Comments from Chris

 American Dream

“American history teaches us the same lessons over and over again.  We’re taught that we’re stronger together than when we’re alone.  This is our national story.  President Franklin Roosevelt, one of the wealthiest men of his generation, said, `We all go up or we will go down together.’ If the Trump and Rauner Republicans want a confrontation about protecting the American Dream, that’s OK.  If we must stand up for what we believe in, we will.  If we most choose sides, so be it.”— Rock Island County Democrats 49th Annual Salute to Labor (9/5/2016)

“We know what it takes to foster the American Dream.  First, we need to engage all of our citizens, not just the super-rich.  Second, we need to feed moms early with affordable and accessible food so they will have healthy kids.  Third, we need to get young minds working with early childhood education … We need to fund schools at the state level, and not just through property taxes so every has an equal chance …”— Illinois Municipal League (9/18/2015)

Arts

“The arts have a fundamental and profound role to play in our society and economy … the arts have the potential to be a transforming role for our community, ensuring that it will continue to embrace new ideas, welcome fresh concepts and fear no change.”— Illinois Arts Alliance (11/8/2007)

“The arts are what define us, not simply in terms of separating us from all other animals and living beings, but more importantly, the arts link us to ourselves, to each other, and to 50,000 years of human history.”— City Club of Chicago Luncheon (April 14, 2008)

“A strong gallery scene keeps neighborhoods attractive and vibrant, drawing more people downtown. Art galleries are important to all of us, whether we visit them or not. They are to redevelopment what prairie grass is to great forests. They are the precursor that prepares the landscape and sets all else in motion.— City Club of Chicago Luncheon (April 14, 2008)

President Barack Obama

“Chicago is a place where success comes from hard work and not from inherited stature.  It is a place where your social status is defined not by what you have taken from the community but what you have given back to the community.  It is a place where … the son of a Kenyan immigrant can grow up to be a United States Senator … This is the city we love and Barack Obama can tell the world our story.  Barack Obama has the capacity to help define the world’s view of Chicago.”— Introducing & endorsing U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama at Chris & Sheila’s home (July 22, 2004)

Budget Cuts

“If we invest in economic incubators, we can keep our children close to home. They will not need to leave our state to find jobs, they will not be forced to leave their families to seek work, they can stay in the towns they grew up in, and they can rely on their parents and uncles and aunts to help raise their children and pass on the values that they learned there as well. Governor Rauner’s cuts to these incubators are destroying our ability to create jobs in the future, which is critical to restoring the American Dream in our state. Rauner and his republican allies fooled us once in 2014, and shame on them. Let’s not let the Republicans get away with fooling us again in this year’s election.”— DuPage County Democratic Fundraiser (October 11, 2016)

“He’s butchered the programs that make government more efficient. He has cut home healthcare and is going to take people—the sick, the disabled, the elderly—out of their homes, where they cost dollars a day to support, and move them to emergency rooms, where they cost thousands of dollars a night to receive care. In so doing, he is reversing the incredible gains we have been making in providing efficient care for our most vulnerable. He’s cut off funding for tourism agencies and convention bureaus, shrinking our economy as he does so. He has gutted funding for higher education and economic incubators all around the state.”— DuPage County Democratic Fundraiser (October 11, 2016)

“I can’t imagine why in a democracy we would ever think about electing people to our government who would make things so much harder on the 46 million people living with disabilities or in poverty by threatening each and every day to tear apart a safety net that has taken over a hundred years to build.”— Madison County Democratic Dinner (October 1, 2014)

Democratic Party

“The Democratic Party is the party of the American Dream, and despite millions of dollars that will be spent against our candidates this fall we should not give up on the core mission of our party.  For Democrats, our goal is to find a way for every American to feel that the American Dream is their dream, too.”— Southern Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association (August 27, 2016)

“Let our party – the Democratic Party – the party of the American Dream, the party of independence, the party of immigrants, the party of small business and entrepreneurs – let us lead.  That is what we have always valued; this is who we are as Democrats.”— Madison County Democratic Party’s Annual JFK Dinner (October 1, 2014)

