Democratic candidate for Illinois House in the 25th District: Angelique Collins

SHARE Democratic candidate for Illinois House in the 25th District: Angelique Collins

Angelique N. Collins, Illinois House 25th District Democratic primary candidate. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Complete coverage of the local and national primary and general election, including results, analysis and voter resources to keep Chicago voters informed.

On Jan. 25, Angelique Collins appeared before the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. We asked her why she’s running for the Illinois House of Representatives in the 25th District:

My name is Angelique Collins. I’m running for state rep in the 25th District. My civic background includes work for, excuse me, I’m a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. It’s a service organization. I’m a member of Howard University Alumni from Chicago where we also do service.

I own the first black, African-American-owned beauty supply store on the Near West Side of Chicago, where I employ teen girls through my teen reach program and the Boys and Girls Club Chicago to work for the summer. I’ve also lobbied in Springfield and shadowed behind my mother who is a former representative and senator.

My top priorities as a 25h District representative are going to be community-based small businesses. I’m a small business owner so I know how important it is for communities to have ownership, to see ownership within their community being mirrored by the residents. I also believe that when we have jobs within our community, it reduces crime because people are able to feed their families. I think that community-owned small businesses should mirror its residents. They should see faces that look like them in their communities. I’m also going to be very passionate about education. I believe that CPS schools should be equally funded throughout the city. I was a CPS graduate through high school and grammar school, and I know how important it is to receive a quality education to prepare us for college.

The Chicago Sun-Times sent the candidates seeking nominations for the Illinois House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois. Angelique Collins submitted the following answers to our questionnaire:

TOPIC: Top priorities

QUESTION: Please explain what your specific cause or causes will be. Please avoid a generic topic or issue in your answer

ANSWER: Jobs and access to capital: We need jobs that pay wages that will support families and access to capital for entrepreneurs interested in doing business in some or our challenged communities within the twenty fifth district. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity could do a much better job of helping small business development in local communities. There is little evidence that this agency and its resources ever find their way into the 25th district. As a state representative I would work with DCEO to do business development that will bring opportunities into the district.

Personal security and public safety: As I have interacted with the people within the district, there is an alarming concern regarding personal security and public safety. These concerns also affect job creation and capital investment in the district. If communities are to thrive, neighborhoods must be safe and secure. As a state legislator I will work with the residents of the district to find the best ideas of how to improve policing within the community and to improve the relationships between law enforcement and the residents. Where needed, I will seek to enact best police practices into state law.

Property tax relief: Property taxes need to be frozen or capped in some manner. There is a growing risk of families being property taxed out of the homes they have worked all their lives to own. I am specifically concerned about the risk of this in the 25th district. The combination of state and local tax increases is a threat to the stability of neighborhoods in the 25th and across the Chicago region.

Angelique Collins

Running for: Illinois House of Representatives 25th district

Political/civic background: Lobbiest, Intern, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc.

Occupation: Small Business Owner

Education: MBA, Roosevelt University; B.A., Howard University

Campaign website:

TOPIC: Top district needs

QUESTION: Please list three district-specific needs that will be your priorities. This could be a project that is needed in your district, or a rule that needs to be changed, or some federal matter that has been ignored.

ANSWER: Specific and concrete community participation in the jobs and economic development generated by the future Presidential library.

TOPIC: Pension debt

QUESTION: In 2017, Illinois’ unfunded pension liability ballooned to at least $130 billion. Do you support re-amortizing this debt? Please explain your answer. And what is your position on a constitutional amendment that would reduce the liability of the pension debt?

ANSWER: Yes, I do support re-amortizing Illinois’ pension debt to create a stable and affordable annual pension payment that will, over time, improve the funded ratio. This would allow the state to reasonably pay for other critical services. Since around 90% of the state’s budget is education, health care, social services and public safety, reducing spending alone, to resolve the pension debt is not practical or politically feasible.

I would be reluctant to change the constitution in a way that would adversely affect seniors who have earned and are depending on those pensions for financial survival. We must not throw seniors into chaos or have them live with the fear of losing what by law has been earned. During their careers they without choice paid into pension systems that promised a pension upon their reaching the retirement qualifications. The state’s agreement with them should be a certainty. There are, however measures that should be taken.

The legislature should reject any legislation that enhances the pensions of any person(s).

