2nd Congressional District Forum! Meeting February 12!

With the race in the 2nd Congressional District heating up – Mayor Bloomberg is running ads against Debbie Halvorson’s position on guns, for instance – it’s time for us to get actively engaged in this race. We’ll start by seeing candidates (or their surrogates – it’s a short and extremely busy campaign cycle for these candidates and they can’t be everywhere at once) – at a forum on Saturday, February 9th. As we discussed at our meetings, we will hold this forum in the district.

Northside DFA has invited candidates in the IL-02 special election to respond to written candidate questionnaires. A few have decided to do so, including Sen. Toi Hutchinson and former Rep. Robin Kelly. Former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, the other frontrunner, has so-far declined to respond to the written questions and her campaign has said neither Halvorson nor a representative will participate in the NDFA forum.

NDFA has a verbal commitment from the owner of the Green Olive to host the forum there.

When? Saturday, February 9, noon to 2:00 PM
Where? Green Olive, 13501 S. Avenue N, Chicago (Hegewisch)
Who? So far, in addition to Hutchinson and Kelly, Anthony Williams and Patrick Brutus have responded to the questions. Both the campaigns of Ald. Anthony Beale and Joyce Washington have expressed intent to respond.

Transportation: There is plenty of parking and the Green Olive is near the train station (South Shore, aka "Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District", the Metra equivalent that goes to South Bend, IN) and the #30 CTA bus stops one block away.

Please RSVP for the event. The bar does have a capacity of 90 people. We would like to keep track of how many seats we have to offer the public. Also, NDFA wants to coordinate so people can travel together.

You can RSVP in one of several ways:
1) Through this online poll (best) http://www.doodle.com/tuu6ube48fzcnbm3
2) Respond to this email with your interest
3) Respond on Facebook to the invite

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, February 12: we’ll be talking about the fight for marriage equality in Illinois. We’ll have two perspectives on this: we’ll hear from Randy Hannig, the Director of Public Policy for Equality Illinois, and Rick Garcia, the Policy Director for the Civil Rights Agenda. We’ll also be voting on the race in the Illinois 2nd Congressional District. It will be a packed agenda: so join us at 7:00 pm for the meeting (6:00 pm for dinner/social hour) at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln Ave (2 blocks from the Irving Park Brown Line stop, free parking in rear off of Irving Park Blvd).

Comments

Anthony Beales questionnaire

Anthony Beales was unable to come to the NDFA Forum, and unable to send a representative.
But he did fill out a questionnaire, here it is:

Chicago Southside And South Suburban NAACP

Bruce Crosby 773-322-4411
bruceec1@yahoo.com

FIRST NAME: Anthony
LAST NAME: Beale
RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: 10005 S. Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60628
OFFICE ADDRESS (Campaign): 28 E. 112th Pl., Chicago IL 60628
OFFICE PHONE (Campaign): 773/941-8142
EMAIL AND/OR WEBSITE: info@bealeforcongress.com www.bealeforcongress.com
DATE OF BIRTH: 10/27/67

Have you ever been elected to public office, if so what and when?

Elected 9th Ward Alderman in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Elected ward committeeman in 2000 and again in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

1. The Affordable Care Act is 27,000 pages of complex legal speak, sweeping health care legislation, which immediately impact the elderly in the 2CD.
What plans do you have to assist residents of your district to deal with the changes?

The ward I serve has one of the largest populations of seniors in Chicago. I have overseen development of more new housing for seniors than in any other ward, in addition to other services designed to improve their health and quality of life. I will work to ensure access to information and counseling about the Act’s effect on seniors individually. However, I believe it is also important to continue advocating for initiatives that promote the physical and emotional well-being that should be part of total elder care.

I strongly agree with the goals of extending health care and preventative care to those who previously could not afford it. Unfortunately, thousands of residents of the 2nd District fall into this category. I believe by taking care of small patient problems before they grow into big ones can save us millions in unnecessary emergency room costs and that this approach will help make us a healthier nation in the long run. And I know that by making care available to those in need, especially children, we can become a healthier society.

While we really do not know what the true financial impact of the ACA will be, there is strong empirical evidence that the federal funding accompanying the expansion will significantly improve not only individual and public health, but also the fiscal stability of the state of Illinois. The additional cost of implementing the Medicaid expansion is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to be only a 2.8 percent increase from what states would have spent between 2014 and 2022 without the health reform law. However, this number is likely overstated as CBO calculations do not factor in the savings that state and local governments realize in their health care spending for the insured. The cost of the state’s share to cover newly eligible beneficiaries will be offset by the savings realized in reduced spending on uncompensated care.

