JB Pritzker

JB Pritzker

Democrat Party

Governor Candidate

Questions & Answers

For the November 2018 Election

What is the importance of the Illinois Governor to your constituents in Champaign County?

Champaign County is home to one of the best public universities in the country. U of I is a hub of economic development, and is a critical site of innovation, research, and training that must be lifted up to create economic prosperity in Illinois. But unfortunately, U of I, Champaign County, and communities across Illinois have suffered from decades of disinvestment. Under Governor Rauner, university funding in Illinois has been severely reduced, causing students and faculty to flee the state or fear for their futures. Instead of reversing this disinvestment, Rauner has bad mouthed Champaign County and exacerbated the problem with his multi-year budget crisis. As governor, my priorities will be investing in education from cradle to career, creating jobs, reducing property taxes by changing the way we fund schools, and expanding healthcare so families and communities in Champaign County and throughout our state have real opportunity to thrive.

Why are you qualified to be Governor?

I’ve spent my life getting big things done for Illinois families and communities in both the public and private sectors. For over 20 years, I’ve been a national advocate for early childhood education, including organizing the White House Summit on Early Childhood Education for President Obama in 2014. I chaired the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the state agency that helps people find justice when they’ve been discriminated against in housing or in the workplace. I worked with dedicated Holocaust survivors for a decade to build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which teaches more than 120,000 Illinois adults, students and teachers each year to fight bigotry, hatred, and intolerance.

I’ve also supported the Center on Wrongful Convictions in its critical work to reform our criminal justice system and fight for those who have experienced a miscarriage of justice. For more than a decade, I helped lead efforts to turn the Chicago region into a leading technology startup hub. I chaired ChicagoNEXT, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Committee for the City of Chicago, and helped create the Chicago Venture Summit and the healthcare startup center MATTER. I founded 1871, a non-profit startup business incubator, which has helped create over 7,000 new jobs in Illinois and has helped make Chicago one of the top technology hubs in the world. 1871 was recently ranked the world’s best business incubator.

What is a key policy difference between you and your Opponent[s]?

Bruce Rauner is a failed governor who has driven our state from crisis to crisis with devastating consequences for Illinois families. Rauner’s 736-day manufactured budget crisis decimated social services while tripling our backlog of unpaid bills and dragging our state down a path toward financial ruin while trying to force his special interest agenda on Illinois. As Rauner stumbled from crisis to crisis, he exacerbated our state’s problems by repeatedly bad mouthing our communities, including trashing Champaign-Urbana just recently. I have a history of getting big things done to lift up families all across the state. I will fight to reverse Rauner’s systemic disinvestment in Champaign County by investing in education, creating jobs, and expanding healthcare so every Illinois family has an opportunity to succeed.

Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter in Champaign County?

My parents raised me with a commitment to social and economic justice, and I have fought for and carried out those values throughout my life.

I have been a national leader and advocate for early childhood education, including universal preschool and quality childcare, and I have put forward a five-point plan to expand educational access and give every child an opportunity to achieve their full potential. Every child deserves a quality education from cradle to career.

I have proposed a comprehensive first-in-the-nation plan to expand healthcare called IllinoisCares. Originally proposed by President Obama, IllinoisCares is a public healthcare option that would allow every Illinois resident the chance to purchase lower cost health insurance, potentially saving Illinois families thousands of dollars on their health insurance premiums and offering expanded access to those who currently have no insurance. It will also allow small businesses the opportunity to provide low cost health coverage for their employees.

My plan for Illinois jobs will grow our economy, advancing opportunity for residents of Champaign County. It includes a focus on helping entrepreneurs create and grow small businesses by providing access to capital and training, with special emphasis on our state’s forgotten communities. By implementing my jobs plan, removing the instability brought on by Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership, and investing in our state’s infrastructure, I’m confident we can create good-paying jobs throughout Illinois.