Running for:Illinois House 10th District State Representative
Political/civic background:Much of my civic background have centered around activism and organizing. I’ve worked with the board of Bobby E. Wright Mental Health Center to help shape awareness and expand programming, voter registration drives, numerous grassroots campaign drives.
Occupation:Deputy District Director- US House of Representatives 7th Congressional District
Education: Bachelors of Science, Political Science Northern Illinois University
Campaign website: Gerardmoorer.com
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent candidates 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 and their districts. Gerard Moorer submitted the following responses:
Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or work you have done in other ways to improve your community.
Over the last two years, aside from my official capacity for the congressional office, I have been heavily involved in increasing the voter roll. Much of my civic work has centered around making sure more people participate in the electoral process. Representation matters. Along with my activism, I have organized rally’s for candidates that I believe can help our in the fight against injustice and inequity and bring reform.
Please list three concerns that are specific to your district, such as a project that should be undertaken or a state policy related to an important local issue that should be revised.
Mental health awareness, early childhood education and crime prevention are all key issues I plan to address in the legislature.
What are your other top legislative priorities?
Economic Development, Criminal Justice Reform, Fair Share of Jobs & Contract Opportunities the 10th District
What is your position on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax? Please explain.
I agree with Governor Pritzker graduated income tax. The rich should pay their fair share. The roads that is used to transport their goods taxpayers help pay for. The police that is used to protect their goods taxpayers help pay for. So, it is only fair those that make more pay more.
Illinois continues to struggle financially, with a backlog of unpaid bills that tops $6 billion. In addition to a progressive state income tax — or in lieu of such a tax — what should the state do to pay its bills, meet its pension obligations and fund core services such as higher education?
I support the roll out of Marijuana and Expanded gambling as viable resources for the state. Also, continue to invest in our schools and transportation infrastructure.
Should Illinois consider taxing the retirement incomes of its very wealthiest residents, as most states do? And your argument is?
Yes. I think if the practice of doing so has worked in other states it is worth considering. Our state is currently facing a financial crisis and we should do our part to help fix it.
What can Illinois do to improve its elementary and high schools?
We must have a comprehensive approach to improving our schools. We must equip the schools with the resources that they need such as nurses, counselors, social workers and mentors. We must fund our schools in a way that gives all schools all over the state the proper resources that is needed to produce the best talents.
Mass shootings and gun violence plague America. What can or should the Legislature do, if anything, to address this problem in Illinois?
My number one priority is to increase awareness and funding to mental health to address the problem of gun violence. Mental health is a key issue I see and hear about throughout the entire 10th District. North to buck town, West in East Garfield Park to Lincoln Park mental health is an issue. There is a connection to mental health and violence.Also we must reduce the amount of rounds a person could have in their magazine.
Do you favor or oppose term limits for any elected official in Illinois? Please explain.
I favor term limits for executive offices but not for legislative offices.
Everybody says gerrymandering is bad, but the party in power in every state — Democrats in Illinois — resist doing anything about it. Or do we have that wrong? What should be done?
I support a system that will give the constituents the best chance to have a representative that that reflects their needs and wants. The maps have to be drawn and it’s up to the voters to decide how they feel about their representation.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago is investigating possible official corruption by state and local officials. This prompted the Legislature to pass an ethics reform measure to amend the Lobbyist Registration Act (SB 1639). It was signed into law in December. What’s your take on this and what more should be done?
I think the move to pass an ethics reform measure was a step in the right direction. As policy maker I plan to follow the rules and present laws. I plan to work hard to meet the needs of the 10th District.Corruption has no place in Illinois.
When people use the internet and wireless devices, companies collect data about us. Oftentimes, the information is sold to other companies, which can use it to track our movements or invade our privacy in other ways. When companies share this data, we also face a greater risk of identity theft. What should the Legislature do, if anything?
I am against companies sharing personal data without consent. As a legislator I am prepared to introduce and support legislation that will protect the consumer from identity theft.
The number of Illinois public high school graduates who enroll in out-of-state universities continues to climb. What can Illinois do to make its state universities more attractive to Illinois high school students?
As a graduate of Lucy Flower Career Academy High School and Northern Illinois University, a state school, I feel strongly about keeping top talent and top scholars in Illinois. We have to continue to invest in our state schools to make them more attractive.
What is your top legislative priority with respect to the environment?
Environmental Justice is a key issue of mines. My legislative priority will be to meet and address the concerns of the community in regards to the environment. Global warming is not a myth it is real. We must reduce our carbon footprint and expand the use of solar power.
What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.
Congressman Davis. K. Davis. I admire the fact that he has never outgrown the common man. You can catch him walking throughout the community going into the local stores and restaurants blending in with the people. The next day you may be reading about him in the Sun Times about legislation he passed. I admire that. I never want to feel big headed like I’m better than the people I would represent.
What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?
The TV show Martin has to be my favorite show of all time. Martin Lawrence is a comedic genius. He always figure out creative ways to show humor.