Disability Rights

If we believe we are in America, the home of the brave, can we also be the home of people with something else, too? If we have a national character, can we too have a national disorder? Well if an individual can be affected with this disorder, why can’t a nation? Maybe as a nation we have anasognosia, where we cannot seem to understand that we are suffering. We live in a country where there are 10 million people with schizophrenia and bipolar and major depression, often which cause substantial impairment, and something like 40% of them receive no treatment in a given year. We moved the seriously affected out of psychiatric hospitals where, in the 50s, we had 330 beds or more per hundred thousand people, and today, we only have 11 or 12 beds per hundred thousand people in our country to serve these people. Our largest overnight facility for people with mental illness is now our jail system and our prisons, where a huge percentage of inmates have untreated mental illness. We’ve arranged for our largest insurer of this population, Medicaid, to reimburse psychiatrists in a way that is so unrewarding that now many of these medical professionals won’t accept Medicaid or care for these patients as a result of this government policy. We are taking people whom we can treat at the cost of dollars a day and moving them into a prison system or an emergency medical system that can cost more than $1,000 a night. We as a country are not acting rationally. We as a people are acting as though we are impaired. We are presenting a national state of mind where we are not making good judgements. We may, as a people, in fact have anasagnosia where we refuse to recognize that we are not treating that part of ourselves that needs help.— Josselyn Center Benefit (November 5, 2016)

If you want support for my argument that perhaps we are suffering from a collective disorder, all you have to do is turn on your television this weekend and watch the ads for people running for office. In our state, in Illinois, the current government has thrown a million people—young children, disabled adults, and the infirm elderly—out of government programs in the last 18 months. It has cut funding for places like Josselyn. If you watch the television ads for people running for office in this state, almost none of them mention this fact. We see a fight on television between Rauner Republicans and Madigan Democrats, and apparently now, in American politics, who you are affiliated with is today more important than how you act, what you vote for, who you help, or who you hurt. The state government cut funding for Autism support, and it did so on National Autism Day, which also happened to be Good Friday. And in case you missed that fact, government leadership arranged for a press release, praising Governor Rauner and his “fiscal courage” for having done so. What has happened to our country?— Josselyn Center Benefit (November 5, 2016)

Today, from our city and state, we jam port cities from Rotterdam to Osaka with the products of our heartland. We dominate world markets from London to Tokyo with the products of our exchanges. Our companies like Exelon, Baxter and Motorola lead the world in fuel, healthcare and technology. But in Illinois our single greatest export to the world has been and may well always be the Special Olympics movement. People here in Illinois envisioned a fundamental change in how Americans would think of our disabled brothers and sisters. Our state inspired a movement which would quickly sweep across the United States and engulf the earth. The Special Olympics has sailed over oceans. It has touched every race, every religion, every ethnic group in every economic strata and in every system of government the world over. It has leapt over mountains, it has ringed the world, and as it has spread it has brought us all closer together. Let us do for recovery rights what we have done for Special Olympics.— Josselyn Center Benefit (November 5, 2016)

Economic Anxiety

“You can sense the frustration … in the despair of the millions of American who no longer participate, even by voting, in the public life of their country.”— Illinois Municipal League Conference (September 18, 2015)

“Governor Rauner and his allies are attacking the American Dream by cutting off support for education, defunding programs that help the poor, attempting to decimate unions, opposing the minimum wage and sabotaging our job-creating economic engines like community colleges and higher education research parks. People who get rich by fleecing the poor don’t deserve our adoration, our thanks or our votes. This Governor’s so-called turnaround agenda is a form of misdirection, part of the narrative that government doesn’t work so he must privatize it.  Let me challenge Governor Rauner’s false narrative of relentless negativity about our state head on.  Illinois is a great place to live, and Illinois is a great place to work.  The Governor is turning a government budget problem into a statewide economic crisis.”— Illinois AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

