Former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp On Why She’s Running For U.S. Senate

March 09, 2016
 

With the Illinois Primary coming up next week on March 15th, we’ve been speaking to candidates across the state.

Former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp is among the three Democrats and two Republicans vying for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Mark Kirk.

Andrea Zopp

Andrea Zopp is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate representing Illinois. 

Andrea Zopp for U.S. Senate

When asked why she decided to run, Zopp said that she wasn’t hearing about many of issues she believes are most important.

“We are facing some real challenges here in our state and in our country, whether it is the declining middle class and growing wage disparity, growing levels of violence, issues we‘re having with our criminal justice system and the break between law enforcement and the community- these are issues I’ve worked on my entire life in professional, volunteer and appointed capacities,” said Zopp.

She said projects she hopes to work on right away include investing in clean technology to create jobs, criminal justice reform and comprehensive immigration reform that would include a path to citizenship for undocumented residents.

Zopp, a former federal prosecutor, said that the United States incarcerates too many people and she wants to be sure that when they get out they have “pathways into jobs and the economy.”

Zopp said that she thinks that she is particularly well suited to this role as someone who has worked a diverse range of people in both the public and private sector.

“I bring already a diversity of experience dealing with people that have different backgrounds and perspectives and that I don’t always agree with, but always trying to get things done. I have a real focus on outcomes and results,” said Zopp.

She would like to see some results on the debate over a new Supreme Court nominee.

“I think the president should absolutely nominate someone, for the Supreme Court opening. It’s part of his responsibilities. It’s also part of the senate’s responsibilities to review and vote on that nominee,” said Zopp. “We can’t wait. The Supreme Court can’t just sit around and wait while we handle our political things, so I think he should nominate.”

She also said she is more concerned about the nominee’s perspective as a judge than their political affiliation.

“I think we need to have someone who is going to apply both the law and understand the beauty of the constitution – that it does grow with changing times and can look at those facts and reflect them honestly in their assessment of the law,” said Zopp.

This week we will also be hearing from senate candidates Napoleon Harris and James Marter. Tammy Duckworth and Mark Kirk are also running, but declined repeated requests for interviews.

You can also find out more about this race and all the races in the March 15th primary through our partnership with Voter’s Edge.