WBEZ | Illinois democrats http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-democrats Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Fired up by DNC, Illinois Dems vow to 'fight like hell' until November http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/fired-dnc-illinois-dems-vow-fight-hell-until-november-102251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/photo (9).JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Democratic Party stalwarts emerged from their national convention Thursday night energized by President Barack Obama&rsquo;s acceptance speech, while acknowledging they have a tough few months of campaigning ahead of November&rsquo;s elections.</p><p>Illinois&rsquo; delegation to the Democratic National Convention, seated front and center on the convention floor in Charlotte, N.C., waved blue signs that read &ldquo;Forward&rdquo; as the president delivered his roughly 39-minute speech.</p><p>Afterward, several of the state&rsquo;s most powerful Democrats heaped praise upon president Obama, saying the speech &ndash; and the whole convention &ndash; were successful.</p><p>&ldquo;I&#39;ve been to a lot of conventions. This really was the best convention I&#39;ve ever seen in every way,&quot; said U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who represents Chicago&rsquo;s northern suburbs in the U.S. House.</p><p>&ldquo;I remember the days when pundits would say, &lsquo;If you are a supporter of Barack Obama, you are a minority of a minority,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Chicago Ald. Will Burns, who has had a long relationship with the president. &ldquo;Doors slammed in your face and people handing you back literature and he never gave up hope and what his vision was for this country.&rdquo;</p><p>But even some of the president&rsquo;s most ardent supporters said there&rsquo;s still a hard road ahead for Democrats as the 2012 elections kick into high gear now that both Democrats and Republicans have wrapped up their national conventions.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m gonna go home with the idea that we&rsquo;ve got to fight like hell in order to win this election for Barack Obama, and to bring this country back to the economic stability that it is entitled to,&rdquo; said delegate Jim Montgomery, a Chicago lawyer who lives down the street from the first family&rsquo;s Hyde Park home.</p><p>While many of Illinois&rsquo; top Democrats and Republicans acknowledge the president will likely win his home state, both state parties have devoted a lot of time during their national conventions over the last two weeks discussing how to win a handful of competitive Illinois Congressional races and seats in the General Assembly.</p><p>The president mentioned his adopted home state only once during his speech, when talking about the start of his political career as a state senator from Chicago.</p><p>Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin introduced the president Thursday night by recounting his own close relationship to Mr. Obama. He recalled how he helped launch the then-U.S. Senate candidate to national prominence by introducing Obama at the 2004 DNC in Boston.</p><p>&ldquo;He had a name that was hard to pronounce and Loretta [Durbin] and Michelle [Obama] and I stood on the side of the stage in Boston and wondered if you would accept his message about the future of this party, and you did,&rdquo; Durbin said.</p><p>&ldquo;Four years ago in Denver, I asked you to give him our party&rsquo;s nomination for president. And tonight in Charlotte, I ask you to join me in giving President Barack Obama four more years to finish the job he started.&rdquo;</p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 20:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/fired-dnc-illinois-dems-vow-fight-hell-until-november-102251 Illinois Dems make wish list for Obama if he wins http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-dems-make-wish-list-obama-if-he-wins-102163 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/photo_28.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Democrats in Charlotte, N.C. are making a wish list for what they&rsquo;d like to see out of a second term in the White House for President Obama.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not that they are taking the presidential election for granted, but officials here are already bringing up many issues they want put in place if a like-minded Democrat keeps the White House.</p><p>&quot;If we really want to jumpstart us and get us out of this quagmire, it has to be based on a solid infrastructure bill,&quot; said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, who represents Chicago&#39;s North Side.</p><p>&quot;I think we need to invest more in our young people and one of those things we need to do is make it easier for kids to go to college or to trade school,&quot; said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.</p><p>&quot;One of the issues I&#39;m very concerned about and I think (Obama) is as well is the challenge of moving people out of poverty and into the middle class,&quot; said Chicago Alderman Will Burns.</p><p>Those three officials won&rsquo;t get a chance to advocate for their issues on center stage at the national convention this week, but others from Illinois will.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth all get their chance to take the microphone later Tuesday evening at the Democratic National Convention.<br /><!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><br /><!--[endif]--></p></p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 14:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-dems-make-wish-list-obama-if-he-wins-102163 Illinois Senate Democrats announce their budget proposal http://www.wbez.org/illinois-senate-democrats-announce-their-budget-proposal-99308 <p><p>Illinois lawmakers are trying to iron out a budget by the end of the current session, which ends May 31st.</p><p>On Friday, Democrats in the state Senate proposed a budget that cuts spending almost across the board, with the exception of education.&nbsp;</p><p>Democratic State Senator Dan Kotowski, who represents Park Ridge, said that&#39;s what constituents want.&nbsp;&quot;People want education funded, and they want us to get rid of waste and mismanagement. And that&#39;s what we&#39;re doing,&quot; Kotowski said.<br /><br />Senate democrats announced the proposal would reduce the state&#39;s deficit by cutting in areas like public safety.&nbsp;Their plan would mean closing state facilities - like prisons - and cutting state jobs.<br /><br />The plan also assumes huge cuts to Medicaid that Governor Pat Quinn is pushing.</p><p>The proposal comes during the final stretch of the current legislative session, as state legislators are trying to tackle the issues of the soaring costs of state pensions and Medicaid. Democratic leaders said their proposal spends less than Governor Quinn&#39;s original proposal. They said their plan cuts $317 million from the main category of state spending.</p><p>State Republicans have responded saying the Democrat&#39;s proposed budget still calls for too much spending.</p><p>&quot;This will not get us on the path to reducing the tax increase,&rdquo; Republican Sen. Matt Murphy said. &ldquo;It will put us on a path, frankly, for needing another.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 18 May 2012 17:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/illinois-senate-democrats-announce-their-budget-proposal-99308