Economic Justice

“In these hopes, Illinois is America’s leader because Illinois is America’s greatest meritocracy.  We like investing in such a place where anyone can make it because, in a community where anyone can make it, we know that then any of the millions of citizens who live here might, during their lifetime, be a customer for space in our buildings.  If they hold good-paying jobs, then their employers are going to locate them in the good buildings that we build and operate.  If they command good salaries, they are going to be able to afford apartment rents in the towers we construct.  If they amass wealth, they’ll be able to buy condos that we design.  Simply put, if they can make it here, then we can make it here.  Just as the American economy has been good for us, we want to be good for the American economy.  We want to create at Wolf Point an economic engine that will contribute to this dynamic for everyone in our city.”— Illinois AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

“Today, poverty is the enemy of the American Dream, and some of the great historic causes of poverty are sickness and old age—or even poverty itself.  In America, you used to be able to work your way out of poverty, but now, in the United States, if you’re born poor, you’ll probably remain poor.”— Shriver Center Dinner (May 21, 2015)

“The groups that are growing are the ones that are least educated and therefore least likely to be economically self-sufficient. If nothing changes as a result of all of this, a smaller and smaller [group] of ultra-wealthy citizens will be burdened by higher and higher taxes necessary to fund government programs aimed at supporting these larger and larger economically underperforming [groups]. Eventually, the ultra-wealthy will move out of state and leave behind an economic disaster.”— Waukegan Community Meeting (February 17, 2015)

Education Justice

“The university systems still greatly favor wealthy, high-achieving students.  We know that the high-achieving students are almost always from wealthy families.  In fact, the New York Times reported that only 34% of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom quartile of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges.  Among top students in the highest income quartile, that figure was 78%.  The inequalities in higher education have been amplified by the insidious effects, unintended though they may be, of the U.S. News and World Report rankings.  Universities that used to provide scholarship money that was need-based are now reallocating it to merit-based scholarship in an effort to buy in the students with the best high school GPAs and highest ACT or SAT scores in order to move up the ranks.  We are, in effect, recirculating these charitable dollars among the rich because we know that high-achieving high school students are almost always from wealthy families.  We are removing one more device that provided access between the lower economic quintiles and the upper quintiles by limiting scholarship dollars that are need-based.  This educational achievement gap creates a structural barrier to success, amplifying challenges to the poor and violating the tenants of the American ideal.  To make things more challenging for these people, enormous degree inflation has occurred, and jobs which did not used to require a college degree now require one.— IIT Global Gathering Event (September 20, 2014)

Elementary & Secondary Education

“The core of the mobility issue begins early on.  If you study the issue, even a little bit, you learn that poor kids don’t’ have access to school that are as good as the schools in wealthy neighborhoods. The rich live near the rich and the poor live near the poor.  As a result, the poor have no access to the tax base that funds the school systems that the rich kids go to … Bruce Rauner is trying to make a bad situation worse … If he’s successful, he’s going to further isolate the poor and leave them limited access to the benefits of living in the wealthiest country in the world.”— Illinois Municipal League Conference (September 18, 2015)

Farming

“The state government has been retreating from its leadership role with significant cuts in funding to agricultural leadership, including cuts to grant programs run at ACES, funding for the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research and AgriFirst, as well as broad cuts to the Illinois Department of Agriculture itself.”— Chicago Farmers Club (December 12, 2016)

“Agriculture can’t be seen in isolation.  It touches every part of our economy, from transportation and logistics to retail to anti-poverty programs, from big pharma to biological sciences and technology…Agriculture in Illinois is too important not to be guided by a comprehensive strategic plan and one which links universities to industry…By working together, we can have the best outcomes of any state in the nation…Let’s pull it all (private sector, public universities, private foundations, etc.) together to work for agriculture.”— Chicago Farmers Club (December 12, 2016)

