the development of energy-savvy communities that can contribute to the grid rather than lose money by paying to draw from it.
Illinois Green Party Platform:
Detailed ILGP 2018 platform:
Detailed ILGP 2018 platform:
US Green Party Platform:
Additional Local Platform Statements (list updated periodically; see Facebook posts too):
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