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Anna Schiefelbein, Illinois House 85th District Green Party nominee profile

Her top priorities include fully funded schools, universal health care and implementation of green energy.

Anna Schiefelbein, Illinois House 85th District Green Party nominee, 2020 election candidate questionnaire
Anna Schiefelbein, Illinois House 85th District Green Party nominee, during an online endorsement interview.
Sun-Times Media

Candidate profile

Anna Schiefelbein

Running for: Candidate for Illinois State Representative, IL-85


The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees 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. Anna Schiefelbein submitted the following responses:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the finances of Illinois. The state is staring at a $6.2 billion budget shortfall in this fiscal year. What should be done? Please be specific.

I have a $23.5 billion plan for revenue and spending:

Proposed Revenue

$2.5 billion for corporations to pay their fair share/close corporate tax loopholes

$9 billion in progressive income taxes

$12 billion to tax the trillions of dollars on Chicago markets that are currently not taxed at all.

Total Additional Revenue $23.5 billion

Proposed Spending:

$5 billion to Fully Fund PK-12

$4.5 billion for Universal Healthcare

$3.5 billion for Green Energy

$3 billion for Infrastructure

$3 billion to Fully Fund Human Services

$2.5 billion to have Free College Tuition

$2 billion for Pension Contributions

Total Additional Spending: $23.5 billion

More details can be found on my website, www.voteforanna.org.

2. What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic? Please explain. What, if anything, should he have done differently?

I would give him a “B-”

- Daily reports were nice but the guidance plan for the schools could have been completed sooner.

3. In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Should Illinois do the same? If so, what would that look like?

I have been calling out for police reform for decades, my favorite solution is community policing. Our communities do not want a “us” v. “them” mentality when it comes to the people who are supposed to protect and serve the community. This will not fare well for anyone. I would encourage mediation; ban on the use of choke-holds; special prosecutors for police misconduct cases; registry of allegations; and a ban on consensual sex between law enforcement officials and persons in custody.

I will be presenting some of these solutions at the next Hot Topics session hosted by the DuPage County Green Party, which is on August 26th at 7pm.

4. Should the Legislature pass a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras? Why or why not?

I would be in favor of having a grant program for local jurisdictions to apply if they needed any additional resources or money to have body cameras in their jurisdiction but not forcing taxpayers to pay more to curb the police.

I am a supporter of sovereign rights and am very leery on unfunded mandates to local jurisdictions. This legislation seems like an expensive bandage to a wound that is bleeding profusely. It is not only the cost of the equipment and logistics but also the storage costs of the information. I would prefer to focus my energies on solving the underlying problem and create a stable economic environment for our residents.

5. Federal prosecutors have revealed a comprehensive scheme of bribery, ghost jobs and favoritism in subcontracting by ComEd to influence the actions of House Speaker Michael Madigan. Who’s to blame? What ethics reforms should follow? Should Madigan resign?

I believe the two-party system is to blame. Both of the major parties rely on corporate donations to finance campaigns and there is no one there to stop them. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections database other large corporations contribute to politicians in Illinois. Pepsico, Molson Coors, and People’s Gas are supporters of the Democratic Party from my understanding. Green Party candidates will not accept corporate contributions, we will not be bought. Illinois politicians need to stop receiving corporate contributions, especially judge candidates who receive money from law firms. We need to ensure that our residents have fair access in the legislature and in the judiciary.

Ethic reforms that should follow is to take corporate money out of politics and put an end to machine-style politics through election reform. Election reform could ensure that there are more choices on the ballot. For example, Fair Ballot Access could be enacted to ensure that there is fair ballot access. Right now, third-parties are non-established parties and often are called “last-minute spoilers” when they achieve ballot access. However, non-established parties are required under Illinois law to start later. If the starting point for all those who want to be on the ballot was at the same time with the same petition requirements and deadlines without corporate contributions, this may create a much-needed system of checks and balances.

I believe that if the allegations are true, then Mike Madigan should resign. An apology of whoever did this should come forward now and make it a new day in Illinois!

6. 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.

My civic involvement does go back further than 2 years. I was the President of the Woodridge Jaycees in 2015 and also received the Outstanding Citizen of the Year from the Village of Woodridge in 2015.

I was a 3L Delegate at the Student Body Association at the UIC- John Marshall Law School from 2018-2019 and remained a role model in my community while I finished up school.

7. 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.

- Schools should be fully funded.

- Universal Healthcare should be available.

- Additional infrastructure funds should be developed and green energy should be implemented.

8. What are your other top legislative priorities?

- Propose the following $23.5 billion plan:

- Proposed Revenue

- $2.5 billion for corporations to pay their fair share/close corporate tax loopholes

$9 billion in progressive income taxes

$12 billion to tax the trillions of dollars on Chicago markets that are currently not taxed at all.

