About thirty people gathered at the Algonquin Library Sunday afternoon to hear Democratic Party candidate J.B. Pritzker explain why they should support him for Governor.
Pritzker did not take on his Democratic Party primary opponents.
He concentrated on criticizing Governor Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump.
He did, however, stress that he is the only Democrat running for Governor who spent the year before the November election campaigning and raising money to oppose the election of Donald Trump.
I arrived a little late due to a prior engagement.
Pritzker was talking about his first job–picking up dirty sheets.
He recalled his mother saying, “You have to work twice as hard [as anyone else] because you didn’t earn this job.”
Pritzker told of building his own businesses, employing 1,700 in Illinois.
His factories produce coffee sleeves and recyclable boxes for sandwich shops.
His mother died when he was seven; his father at 17.
Pritzker suggested Democrats ask other candidates what they have been doing that would demonstrate they can solve big problems.
He pointed to being a twenty year advocate for early childhood education.
His goal is to bring universal pre-school to Illinois.
Pritzker also talked of his family’s role in feeding needy children.
He asked his audience to examine his background in social justice and civil rights.
Governor Bruce Rauner came in for heavy criticism.
Pritzker said Rauner’s agenda was unconnected with the state budget.
With $14 billion in” unpaid IOU’s,” Pritzker said, “We need a Marshall Plan for rebuilding the social services.”
He stressed that the smaller agencies that had gone under because of a cessation of state financial assistance cannot be reconstituted by sending state checks.
Moving to the topic of education, the candidate pointed out, “We are now 50 among the states in state funding of education.”
[I appreciate his not saying what so many politicians falsely allege–that Illinois is that low in total funding of education. It shows attention to detail.]
Pritzker moved onto politics, predicting that 2018 “is not going to be an [easy] year for Democrats.”
He said that the fact Republicans carried every state around Illinois would spur national Republicans to put a “bulls eye” on state elections.
Nevertheless, he said, “I see a strong island I want to protect.”
He pointed out Republican success in taking out four State Representatives and one State Senator in 2016.
“We’ve got to fight.”
He bemoaned the disadvantage the Democrats have because the party does not have a communications network.
“We don’t have a bunch of fake news sites,” he said pointing to those of political consultant Dan Proft.
He explained that when one goes to the bottom of the site one finds high school sports scores and other local information, but the main articles praise Rauner and beat up on Democrats.
Pritzker said that Republicans have “really strong social media, something we don’t have.”
And,”they started knocking on doors.”
Democratic Party efforts over the years has gotten weak, he said.
He cautioned that Democrats should not “beat up on each other.”
In the final part of the meeting, Pritzker took written questions from the audience.