"When we elect wealthy business people or cogs in political machines, this the kind of government that we get: an oligarchy that privileges the rich and the well-connected."
I was born in Poland, and I came to America with my family (and 4 suitcases) when I was 9 years old. My family started at the bottom. We rented a small apartment in Archer Heights, my dad worked the night shift at a -- now closed -- factory in Alsip, and my mom worked with disabled children for the Chicago Public Schools in Mt. Greenwood.
We worked our way through some difficult times; but, I was lucky enough to rise through the Chicago public school system (Edwards School, and Chicago High School for Agricultural Science), Cornell University for my bachelor's degree and Princeton University for my PhD. My research in health policy and political science has given me the opportunity to work as an adviser to health economists writing the Affordable Care Act. My writings on politics and policy have been published in the national press, like Vox or Politico Magazine, and scholarly journals. And, my work as a teacher at Princeton and the University of Chicago has given me the opportunity to teach, guide and learn from a generation of young Millennials.
"The path to election won't be easy. We are going up against entrenched political machines. I am not rich, I have a quirky name, and I am proud to be LQBT. There has never been a Polish born person in the Congress, and non-millionaires or openly gay men are almost as rare. But, LIKE THE PEOPLE OF OUR DISTRICT, I have spent my entire life overcoming obstacles."
Over the last few years, I have become disillusioned with our political system. Through work with my colleagues at Princeton, I discovered just how much our politicians have come to resemble an oligarchy. Indeed, on issue after issue, empirical study has shown that when the rich and the poor disagree on policy, the Republicans and Democrats are more responsive to the political opinions of the richest Americans than the rest of us.
And, nowhere is the American political system's failure more apparent than in our broken health care system. Ever since my brother's illness, I have been obsessed with understanding how health care works. But, I can no longer sit back on a college campus and watch as the work of scientists who dedicate their lives to understanding public policy is discarded by Washington D.C. -- a place where health insurance lobbyist write legislation.
Today, even though 80% of Democrats, 60% of Independent, 30% of Republicans, and majorities of doctors favor a Medicare for All health care system; only, about 30% of Democratic politicians in the Congress support such a bill (HR 676). This is unacceptable. If elected, I will fight with every fiber of my being for single payer.
"It is time to put an end to the Lipinski machine, which has ruled ILLINOIS' 3rd district for 25 years."
The current representative in the IL 3rd, Dan Lipinski, is out of step with the district: he voted against the ACA, which has provided more than 20,000 of our constituents with health care; he voted for the 2015 SAFE Act, which essentially would have banned Syrian and Iraqi refugees from coming to America; and, he wants to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Keep in mind, only 40% of the district voted for Trump, and in the Democratic primary election, we voted for Bernie. Mr. Lipinski’s policy positions do not reflect our values.
Moreover, Mr. Lipinski is corrupt. Just consider, that his father, Bill Lipinski, is a lobbyist for the transportation industry, and Dan Lipinski sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee. The Better Government Association has already documented a number of instances in which Lipinski has helped pass legislation that enriched his father’s friends and hurt our district.
I have organized student groups at Lewis University, Saint Xavier University, Daley College and Moraine Valley College, to excite young voters, who also help me go out into the district and spread our message to their friends and families. Additionally, I hold legislative townhalls at local venues where I have a chance to learn about and discuss the opinions of our district’s Indivisible groups, Arab-Americans, seniors and veterans. All the while, I have nurtured my links in our district's immigrant community. I grew up with these folks and I have spent the better part of ten years teaching countless of these families to speak English and to understand their role in holding America's leaders accountable.
Finally, I have also been doing the thing that the Democrats have forgotten about in the last few years – knocking on doors, and talking to people. In particular, I have been talking to my neighbors in Mt. Greenwood – the only neighborhood in Chicago that voted for Trump in 2016. These are exactly the folks who switched from Obama to Trump last year..