In any event, Congress will have time to monitor and assess expansion of the Medicaid program as it rolls out. We will be able to implement improvements in the law so that unintended consequences and excessive costs can be controlled. Currently, hospitals and the drug industry dictate costs. National guidelines could help states control costs.

2. The Federal Trade Commission has been busy negotiating sweeping settlements with the likes of Facebook and Google to remedy past privacy violations, it has recently turned it's attention to mobile apps dealing with personal data, especially that of kids.
It is also continuing to work on a possible “Do Not Tract Standard" Through which browsers could tell Websites not to profile your activity for advertising use. Would you support “Do Not Tract Legislation”?

Yes

3. So far very little has been done on extending the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt ACT of 2007.
If this law is not extended homeowners will have to begin paying Income tax on the portion of their mortgage that is forgiven in a foreclosure, short sale, or principal reduction what will you do as congressman to prevent this from happening?

I will work to extend the 2007 Act extended or to ensure similar legislation is passed.

4. The cuts in Social Security that President Obama offered John Boehner would amount to a cut of more than 5% or current retiree benefits and even more as the year goes on. This deal would slash Social Security by $112 billion over the next decade. What will you do?

While Social Security faces challenges in the future, we must approach it from the standpoint of preserving not destroying this retirement security. This is a program that belongs to the American people—we all pay into it. I do not support efforts to privatize Social Security and strongly oppose the use of the Social Security Trust Fund as a slush fund for other federal spending. Seniors have spent their lives paying into Social Security with the pledge that they will be there for seniors upon retirement. We can and should take steps to strength Social Security, but we cannot go back on our responsibility to our seniors.

To ensure that Social Security is on a sound fiscal path, I support Congressman Peter DeFazio’s bill to lift the payroll tax cap on earnings above $250,000. This simple adjustment would affect less than two percent of Americans, but would raise more than $5.4 billion for the trust fund. I also believe that capital gains income, which is currently exempt from Social Security taxes from wealthy Americans should be considered as a possible revenue source.

People count on these vital programs for their retirement security, and as 2nd District Congressman, I will make sure that we reform them in a responsible way so they remain viable for future generations.

5. The most recent farm law, enacted in 2008, expired September 30, 2012 after attempts to pass a five year proposal failed. In the absence of new farm policy, agriculture programs automatically return to rules enacted in 1949, the basis of all subsequent legislation.
A budget deal passed by the US Senate early Jan1, 2013 would extend most U.S. farm support programs for a year. Will you support a full 5 year Reform Farm Bill?

I will support a bill that helps the small farmer, but believe there is too much directed toward corporate and absentee farmland owners.

6. The Export-Import Bank of The UNITED STATES (EX-IM BANK) is the official export credit agency of the UNITED STATES the EX-IM BANK'S mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.
The EX-IM BANK enables US companies large and small to turn export opportunities to real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contributes a stronger economy. If elected what would you do to broaden the use of the bank by 2nd CD business? Do to assure larger use of the Bank by 2nd CD businesses?
The 2nd District is blessed with great opportunity for international business, as a major transportation hub. Canadian National’s Intermodal yard in Harvey has already been designated a Foreign Trade Zone. Union Pacific has a similar operation in Dolton. Ports, trucking and completion of the South Suburban Airport will all enhance our international reputation and capabilities. I will continue championing these transportation assets as a way to encourage district businesses to begin or expand exports appropriate for the EX-IM Bank.

7. Legislation enacted in 1973 provides for a Cost of Living increase COLA. With COLA's social security and supplemental security income (SSI) benefits keep pace with inflation would you support legislation ending COLA’s?

No. Private industry can take COLAs into account when raising prices or executive salaries. We cannot disadvantage those who can least afford falling behind the cost of basic necessities.

8. The Glass-Stegal Act of 1933 explicitly separated Insurance companies, commercial (retail banks), and investment banks and in 1999 it was repealed. .
Do you think Glass-Stengel should be reauthorized?

Yes. We’ve definitely seen the huge cost of that repeal – except to certain financial insiders. Our financial system depends on trust, confidence and fair return on investments. We will not get that back with a continuation of the speculation, manipulation and greed that has come with letting financial institutions get in bed with each other.

9. Assassination has long been condemned in the U.S. Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to James Madison in 1789 that "Assassination poison [and perjury] were all legitimate purposes in the dark ages ... but exploded and held in horror in the 18th century." The CIA authorizing Drone strikes is assassination. How do plan on dealing with these secret assassinations?

