Dem Candidates In Lockstep At Justice Forum
Five of the six Democrats running for governor were in Peoria over the Martin Luther King Day weekend. They were making largely similar cases to voters at a forum on criminal and economic justice.
The five candidates seem to agree on a lot of big picture policy ideas, so Democratic voters will have to decide on other points.
J.B. Pritzker described his plan to legalize marijuana while state Sen. Daniel Biss said Illinois needs to dramatically change criminal sentencing.
Chris Kennedy, meanwhile, talked about the connection between poverty and lack of educational opportunity: “The poor are poor in Illinois largely because they’re undereducated.”
Bob Daiber and Tio Hardiman said their policies are informed by their backgrounds — Daiber as a former high school vocational teacher, Hardiman as former head of CeaseFire, a group that worked the streets to interrupt cycles of violent retribution.
Democrats have a little more than two months to make up their minds. The primary election is set for March 20.
In Their Own Words
The forum was organized by Democratic state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, and was held in the studios of PBS station WTVP in Peoria. Below, you can hear what the candidates had to say in their own words. The audio is presented in the order in which they spoke, with light annotation in the form of this reporter's tweets from the forum.
Up first is Sen. @danielbiss, who says while it’s “fashionable” to talk about sentencing reform for low-level drug crimes, the “hard political truth” is that mass incarceration is about a lot more than that.— Brian Mackey (@BrianMackey) January 13, 2018
My 2016 #longread on that for Illinois Issues: https://t.co/DxixryhwUZ
On subject of fees in the criminal justice system, @KennedyforIL says just as reformers are getting money out of the early end of criminal justice system through bail reform, it should also be gotten out of the back end.— Brian Mackey (@BrianMackey) January 13, 2018
I’ve written about that, too: https://t.co/B0OXXpvFxu
Candidate @JBPritzker, in addition to laying out several criminal justice ideas, talks about issues specific to Peoria.— Brian Mackey (@BrianMackey) January 13, 2018
Cites ranking among “Worst Cities for Black Americans” list (https://t.co/NOEsyb3gE7), and the closure of two Kroger stores (https://t.co/9ld7Y9vSHq).
You learn something new every day. @BobDaiber says not only was he a vocational teacher, but he wrote the book on vocational teaching.— Brian Mackey (@BrianMackey) January 13, 2018
Fact check: true (!). It’s called “Manufacturing Technology: Today and Tomorrow.” https://t.co/if900wpWqi pic.twitter.com/H9AST5oqdQ
Finally, @HardimanforIL talks up his past work with CeaseFire. Connects Chicago’s increase in violence in recent years with state spending cuts.— Brian Mackey (@BrianMackey) January 13, 2018
AP’s @sara_burnett wrote about this in 2015, near the beginning of the two-year budget stalemate. https://t.co/5M1r9p2H2o
Host @RepJGB makes closing remarks at her forum on criminal and economic justice at @WTVP in Peoria.— Brian Mackey (@BrianMackey) January 13, 2018
Behind her, from left, are Democratic candidates for governor @BobDaiber, @danielbiss, @JBPritzker, @HardimanforIL and @KennedyforIL. (Robert Marshall did not attend.)