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House Passes Bipartisan Legislation Originally Introduced by Brad Schneider

On January 10, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed, by a vote of 344-73, bipartisan legislation originally introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider to help startup companies grow and create jobs by accessing the capital they need from angel investors. Schneider spoke on the House floor  in favor of the legislation. bradsworninwithoutryan

“Startups are a tremendous source of dynamic growth and new jobs for our economy, but certain regulations have had the unintended effect of limiting their access to critical capital by placing burdensome restrictions on events where entrepreneurs can introduce their business ideas to potential investors,” said Schneider. “The HALOS Act helps remove this roadblock, ensuring entrepreneurs and investors can connect more easily, while still maintaining important investor protections.”

Rep. Schneider introduced the HALOS or Helping Angels Lead Our Startups Act with Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) during the 113th Congress. In the intervening Congress, the bill was re-introduced by a bipartisan group of members including Reps. Chabot and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Schneider is a co-sponsor of the current legislation.

“I was proud to introduce this bipartisan, commonsense bill during my first-term in Congress, and appreciate the work of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who continued to advocate for its passage,” said Schneider.

 

Erin Cartwright Weinstein, Democrat: The Newly Elected Clerk of the Circuit Court of Lake County Gets to Work

by Mark DeBofsky

erincartwrightweinsteinErin Cartwright Weinstein, the recently-elected Clerk of the Lake County Circuit Court, is settling into her new job.  Weinstein was urged to run for office by her family and by State Senator Terry Link. After studying the position and deciding there was a need she could fulfill, Weinstein took the plunge and ran a successful county-wide campaign on her first try for public office.

Since she started on the job, Weinstein has most enjoyed working with the other employees in the office and the judiciary to make the Clerk’s office run more smoothly. She appreciates the hard-working staff and how diligently they work to make the operations of the Clerk’s office more efficient.

Weinstein faces a huge challenge, though. The Illinois Supreme Court has mandated electronic filing of all court documents by January 1, 2018; and the Clerk’s office has a tough job ahead of it to meet that challenge. The Clerk’s office also needs to replace an antiquated case management system that still operates on a DOS-based platform and is inefficient in tracking court fees. To compound the problem, when Weinstein came into office, she found the funding for these projects was insufficient. And adding to the financial woes, fees generated by the Clerk’s office from filings related to traffic offenses have declined, as have filing fees from the diminishing number of foreclosures. However, Weinstein is working with the County Board to find the necessary funding.

 

Despite those challenges, Weinstein loves her job and brings tremendous enthusiasm not only to her position but also to other civic activities such as working with local police departments and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office on addressing the opioid epidemic and other problems such as underage drinking. Promoting diversity is another of Weinstein’s priorities.

Weinstein is thrilled to serve as the Circuit Court Clerk, working for the people of Lake County.

Support a Woman’s Right to Choose: A Physician’s Plea

By Mark Rosenberg, M.D.

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A woman’s right to choose is under attack.  With the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Antonin Scalia and the likelihood of at least one additional Republican appointment to the Supreme Court in the next few years, we must be concerned about the fate of Roe v. Wade. This landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision acknowledged that the U.S. Constitution guarantees women’s reproductive rights, including the right to choose.  For decades, a vocal minority of Americans has fought to undo this guarantee.

In 1975, the Illinois State Legislature passed a law saying that if Roe ever were reversed, it would become illegal to terminate a pregnancy in Illinois unless the health of the mother was at stake.  That “trigger law” is still on the books.

With the Congress and presidency currently controlled by opponents of a woman’s right to choose, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz has sponsored a bill in the Illinois General Assembly, HB 40, that would repeal the “trigger law” so that regardless of what occurs at the federal level reproductive rights in Illinois would not automatically be curtailed.  “This has forced us to go back and look at sections of the 1975 abortion law to make sure that, no matter what happens, Illinois won’t revert back to criminalizing abortion,” Feigenholtz told the Chicago Sun-Times.  The proposed bill says that Illinois adheres to the rationale of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which prohibits states from banning abortion.

It is crucial that the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner support the passage of HB 40 to prevent a Trump-controlled federal government from pushing Illinois backwards into the dark days when women were subjected to back-alley abortions.

When I was a medical student, I helped care for women at Cook County Hospital. There I saw many women who became seriously ill and died following attempted home abortions.

Since Roe v. Wade, such tragedies have become rare—thanks also to organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide family planning services to women.  Sadly, the very same groups that are threatening to undo Roe v. Wade are also threatening to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood.