I understand drones are considered less costly in terms of U.S. resources and lives lost. It’s hard to follow rules and processes designed for fighting other nations, but not guerrillas who can disappear into the countryside. Unfortunately, reports indicate more civilians have been killed than the targeted terrorists. Even military leaders have expressed concern such strikes merely undermine America’s credibility with current or potential allies. They give a handful of people enormous, secret power to engage in international conflicts. There hasn’t been much transparency about how someone gets on the “hit” list. That does not set a good example of a democracy or justice system. As President Obama brings selects new heads of key security departments, I would join legislators who want to re-visit the decision-making and checks/balancing process for authorizing Drone strikes.

10. The Obama Administration recently announced a new strategy for Sub Saharan Africa. The new long-term strategy is to work closely with strong economic and resilient parts of Africa. What is your opinion on Obama's African strategy and what would you do to improve it?

I have not seen much about the strategy. For example, I’m not sure what “strong economic and resilient parts” of Africa really means. All African countries have had to be resilient. Some of the strongest economies are also tied to corruption, autocrats or powerful minority rule. This is an important topic I would have to study more.

11. Africa represents 1 per cent of U.S. global investment. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The signature U.S. trade initiative with Africa, counts for only 2.5 per cent of U.S. annual imports.

Doing business in Africa is not easy. It takes 38 days to import and 32 days to export goods to Africa, compared to less than 10 days in Europe. What will you do to improve these numbers?

I would start by tapping into the expertise of hundreds of African entrepreneurs who live in or travel extensively within the U.S. Many are quite successful negotiating hurdles of importing/exporting to their countries. African and Arab businesspeople have said they would like the same attention paid to consulting them and their trade associations as is given to those from European and other countries.

12. Mark Kleiman of UCLA an influential drug - policy scholar say's " there is no question that the cost of the drug-war itself exceeds the cost of drug use. It is not even close ".
Will you support legislation to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 of the CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ACT?

Yes.

13. How far are you willing to go to protect Medicaid and Medicare?

Driving up costs for seniors and cutting benefits are neither wise nor realistic. I would oppose any plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program, which would not contain costs and would shift costs onto seniors who could least afford them. Medicare is a vital program that provides critical health care for a significant portion of our population, including those who are most vulnerable. We should do all we can to preserve benefits, while cutting waste and fraud from the program, modernize medical records to save money, and work to lower overall health care costs.

The bottom line is that Medicaid saves lives. Research shows that people who are uninsured have a greater chance of premature death than people who have insurance. Recent studies show that enrolling 500,000 people in Medicaid can lead to 2,840 fewer deaths per year. Expanding Medicaid pursuant to the ACA presents Illinois with a tremendous opportunity to reduce state spending, improve public health, and keep healthcare providers and hospitals solvent. This is a national priority and we must make it work. Other advanced industrial and post-industrial societies have done it. So can the United States, which is a leader in medical technology and the production of medical personnel.

14. How far are you willing to go to support Immigration Reform?

Undocumented workers are subject to conditions no better than countries without labor laws. They are used to provide unfair competition for workers who insist on standards that should be recognized in the U.S. I oppose enforcement-only efforts. I support reform done in a comprehensive manner to protect U.S. workers and reduce the exploitation of immigrant workers. The primary interconnected pieces recommended by most knowledgeable, open-minded experts include: (1) an independent commission to assess and manage future flows if immigrant workers, based on labor market shortages determined on the basis of actual need; (2) a secure and effective worker authorization mechanism; (3) rational operational control of the U.S. border; (4) adjustment of status for the current undocumented population; and (5) improvement, not expansion, of temporary worker visa programs, limited to temporary and seasonal, not permanent jobs.

15. 40% of the Co2 emissions produced in this century will remain in the atmosphere until at least 3,000, unrestrained emissions and global warming will not stop on their own. How do we control global warming?

Experts in the field stress the need to formulate a comprehensive global warming solution now that will address the problem within the next 20 years. They believe we still have a chance of curbing its worst effects or, ideally, reversing warming to some extent. I support their objective and criteria: focus on means that can be implemented with affordable, existing, appropriate technology; are scalable and therefore “democratic”; can work with or without government support; are environmentally nurturing and regenerative; and will advance a relatively smooth transition to sustainable economic and cultural institutions worldwide.

