A new politics for the 12th District.
My name is Jimmy Garfield, and I am running for state representative in the 12th District. I believe that a lot of people have lost interest in these state races because they aren’t inspired by the candidates who run and aren’t sure what they can accomplish. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Springfield shouldn’t be blocking basic reform, but it does. Instead, it should be leading. We don’t have to wait for the federal government to improve the quality of our air and water, to provide healthcare to our citizenry, to reform our criminal justice system, or to improve our schools. I promise to build on some of the potential that has come out of the election of a Democratic governor and the progressive mood in Chicago to build coalitions committed to making a real difference.
I believe our district can make a big difference with the right leader supported by a grassroots movement to make change. I am committed to being that leader for all of us and to building the foundation of citizen engagement that will make that possible. Please keep your eye on this page for a site launch in the coming days, including ways to get involved with the campaign.
I am concerned about a number of issues, but these are a few that stand out as in need of urgent attention:
Criminal Justice Reform: We can make our communities safer through humane methods that are more effective and less expensive than our current system. I would begin the important work of criminal justice reform by banning private prisons; implementing more programs that allow restorative justice and drug treatment as options instead of incarceration; and by banning the felony box which makes people who have served their time check a box saying they were once incarcerated when applying for work.
Education: Our state is failing our children, plain and simple. Education reform is essential, but my very first priorities in this area would be bringing money and resources into our schools for early childhood, Pre-K, and SPED communities of young learners.
Environment: Whether I was running for office or not, I would tell my friends to not support any candidate without a salient plan to address our climate crisis. To begin with, I support the Illinois Green New Deal – we can bring this progressive idea to Illinois and not only address our environmental concerns but also create jobs.