Chicago, IL— More than any other race in Illinois, the candidates for the 2014 Illinois gubernatorial race each present the most contrasting visions for the future of Illinois. Whatever the result, the impact of the pending election and how each candidate will approach the funding of the human services sector will drastically effect the fate of the state’s less fortunate. After a formal review, the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee (NASW IL PAC) announces its strong endorsement of Governor Pat Quinn and Lieutenant Governor Paul Vallas.
The greatest issue facing the next Illinois governor is without question the revenue shortfall and the resulting structural deficit in the Illinois state budget. Pat Quinn’s opponent’s budget proposal shows at best a complete lack of understanding of the realities of the state budget or at worst a callous approach regarding the needs of Illinois citizens. The last thing small business owners (who make up a sizable portion of our membership) and social service providers need is additional uncertainty in regards to where the state is headed and how the budgetary issues will be addressed.
The NASW IL PAC recognizes there will need to be a comprehensive approach to solving the state’s budget crisis. Gutting an already stretched thin human services budget when more and more Illinois families are reluctantly turning to the state to keep their families fed and their heat on is unconscionable.
The NASW Code of Ethics notes that “the primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty.” To accomplish the mission, the state requires a leader who understands the needs of the less fortunate.
We strongly believe in a comprehensive budget approach that will look at better efficiencies in state government and a revenue increase that takes a logical, responsible, and humane approach to the state budget crisis. This is an approach Governor Pat Quinn strongly supports and an approach that will best serve the people of Illinois.
Governor Quinn has also shown his ability to support policies that will positively impact Illinois citizens across the state. He successfully implemented the early aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Illinois, making access to physical and behavioral healthcare a reality for Illinois citizens. Governor Quinn has supported important nursing home reform in Illinois and is committed to making sure choices in care are available. Governor Quinn understands that in order for people’s lives to improve, they have to be paid a fair wage to pull themselves out of poverty. Governor Quinn understands the enormous challenges and potential sacrifices that lay ahead for Illinois. But he also understands that overcoming those challenges must be carried out humanely and responsibly. It is for those reasons and more that the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee (NASW IL PAC) announces its strong endorsement of Governor Pat Quinn and Paul Vallas.
Other Constitutional Offices:
Attorney General – Lisa M. Madigan (D)
Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s work protecting consumer rights, prosecuting elder abuse, and protecting Illinois children from predatory practices has been made her into one of Illinois’ finest constitutional officers. The NASW IL PAC strongly endorses Attorney General Lisa Madigan for another term.
Secretary of State – Jesse White (D)
The NASW IL PAC endorses Secretary of State Jessie White for another term.
Treasurer – Sen. Mike Frerichs (D)
As a longtime advocate of social services and veteran issues, the NASW IL PAC feels this state office will be well served and will undergo a much needed modernization under Sen. Frerichs. NASW IL PAC endorses Sen. Mike Frerichs for State Treasurer.
Comptroller – Judy Baar Topinka (R)
Comptroller Topinka has been instrumental to the success of the social service and nonprofit industry in Illinois. The very programs her opponent criticizes have saved social service agencies from taking on additional debt and from even closing for good. She has been an advocate for social service priority payments, and her door is always open to agencies needing help navigating the state payment system. The NASW IL PAC strongly endorses Judy Barr Topinka for another term.
Additional Illinois State Senate and House endorsements will be announced in the future.
The NASW IL PAC is the nonpartisan political arm of the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter. As a political action committee, the NASW IL PAC endorses and financially contributes to candidates from any party who support NASW’s policy agenda. The NASW Illinois Chapter is the largest professional association of social workers in the state of Illinois numbering over 7,000 members.