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ENDORSEMENT: Jaime M. Andrade Jr. for Illinois House in 40th District Democratic primary

He’s a gadget geek who is trying to create a niche in Springfield as a technology watchdog. 

Endorsement, Jaime Andrade, Illinois House of Representatives, 40th District, 2020 primary election
Jaime M. Andrade Jr. is endorsed by the Sun-Times for Illinois House in the 40th District Democratic primary.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

State Rep. Jaime M. Andrade Jr. has a pretty good grasp on technology. He’s a gadget geek who is trying to create a niche in Springfield as a technology watchdog.

Last year, Andrade sponsored the Illinois Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act, which requires employers to get consent from job applicants when artificial intelligence will be used in a video interview. The law limits who at a company can view the AI videos — which use computer algorithms to analyze and rate such things as an applicant’s tone of voice and facial expressions. Employers must destroy videos if applicants request that.

Andrade wanted an even tougher bill, and we hope he will get it in the future. The concern over artificial intelligence is that it depends on algorithms. “Machine learning is only as good as the data it’s given,” he says. But, as Andrade points out, data can be biased. He’s trying to curb discriminatory technology.

Andrade is endorsed over newcomer Syamala Krishnamsetty, a social services worker.

A knock on Andrade is that he used to be a lobbyist for the city of Chicago. To be clear, he’s never been accused of wrongdoing. But when elected state officials moonlight as lobbyists, it creates, at a minimum, the perception of a conflict of interest. Andrade doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. The practice was banned in Chicago in December.

Illinois House 40th District map.
Illinois House 40th District map.
Illustration by Caroline Hurley

For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.

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