With Labor Day behind us, elections are ahead of us. I’m writing to encourage eligible residents in our community to vote. Like many of our neighbors I’m already tired of the negative campaign ads on TV and radio, but this is a part of the democratic process. Gird yourselves for another two months of garbage and don’t let the negativity keep you away from the polls. One particular issue I would like to see debated is the increase in the minimum wage. I’ll be supporting candidates who favor increasing it.
In Illinois, minimum wage is currently $8.25. That’s $17,000 a year. Even though the price of fuel has been stable, other price and fee increases are putting pressure on vulnerable families. Quite a few Forest Park families are headed by a parent earning the minimum wage. These families are likely to have kids attending District 91 Schools. We are fortunate that registration for our schools did not include fees this year.
Our United States Senator Dick Durbin has been pushing to increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 – a modest two-dollar increase that would make a world of difference for minimum wage earners. Sen. Durbin’s opponent, Jim Oberweis, doesn’t support an increase in the minimum wage and he has spent a fortune running ads that are aimed at making Illinois voters identify Dick Durbin with “Dick” Nixon. We deserve leaders with real ideas, who have real connections to real Forest Park leaders, and who have made life better for our residents.
As a newly elected commissioner (in 2007) I had the chance to meet with Sen. Durbin’s staff in his Washington DC office to discuss issues related to revitalizing Roosevelt Road. More recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Senator Durbin and his wife Loretta earlier this summer. He understands our concerns as they relate to Roosevelt Road and economic development generally. He understands that the economic engine that is Hines VA Hospital, and the surrounding federal research campus, impacts Forest Park. Sen. Durbin and his partners in state government will continue to provide the resources that support our first responders, enhance our parks, and that allow us to improve our infrastructure.
Forest Park Village Commissioner