“Thirty years ago, I dreamt of coming to Illinois to learn the fundamentals of food distribution in the United States so that I could find a way to work in the industry and contribute to the fight against hunger.  I wanted to be part of what I considered a movement to tie together the two great traditions of American values:  free enterprise and a dedication to the common wealth.”— Chicago Farmers Club (December 12, 2016)

“There may be a place like Silicon Valley, with more venture capital than we have, and there may be states that have exchanges like ours or universities like ours and an educated population like ours. But we, unlike everyone else, have it all. We in Illinois have huge crops and giant yields, corn and soybeans, long rivers and Great Lakes, the Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange, Abbott and Baxter, ADM and Kraft, Caterpillar and John Deere, Fermi and Argonne, iBio and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, World Business Chicago and the Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, super computers and great engineering. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no place in the entire world with more assets in one place than ours.— Chicago Farmers Club (December 12, 2016)

Global Example

“We are living in global times, and just as our forefathers borrowed ideas from their neighbors across the alley, we can borrow ideas from our neighbors across the world.”— Earth Hour Press Conference (February 15, 2008)

“We have the mantle of leadership, and it is our duty to continue the idea of the Great American Experiment—the notion that we can create a better city and state by adopting the best ideas from every country around the world.  The world continues to look to us, and we have a chance to show them the way by simply embracing their best ideas.”— Earth Hour Press Conference (February 15, 2008)

Higher Education

“Our state’s university research institutions have a special role in creating not just jobs and companies but to fulfill the potential to spawn entire industries which can contribute to the economic rebirth of each state and entire regions.  I think there is a unique role that research universities play in the economy of our country and therefore in the communities which that economy supports.  That special role is the creation of new knowledge, which leads to the development of new products, which ultimately leads to new jobs.”— Illinois Board of Higher Education Welcoming Remarks (October 1, 2013)

Public academic research institutions are the greatest renewable resource in this country.  Let’s protect the ones that we have in Illinois.  We can beat back the forces of recession; we can engage in economic development; we can create jobs; we can give our own children careers and we can protect the future of our state.”— University of Illinois Connection Remarks (September 10, 2011)

Southern Illinois University has the potential to be a perpetual job-creation machine.  I know how this dynamic works.  I have seen it up close.  I have seen it in places like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Research Triangle, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas, and in Silicon Valley.”— Franklin County Democratic Party’s JFK Dinner (September 24, 2016)

“The University of Illinois has one of the strongest engineering programs in the world. It has some of the most robust computational power housed in the fastest computers in the nation and it has the College of ACES – a school that we believe is second to none. Our state’s university research institutions have a special role in creating not just jobs and companies but to fulfill the potential to spawn entire industries which can contribute to the economic rebirth of each state and entire regions … That special role is the creation of new knowledge, which leads to the development of new products, which ultimately leads to new jobs.”— Chicago Farmers Club (December 12, 2016)

“States around us—places like Kentucky, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana—see their universities as economic engines.  They see them as an opportunity to invest in those things that will create jobs and lure in the best and the brightest.  They are taking our best and brightest.  They are fishing in our pond; they’re eating our lunch; they’re stealing our young people, and those young people may never come back.  And for us to be losing the greatest asset that we have, which is young people, that’s a long-term disaster and it’s unforgivable.— Better Government Association Luncheon (September 27, 2016)

“I think there is a special role that public research universities play in the economy of a state and therefore in the communities which that economy supports. That special role is the creation of new knowledge, which leads to the development of new products, which ultimately leads to new jobs. Perhaps the only perpetual job-creation activity that a government can engage in is funding academic research institutions in higher education like the University of Illinois.”— Marshall Forum on Transatlantic Affairs (September 11, 2011)

IL Economy Under Rauner

“The governor is turning a government budget problem into a statewide economic crisis.— AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

“We are living in a time when some national leaders, like Donald Trump, and some state leaders, like Bruce Rauner, are held up as examples to our children, teaching our kids a new and ugly form of economics, that what you need should not determine what you get. Instead, they want to convince us that what you get should be determined by what you take. This is a lesson that no generation in our country has been taught since the age of the robber barons.”— AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

