More than 1,500 people showed up on Sunday, October 8, to a forum organized by Our Revolution’s Illinois local groups and fifty other progressive groups in the hopes of gaining a clearer idea of who to support in the March 2018 Democratic primary. All seven of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates attended including Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman, Chris Kennedy, Alex Paterakis, Ameya Pawar, and J.B. Pritzker.
The goal of the forum was for Illinois voters to be able to walk away with a sense of which candidates would base their politics on progressive values. Voters were able to hear specific policies on issues as varied as single-payer healthcare and bringing Amazon headquarters to the state. All who are running support a raise of the minimum wage to $15 and will support whomever is elected. Kathy Doherty an attendee, in an interview with the Chicago Sun Time, described the event:
“This was a good opportunity to gauge who you want to follow. I came in not knowing who some of the candidates were and for people like me who are up in the air this is an excellent thing.”
Illinois gubernatorial candidates Alex Paterakis (left), Ameya Pawar, J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss, Tio Hardiman and Bob Daiber. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Bridget Doherty Trebing, a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, said, “I care deeply about what they have to say about public education, and what their relationships are with other officials.” She was glad that Madigan had been brought up.
In the 2016 presidential primary, Senator Bernie Sanders received 48.7 percent of the vote. Progressives have an opportunity to influence this primary in a way that brings real change to the Illinois Governor’s Office. Progressive support is highly sought after in the 2018 election. With such dramatic change possible in this race it is vital that voters are given the chance to listen to the platforms. Either a candidate is for the working class or not. They will either implement progressive values or they won’t.
This form demonstrated two things: progressive voters are showing up and getting involved in greater numbers and the politicians are noticing. Seven people running for office came and spoke to voters because they see the power of our organizing. When working class people of all races and backgrounds organize, we win.
By providing residents a chance to hear from the candidates the local Our Revolution groups are doing their part to ensure a safe future for progressive politics in the state. Get involved in one of the local groups to help plan future actions like this forum!
No group in your city? Make an official Our Revolution chapter, get access to digital tools and resources for your group, and get it on the map! Register your group here.