16. What solutions do you propose to prevent further mass shootings and reduce the 30,000 gun deaths in America each year?
Locally, Chicago led the nation with 506 homicides in 2012, most of which were gun related. Last year, 319 Chicago Public School children were shot—24 were killed. Vigorous enforcement of current laws and more effective gun legislation are needed to reduce gun violence. The guns and ammunition used in recent mass shootings were all legally purchased under current laws, including military-style assault weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. This is the result of numerous gaps and loopholes in the existing patchwork of state and national gun legislation. A 1994 federal law that banned the sale of military-style assault rifles expired in 2004.
A leader on public safety issues in the Chicago City Council, I co-sponsored the Chicago Gun Ordinance that (a) bans assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, (b) limits to one per month the number of handguns a resident may register and prohibits having more than one operating handgun at any given time, (c) requires residents in homes with children to secure handguns in lock boxes or to secure the weapon with trigger locks, (d) prohibits gun ownership for residents convicted of violent offenses, domestic violence or two or more DUI convictions; (e) requires maintenance by the police department of a database of all registered firearm owners in the city with information available to emergency first responders; and (f) imposes mandatory fingerprinting and firearm training for all prospective gun owners.
As the 2nd Congressional District Representative, I would support President Obama’s efforts to enact federal gun control legislation, and would aggressively pursue a common sense approach that strikes a reasonable balance between the 2nd Amendment rights of the Constitution and the compelling concerns of public safety. National legislation that would:
• Reinstate and strengthen the 1994 ban on the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of assault weapons;
• Ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of firing more than 10 rounds;
• Require “grandfathered” weapons (weapons legally owned prior to passage of the legislation) be reregistered under the National Firearms Act;
• Close the “gun show loophole” that allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns without conducting a background check;
• Close the private sale loophole;
• Require the reporting of any firearm that is lost or stolen;
• Oppose national concealed carry reciprocity.

17. It is reported that Illinois is 49th of the 50 states in addressing it Viet Nam Veteran issues, and is also behind Puerto Rico, this group nationwide has expired at ages of 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and thus far their 60s, where as we find that veterans of previous wars or conflicts survive well into their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond.

Again because Troops in Viet Nam were deliberately and maliciously exposed to deadly chemicals (Agents Orange and other deadly Defoliants) which appear to shorten their lives while the VA has assumed the attitude of Delay Deny Wait Till I Die towards Viet Nam Veterans, How would you address this serious VA intentional negligence in Illinois and nationwide.

I would fight for all the recommendations outlined by the Vietnam Veterans Of America LEGISLATIVE AGENDA & POLICY INITIATIVES, published in 2011. They cover the issues mentioned above, as well as such additional ones as homelessness, employment and the particular plight of minority and women vets.

18. What is your position on ENDA the End Discrimination in Employment Act?

I fully support ENDA. It simply extends basic protections against workplace discrimination to those at risk on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill is closely modeled on existing civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

19. Do you Support a National Living Wage and what do you think it should be?

According to The New York Times, “If the minimum wage had kept pace with the rise in executive salaries since 1990, America’s poorest paid workers would be making more than $23 and hour.” Some Illinois legislators propose raising the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.65 by 2014. Social scientists have said it’s impossible for a family of four to make it on less than $13.25 an hour. We must strike a balance between placing burdens on small businesses vs. establishing a rate high enough for the working poor to escape poverty. In the end, we all pay in higher taxes and crime, when people feel forced into survival mode. Even if a national living wage cannot be agreed upon, we should have a national standard for calculating minimum wages a certain percentage above what a family of four could live on in a particular part of the country.

20. What is your position on the President Obama's Plan to end the transmission of HIV and the cure of AIDS?

It is ambitious, comprehensive and a welcome initiative to address this global problem that affects over one million Americans. It is particularly need by low-income people of color whose numbers are rising because of lack of access to remediation efforts.

21. Do you support Social Enterprise Economic Development?

Yes. I have seen various definitions of this, usually referring to organizations that mix money-making and social impact. It can be an interim step between a heavily subsidized nonprofit or an independently sustainable end in itself. I agree with studies that say social enterprises are a necessary building block in economic development – utilizing talent, fostering innovations and contributing to everyone’s quality of life in a way that might not happen otherwise. The Chicago Chapter of Social Enterprise Alliance represents “organizations engaged in building effective, sustainable market-based enterprises, to address some of society’s most pressing problems like poverty, unemployment, labor market exploitation and environmental degradation.”

22. What is your opinion of Howard University Law School position opposing Proposition 8 in California and (DOMA) Defense of Marriage Act?

Howard University has produced many champions of civil rights and liberties. I am proud they joined other esteemed institutions in fighting the legalization of unjustified exclusion and discrimination.