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NASW Illinois Chapter PAC Endorses Governor Pat Quinn for Governor

National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee Endorses Governor Pat Quinn for Governor

More than any other race in Illinois, the 2010 Illinois gubernatorial race presents two very different visions for the state of Illinois in how it will approach the funding of the human services sector and ultimately the fate of the state’s less fortunate. After speaking with both candidates, the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter (NASW IL) Political Action Committee (PAC) announces its strong endorsement of Governor Pat Quinn.

The greatest issue facing the next governor is without question how to deal with the revenue shortfall and the structural deficit in the Illinois state budget. Senator Bill Brady’s proposal to cut all services to Illinois citizens by 10% across the board, without regard of its impact, either shows a complete lack of understanding of the realities of the state budget, or a callous approach regarding the needs of Illinois.

When asked about his budget proposal during his candidate interview, Senator Brady replied, “Like the state, people on assistance are going to have to reimagine themselves.” While this may make for a quick campaign sound bite, that statement alone reflects the lack of recognition and understanding Senator Brady has about the very real needs of the people of Illinois and how vital certain types of state assistance is to those who are less fortunate.

Is Senator Brady going to tell an abused mother seeking assistance to get out of an abusive relationship that she needs to reimagine herself? Is Senator Brady going to tell the foster child requiring mental health services to just reimagine him- or herself and that everything will be fine? How about our state’s out-of-work families, aging population, veterans, and the hundreds of thousands of other people who rely on state assistance—is Senator Brady serious that all these individuals need to reimagine themselves? Social workers understand what is takes for those less fortunate to raise themselves out of adversity. And it goes well beyond reimagining oneself.

The NASW IL PAC recognizes that there will need to be a comprehensive approach to solving the state’s budget crisis. Gutting an already stretched-too-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—seems 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 that the only logical, responsible, and humane approach to the Illinois state budget crisis is a comprehensive budget approach that will look at better efficiencies in government as well as increased revenue. 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 has already gotten to work implementing the Affordable Care Act in Illinois, making access to physical and behavioral health care 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 the enormous challenges and potential sacrifices that lay ahead for Illinois. But he also understands that overcoming those challenges can be carried out humanely and responsibly.

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.

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