The legislature should as much as possible restrain the growth of state government. The number of state employees directly effects the growth in pension liability.

New state workers should be moved into defined contribution plans.

The legislature should explore with the governor the feasibility of offering defined contribution conversion plans to any willing current state worker in place of the defined benefit plans they now have.

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TOPIC: Minimum wage

QUESTION: Cook County and Chicago are on their way to paying a $13 hourly minimum wage. Many suburbs in the county, however, have opted out of the wage increase. Should Illinois raise its minimum wage from $8.25 an hour? Please explain. And if you favor an increase in the state minimum wage, what should it be?

ANSWER: I do favor an increase in the state’s minimum wage to at least $11.00 per hour.

TOPIC: Marijuana

QUESTION: Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Illinois? Please explain.

ANSWER: To be sure, I am totally in favor of both medical marijuana and the decriminalization of personal marijuana use. We should not imprison individuals for use or possession of personal-use quantities of marijuana. This is a costly misuse of the criminal justice system.

I am open to considering legalizing recreational use of marijuana. However, there are several important issues that must be addressed i.e. sell and distribution controls, minimizing exposure to children and youth, eliminating the criminal element.

TOPIC: Casinos

QUESTION: Would you support more casinos in Illinois, including in Chicago. What about racinos? Please explain.

ANSWER: I would not favor more casinos or racinos in Illinois. While I am aware of the arguments that casinos and racinos bring jobs or that people who want to gamble are going to find ways do it. However, these jobs tend to be low paying and rarely improve the quality of life in the surrounding community. Atlantic City and the Metro East area of Illinois are good examples of the lack of real benefit to the quality of life in local communities. The potential ill that come with legalized gambling particularly is a metropolitan area like Chicago do not justify the supposed benefits of more casinos and racinos.

Bookmark the Sun-Times 2018 Illinois Primary Voting Guide

TOPIC: Property tax freeze

QUESTION: A property tax freeze in Illinois has been proposed frequently since Gov. Bruce Rauner took office. What’s your position? If you favor a freeze, how many years should it last? Should the freeze exclude property tax increases to service the debt, make pension payments or cover the cost of public safety? Again, please explain.

ANSWER: I believe we urgently need some type of property tax freeze. There is a growing risk of families being property taxed out of the homes they have worked all their lives to own. Property taxes are also a significant burden to renters and is making affordable housing less available to working families. I am specifically concerned about the risk of this in the 25th district. The combination of state and local tax increases is a threat to the stability of neighborhoods in the 25th and across the Chicago region. I have not determined that there should be exceptions to a property tax freeze. I am sure that a case could be made for any number of exceptions. However, that is a slippery slope that leave us were we are. I would be open to hearing testimony and looking at justifications for exceptions, but would be reluctant and the favorable evidence would have to be compelling.

TOPIC: School funding

QUESTION: A revised school funding formula was approved this year by the Legislature and the governor, but a bipartisan commission has concluded that billions more dollars are needed to achieve sufficient and equitable funding. Should Illinois spend more on schools, and where would the money come from?

ANSWER: No response

TOPIC: Opioids

QUESTION: How can the Legislature best address the problem of opioid abuse and addiction? Please cite specific laws you have supported or would support.

ANSWER: No response


QUESTION: Do you support a state ban on gun silencers? Please explain.

ANSWER: No response

QUESTION: Should all gun dealers in Illinois be licensed by the state? Please explain.

ANSWER: No response

QUESTION: Should family members be empowered to petition courts for the temporary removal of guns from emotionally or mentally disturbed people who may be a danger to themselves or others? Please explain.

ANSWER: No response

TOPIC: Medicaid

QUESTION: What would you do to ensure the long-term viability of the state’s Medicaid program? Do you support continued Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act? Should the state continue on a path toward managed care for Medicaid beneficiaries? Should everyone be permitted to buy into Medicaid?

ANSWER: No response

TOPIC: College student exodus

QUESTION: Illinois is one of the largest exporters of college students in the country. What would you do to encourage the best and brightest young people in Illinois to attend college here at home? Does Illinois have too many state universities, as some have argued?

ANSWER: No response

TOPIC: Gov. Rauner

QUESTION: Please list three of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s principles, or decisions he has made, with which you agree. Also please list three of the governor’s principles, or decisions he has made, with which you disagree.

ANSWER: No response

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