“The governor is turning a government budget problem into a statewide economic crisis. He has thrown a million people—children, the elderly, the disabled—out of state programs in the first 18 months of his tenure, and he has not asked any member of his economic class to make the slightest of sacrifices. The suffering and chaos he has unleashed need to end. As we deal with the economic issues we face at the hands of a budget held hostage, our focus must be on ensuring that everyone in every part of our state has opportunity for a good job and a long career.”— DuPage County Democratic Fundraiser (October 11, 2016)

“Anybody who’s ever battled the bureaucracy of a governmental entity knows that, in the end, as a small business leader or as a private citizen your greatest ally is always your local elected official…Someone should tell Rauner that not everyone has access to pin-stripe lobbyists, delivering government contracts like he does.”— Madison County Democratic Dinner (October 1, 2014)

Jobs & Economic Growth

“In Illinois, good things only happen when lots of different people from across the state in a range of industries with diverse backgrounds and varied interests come together to find common ground and to work side by side … We, unlike everyone else, have it all.  We in Illinois have huge crops and giant yields, corn and soybeans, long rivers and Great Lakes, the Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange, Abbott and Baxter, ADM and Kraft, Caterpillar and John Deere, Fermi and Argonne, iBio and the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition … Ladies and gentlemen, there is no place in the entire world with more assets in one place than ours.”— Chicago Farmers Club (December 12, 2016)

Minimum Wage

“Perhaps the two greatest contributors to the expansion of the American Dream in the 20th century were unionization and increases in the minimum wage – and Bruce Rauner has made both his enemy.”— Madison County Democratic Party’s Annual JFK Dinner (October 1, 2014)

Organized Labor

“I know first-hand that it is possible to be pro-business and pro-labor.  I believe that partnering with union labor provides a competitive advantage.  I believe this because it has been my experience during my entire work life.”— Rock Island County Democrats’ 49th Annual Salute to Labor (September 5, 2016)

“The notion of appreciation, the message that strength comes from unity, the philosophy that we can accomplish more by working together than by working alone, and the idea that we should be thankful not only for our work — but more importantly — for the people with whom we work, are the essential messages of the celebration of Labor Day.”— Merchandise Mart Center Labor Day Employees Luncheon (September 2, 2005)

“For 30 years, I have believed that union labor in Illinois is a competitive advantage for the businesses located here.  I have seen it up-close and first-hand at The Merchandise Mart.”— AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

“With an all-union shop, we competed with and beat out non-union businesses around the country and around the world.  Day-in and day-out, the frontline union staff provided our clients better customer service, which was built on faster response times, more skilled labor, and a commitment to excellence that clients could not get anywhere else.”— AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

“In the last gubernatorial election, most political insiders recognized that the election was divisive for the healthcare field. The lobbyists who traditionally represented doctors seemed to favor Bruce Rauner, and lobbyists who traditionally represented hospitals seemed to support Pat Quinn. It is now perceived that the governor’s office created budget documents that will, in effect, disproportionally punish hospitals, including the safety-net hospitals that surround the University of Illinois on the near west side. I can tell you that, if the small safety net hospitals like Mt. Sinai, fail, their patient load will overwhelm the capacity to absorb them at the University of Illinois hospital, and this will threaten the very existence of our state hospital and the power of our medical school and perhaps threaten the economic viability of the entire University itself. Northwestern, Loyola and U of C and many other regional hospitals will face the same fate. We cannot let revenge politics destroy social service networks and some of the greatest healthcare economic engines the state has.”— Illinois Municipal League (September 18, 2015)

Small Business

“We need your entrepreneurial spirit in this state now more than ever.  Supporting an entrepreneurial economy is how I’ve spent most of my business career … It may be helpful to understand my experience in supporting small businesses, which fundamentally shapes by views regarding the importance of small firms that are part of a much larger economic development philosophy.”— Small Business Expo (September 10, 2016)

