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The Issues

This state belongs to the people. We need to get to a place where the government works for us, and with us. That means property tax reform for equal access to education and a conversation that serves all our communities. That means creating an Illinois we’re proud to be from.

The Economy & Job Creation

Chris Kennedy believes that our state government can and must do more to drive job creation and economic development throughout Illinois. As governor, Chris will drive an aggressive strategy to keep businesses in Illinois, grow those businesses, and attract new investments to keep and create more jobs.

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Health Care

Chris Kennedy believes Illinois should expand health care while working to drive down healthcare costs for everyone. To guarantee everyone health care, Chris believes the United States should proactively move toward a single-payer system and he wants Illinois to help by proactively leading the effort.

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Gun Violence

As someone who comes from a family that has been deeply impacted by gun violence, Chris Kennedy is committed to addressing the challenge of violence in our state. Chris believes we need to combat violence in three key ways: addressing violence as a public health issue by providing trauma treatment and mental health services; curbing illegal gun access; and revitalizing schools and communities afflicted by gun violence.

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Education

Chris Kennedy believes that education is critical to the future of our state. He believes we should benchmark ourselves against other states and identify what we want to achieve here in Illinois - a growing economy, shrinking government burdens, and generate great outcomes for every citizen. In all of these areas, the foundation for success comes from providing everyone with a great education.

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Infrastructure

Chris Kennedy will reinvest in Illinois’ infrastructure and create jobs in all sectors: from construction to utilities, agriculture to logistics, and small business to big business, together, we will put our collective shoulder to the wheel, refresh Illinois’s economy, and put this state to work.

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Ending the Racket

Chris Kennedy will work to reform a broken system that benefits connected property tax attorneys — Democrats and Republicans alike — at the expense of communities across our state. By eliminating conflicts of interests, stopping corruption, and increasing transparency, we can end the property tax racket in Illinois and prevent the next generation from being forced into a life of economic servitude.

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Disability Rights

Chris Kennedy believes in equal rights and equal access for people with disabilities, whether the disability is physical, intellectual, or neurological. When it comes to care and support for people with a disability, Illinois is home to three of the world’s most important institutions: Access Living, a global thought leader in disability rights and independent living; the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the world’s most important hospital for physical rehabilitation; and the Special Olympics, which Chris’ aunt Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded right here in Illinois in 1968.

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Environment

Chris Kennedy recognizes that sustainability promotes economic growth. Sustainability in Illinois will not only help our environment, it will also attract more businesses to relocate here and cut costs for state government and for companies. When companies expand to Illinois or within our state, they want to know that they will find clean water and fresh air.

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Fight​ ​for​ ​$15

Chris Kennedy supports the Fight for $15. Right now, more than 40% of people in Illinois earn less than $15 an hour, with many of them earning closer to the current state minimum wage of $8.25, which has remained unchanged since 2010. These workers are mainly women, people of color, middle-aged and elderly workers.

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Government Reform

Chris Kennedy believes that Illinois’ government is rigged. It benefits the politically connected few at the expense of the many. Illinois’ regressive tax system takes more money from the low-income and middle class pockets than almost any other state. The only way to fix our broken government is to make elected officials accountable to the people who put them in office. Chris supports automatic voter registration, setting term limits, and redistricting reform that ensures rural communities and communities of color are fairly represented.

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Immigration

Chris Kennedy believes immigrants play a vital role in shaping every aspect of our economic sustainability and continued growth. They teach us not to be afraid of what’s new and what’s different but instead to embrace change and new ideas. As governor, Chris would ensure Illinois operates as a sanctuary state.

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Labor

Chris Kennedy doesn’t just support organized labor with talk – he has made it a priority to hire union workers throughout his career. Chris worked with the AFL-CIO to build a development at Wolf Point that created hundreds of union jobs, and Chris ran an all-union shop at the Merchandise Mart that beat out non-union businesses around the country and around the world.

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LGBTQ+

Chris Kennedy support equal rights for our LGBTQ+ communities. He sees the equality movement as part of the civil rights movement, which has been part of his family’s legacy and his personal history.

Chris fully supports proactive efforts to advance civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people in Illinois.

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Marijuana

Chris Kennedy believes that we should legalize marijuana and broaden access to medical marijuana. He believes we should decriminalize marijuana and not prosecute and overcrowd our jails because of possession of a modest amount of marijuana.

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Mental Health

Chris Kennedy believes we need to remove the stigma mental health patients face that can serve as a barrier to receiving treatment. Chris knows firsthand the struggles that families face when a loved one suffers from mental illness. Mental health care is just as vital and necessary a treatment as an insulin shot or a cast for a broken bone. Those with a mental illness should not be made to feel ashamed or be silenced by fear of social or professional repercussions.

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Pensions

Public employees never missed a payment into their pensions, but politicians in Springfield didn’t make their payments for decades. In fact, the largest share of our pension debt results from our inability to meet our payment obligations. For example, every dollar that the state cuts from the Teachers Retirement System today will require Illinois to spend $3 down the road to replace that revenue because of interest.

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Tax Fairness

Chris Kennedy supports a progressive income tax because he believes that the wealthy need to pay their fair share. Illinois has one of the most unfair and unequal tax systems in the country, particularly when it comes to property taxes. Our unfair tax system hits low-income and middle-class residents the hardest. Illinois continues to see cost of living rise, including a sugary drink tax recently adopted in Cook County, an increase in our flat income tax across the board, and rising property taxes that are becoming unmanageable.

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Women’s Rights

Chris Kennedy supports equal rights for women. He believes in equal pay for equal work, supports paid family and medical leave, the fight for $15, freedom from violence and sexual harassment, and full access to medical care for women, which should include everything from cancer screenings to prenatal care and a woman’s right to choose. As governor, Chris would sign HB40, which protects access to abortion in Illinois, even if the U.S. Supreme Court overthrows Roe v. Wade.

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