A number of Republican legislators have come out in opposition to HB 40. Governor Rauner has not yet taken a position on this bill.  It is imperative that we call and write to our state representatives, as well as the Governor, to urge passage of HB 40.

How to direct her healthcare should be a woman’s choice — and never a politician’s decision!

Witnessing Democracy in Action

By Jeanine Chyna

On December 19, I had the best front row seat in the state. It was better than sitting on the 50-yard line for a Bears game or sitting courtside at any Bulls game. I was a guest of Lauren Beth Gash as she cast her Electoral College vote in the Illinois State Capitol building. electoral-college

It was a day filled with the sadness of what could have been as we all wished for a different outcome but it was a historic day nonetheless.

The morning began by breezing through Security and past the rotunda where people protesting against Trump  had gathered to be heard and to thank the Electors for their vote. Next, we were invited to a breakfast reception in Secretary of State Jesse White’s office accompanied by a private tour of his suite.  We were then escorted to a small hearing room where I took a seat in the viewing gallery next to Congressman Danny Davis and listened as Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle took role call.

It had been announced the night before that each of Illinois’ 20 Electors had 90 seconds to give a speech before casting their vote. With a camera broadcasting live to CNN, a few Electors said just a sentence about what the vote meant to them personally. However, Lauren used her allotted time on the floor to voice what was on everyone’s minds. She called for a full investigation into the foreign influence of the campaign in order to protect the integrity of our democratic process.

After the votes were announced, the Electors gathered on the grand staircase for a photo and Lauren was approached by reporters. Her speech on the hearing room floor received a lot of attention and was mentioned over 100 times in the national media.

Although the Presidential election didn’t go our way, we’re ready to get back to work in the 10th Congressional District to ensure a different outcome the next time the Electoral College meets in 2020.

Democrats are Talking!

tdulogobigCOME JOIN US AT TDU’s LET’S TALK POLITICSLet’s Talk Politics is an ongoing series of moderated discussions that allows Democrats, independents, and progressives in and around the 10th District the opportunity to discuss important issues of the day and may include guests such as elected officials, candidates, political analysts, and authors. We were in Libertyville on January 18th, in Zion on January 24th, in Mt. Prospect on January 30th, in  Glencoe on February 2nd,, and in Grayslake on February 9th .  We will be in Fox Lake on February 15th and Waukegan on February 16th.

Future LTP events are planned for still other 10th District communities, so watch your email.   Visit https://tenthdems.org/events/ for details. RSVP at events@tenthdems.org, or call (847) 266-VOTE (8683).

Democrats Talk Politics in Libertyville

Tenth Dems first Let’s Talk Politics of the new year was held at Cook Memorial Library in Libertyville on January 12.  More than 50 people engaged in a robust conversation on a variety of current issues. Some of the topics included sharing social media sources, the January 21 Women’s March, healthcare and job concerns, and a call and answer session led by Founding Chair Lauren Beth Gash and Joyce Herres, a leader of the Libertyville Township Democrats.

Much of the discussion was devoted to dissecting the Democrats’ loss in the presidential election as well as reaching out to potential volunteers new to Tenth Dems. People were passionate and articulate as they explained their concerns and fears about the incoming Trump administration.  At the forefront was Republicans’ promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This issue was of particular concerning to several millennials in attendance who are working jobs with low hourly wages and no employer-provided healthcare insurance.

Democrats Talk Politics in Zion

On January 24th, Democrats got together at the Zion-Benton Public Library for another edition of Tenth Dems University’s series, Let’s Talk Politics.  The two dozen or so participants engaged in a lively exchange about issues of importance to Democrats, progressives, and liberals.  The Trump presidency was a major source of consternation and concern.  Looking locally, those present were encouraged that grassroots action led to the closure of a Dairy Queen franchise after the manager openly discriminated against African-American patrons on the basis of race.

Democrats Talk Politics in Mt. Prospect

On January 30, in Mt. Prospect, Tenth Dems hosted another packed house for an engaging political discussion in its ongoing Let’s Talk Politics series.  Nearly 80 people came out to the Marvin S. Weiss Community Center in the southwest corner of the 10th Congressional District.

One participant noted that our 45th president seems to have inadvertently become a great recruiter for Democratic political involvement. All remarked the widespread and growing desire to become active. The discussion focused on ways to get involved, as well as key issues of concern and how to get the support of elected officials.   Helping campaigns in upcoming elections and volunteering to work precincts or blocks, as well as coming out to upcoming Let’s Talk Politics and other events, are among the ways to get involved and start to make a difference that came up for discussion.