“Family businesses are under a lot of pressure these days. Consolidation has probably been the single most important economic trend of the last two decades. Half of the entire United States fast food industry is controlled by just six companies. Consolidation is affecting financial institutions, and it is affecting retail, manufacturing, and large-scale corporate mergers and acquisitions as well. But the real estate and construction industries are the bulwark against these massive trends of consolidation and conformity. You are the spearhead of individuality and one of the only things keeping our cities and our country from subsuming to the effects of robotic leadership and generic branding offered by big-box retailers or the oppressive limitations in our choices, forced upon us by enormous corporate entities. I love Chicago, and Chicago loves the development community because you celebrate not just stability and community, not just history and preservation, but you celebrate architecture and design, uniqueness and individuality. The Chicago development community preserves the unique choices, the one-of-a-kind experiences, and the individual identities that makes this city different from all others. It is the developments that you work on that make the city of Chicago a world-class city that is second to none. It is in your developments where the workplace of the future is defined, where the residential neighborhoods are preserved and where the business future of our larger community will ultimately be determined. As corporate citizens, we understand the fact that, for our real estate business, Chicago is our hometown. We want to work with others who want a safe downtown and vibrant neighborhoods, lower taxes, an expanding economy and a growing tax base. We want to support good schools, great hospitals and research labs and see our future’s exchanges grow. We want to live in a city where laborers and tradesmen can send their kids to college and afford to live in a home they own. Where every high school kid can get a job and every new immigrant can find work and share in the American dream. The challenges we face from consolidation make it even more imperative that we pause tonight to celebrate the successes of family businesses that are all around us this evening. Let’s celebrate the family businesses that keep our city so unique.”— City of Hope Gala (November 10, 2016)

“Tradeshows are attractions. They are incubators. Many of these companies who exhibit at an event will look upon a tradeshow as an entry point to the Chicago market. If a company does well in a tradeshow here, they will often be attracted to grow into office users, employers and taxpayers. A tourism based economy, with its blossoming effect on the hospitality infrastructure, helps attract companies to relocate to Chicago. When companies… relocate to the Chicago area, they make the decision by looking at the quality of life for their employees. These companies want to be where the best workers are attracted to live and to raise their children. Our shows, with their millions of dollars of economic impact, are a catalyst for an attractive, robust, and diversified economic base.”— City Club of Chicago (April 14, 2008)

Southern Illinois

“In Southern Illinois, there is a lot of big-heartedness, and there is a lot of pride … We must preserve and protect the pride that everyone who has been associated with our state has.  If citizens are proud to live in Illinois, then more of them will stay here and more people will move here … we cannot obtain it with cheap wages or false honor … Illinois must work to reclaim its status as best in its class, in every aspect of its being.”— Franklin County Democratic Party’s JFK Dinner (September 24, 2016)

State Budget

“The fact that one man (Rauner) is holding the entire state hostage for an agenda that very few people think is more critical than a state budget it wrong … With no budget, Governor Rauner has introduced chaos, uncertainty and the unknown.  Governor Rauner’s decision to use the state budget as a hostage-taking exercise is reckless.— Illinois Municipal League Conference (September 18, 2015)

Sustainability / Environment / Green Energy

“We want to attract and retain the young people who want to live in a world where they can be part of a (green-energy) revolution in which they themselves bring about change.  Perhaps the greatest way to signal that we are such a dynamic community is to demonstrate that the challenges of protecting our environment are being met with creative ideas and new ways of fixing old problems.”— Green Ribbon Committee Breakfast (February 8, 2011)

“Sustainability is proof of viability. If a building is environmentally sustainable, then it is economically sustainable.  This is true not just for buildings but for entire communities as well. For a city or region, economic sustainability is now dependent on environmental sustainability.”— Chicago-area Mayors River Summit (April 18, 2008)

“Companies are attracted to the quality of life in Chicago.  They want to be where the best workers are attracted to live and to raise their children in the best communities.  These workers are attracted to our bike paths and the clean lake and our sustainability story.  When the corporations we attract to take space in our buildings are in the marketplace trying to recruit new executives or even entry-level staff, this talent wants to know what the company or a city as a whole is doing about sustainability, alternative energy, and green roofs.  The young people want their imaginations fired by leadership which is constantly pushing them to be on the leading edge of the sustainability movement.  If they relocate to a city, they want proof that in the future they won’t be burdened by the deferred costs of environmental mismanagement in the past, and they have the confidence in our region because of the political will that exists in this community which is a tribute to all of you.  They are reassured by the fact that we are choosing to face these environmental challenges now instead forcing our children to face the challenges in the future.”— Chicago-area Mayors River Summit (April 18, 2008)

“We want the city of great architecture to be known as the city of green architecture.  Great architecture is now green architecture, great cities are green cities, and great buildings are green buildings.  Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper, we are the bedrock of the tall building, and we are America’s greatest architectural city.”— Chicago-area Mayors River Summit (April 18, 2008)

“We have the mantle of leadership, and it is our duty to continue the idea of the Great American Experiment – the notion that we can create a better city and state by adopting the best ideas from every country around the world. We are living in global times, and just as our forefathers borrowed ideas from their neighbors across the alley, we can borrow ideas from our neighbors across the world.”— Chicago-area Mayors River Summit (April 18, 2008)

Tourism

“We want to help diversity our economy by exposing Chicago to industry executives from leading firms in manufacturing, high-tech and consumer goods who may choose Chicago to relocate or expand … We want to support good schools, great hospitals and research labs and see our future’s grow.  We want to promote our great city, expand its involvement with international trade and retain workers.”— Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (April 30, 2010)

“Nothing is more important to the future of Illinois … [and the] health of the economy of the state, our quality of life and the competitive positioning of our region on the national and global stage than the University of Illinois.  The University of Illinois has the potential to be a perpetual job-creation machine.”— Rotary  (January 12, 2011)

“Every time we attract new residents to our downtown, we make a contribution to strengthen the social fabric of our city.  Our new residents eat in restaurants and engage in neighborhood activities which provide starting jobs to low-skilled workers at a living wage.  From the new businesses that are fueling our new high-tech economy in Chicago to the entry-level workers just starting off, the economic boost we can provide on Wolf Point will help all of us.”— Illinois AFL-CIO Convention (September 29, 2016)

Youth

“Let’s think of the next generation of Illinoisans.  They are our collective children and we want to keep them close to home.  To do that, they need the promise of good jobs and great careers … If successful, they will create a state that everyone wants to be a part of. No generation in a hundred years has lived in an America which has as limited upward mobility, and the freedom that goes with it, as this generation – our children’s generation.  We need to restore the American Dream for our children, and I believe by working together we as Democrats have the power to do so.”— Southern Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association (August 27, 2016)

“These are the young people who will reinvent our society over and over again with new ideas that create new companies, which hire new employees, who pay taxes which support schools, which educate a whole new generation ready to begin the cycle again.”— Illinois Farm Bureau (March 1, 2012)

“The University will thrive, and it will ultimately serve the best interests of the State and its people. More than anything else, we want for ourselves what every western democracy wants for itself—we want to retain in Illinois the minds of our young researchers and brilliant students. These are our collective children, and we want to keep them close to home. These are the young people who we want to recruit to our offices. These are the young people who we want leading our companies in the future.”— PCI / IBDC Meeting (October 12, 2011)

“We need change, not just incremental change or the ebb and flow of a sea change, but fundamental change brought on by people who are themselves game changers.”— Chicago-area Mayors’ River Summit (April 18, 2008)

“As we deal with economic issues we face at the hands of a budget held hostage, our focus must be on ensuring that everyone in every part of our state has opportunity for a good job and long career.”— Madison County Democratic Party’s Annual JFK Dinner (October 1, 2014)