Total Additional Revenue $23.5 billion

Proposed Spending:

- $5 billion to Fully Fund PK-12

$4.5 billion for Universal Healthcare

$3.5 billion for Green Energy

$3 billion for Infrastructure

$3 billion to Fully Fund Human Services

$2.5 billion to have Free College Tuition

$2 billion for Pension Contributions

Total Additional Spending: $23.5 billion.

- Propose Fair Ballot Access.

- Propose Ranked Choice Voting.

I hope it can be a new day in Illinois! We have been under the 2-party regime for a long time and it is time the voters have more choices on the ballot.

9. What is your position on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax? Please explain.

I believe a progressive tax is part of the answer but not the sole source of additional revenue. My $23.5 billion plan would be able to make it a new day in Illinois, for revenue and for reasonable spending.

10. Illinois continues to struggle financially, with a backlog of unpaid bills. 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?

Pass the following $23.5 billion plan for revenue and spending:

Proposed Revenue

$2.5 billion for corporations to pay their fair share/close corporate tax loopholes

$9 billion in progressive income taxes

$12 billion to tax the trillions of dollars on Chicago markets that are currently not taxed at all.

Total Additional Revenue $23.5 billion

Proposed Spending:

$5 billion to Fully Fund PK-12

$4.5 billion for Universal Healthcare

$3.5 billion for Green Energy

$3 billion for Infrastructure

$3 billion to Fully Fund Human Services

$2.5 billion to have Free College Tuition

$2 billion for Pension Contributions

Total Additional Spending: $23.5 billion.

More details can be found on my website, www.voteforanna.org.

11. Should Illinois consider taxing the retirement incomes of its very wealthiest residents, as most states do? And your argument is?

No, they should not. I am an authorized tax e-filer and am sad when people in their 90s are still charged taxes on their social security on the federal level. Social security is not a whole lot of money and to have this as a taxable income on retirement income is not right. I would not support that Illinois tax retirement income. We can find other ways to earn revenue rather than always relying on income taxes. What we need are voices outside the 2-party system to be in the legislature.

12. What can Illinois do to improve its elementary and high schools?

My $23.5 billion plan for revenue and spending can fully fund K-12 and provide equal school opportunity for all. Another thing we can do is to eliminate Common Core from our educational system. I am a parent of two school-aged children in elementary school. My oldest is in 4th grade and my youngest is in 2nd grade. School is not how it used to be when I grew up, we had books and the teachers had time to implement their own plan. With the federal Common Core standards, it is to my understanding, that teachers do not have time to implement their own plan and are constantly playing catch-up or barely keeping up with the standardized plan. My husband and I opted out of the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) standardized test. To me schools should be local and remain local.

13. Mass shootings and gun violence plague America. What can or should the Legislature do, if anything, to address this problem in Illinois?

Even though I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment as a strict constitutionalist, I do believe reasonable solutions could be enacted that can produce significant differences. Solutions include registration of guns and sellers; reinstating the 1968 definition of a gun-dealer; banning sales at gun shows; and a zero-tolerance policy on those who intentionally or knowingly sold guns to minors or those who do not have a FOID card.

14. Do you favor or oppose term limits for any elected official in Illinois? Please explain.

I support the following term limits and I understand that we need to get our pensions under control:

- 2-year seats, maximum of 3 consecutive terms;

- 3-year seats, maximum of 3 consecutive terms;

- 4-year seats, maximum of 2 consecutive terms; and

- 6-year seats, maximum of 2 consecutive terms.

We need to keep our government officials in office enough to have experience, provide them an opportunity to enjoy another aspect of life, an opportunity to run for the seat again in a non-consecutive term, and to have more people experience being in office.

15. 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?

It is to my understanding, that it is to their advantage to gerrymander and there is nothing stopping them. I personally would like a non-partisan agency to use computer technology to draw the districts and will work hard to achieve this goal.

16. 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?

The law is a good start, but does not take care of the money transfer problems.

I know lobbyists produce research and influence politics, however think-tanks and research agencies are available and I would like to see more individuals influence politics rather than lobbyists. If we were to have lobbyists, they should be able to either lobby a politician or make a political contribution, but not both.

17. 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?

People should have an opt-in of all information to be shared. Currently, it is an opt-out law that does not fully protect people. I wrote my law review comment on this subject, a link to the paper is found on my website, www.voteforanna.org.

18. 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?

Pass my $23.5 billion plan, which includes enough revenue to fully fund free college tuition.

19. What is your top legislative priority with respect to the environment?

We need environmental justice and we need it now! A ban on ethylene oxide will be my top priority. Clean air is for everyone and laws should be enacted to preserve air quality.

20. 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.

Jane Addams because she devoted her life to helping others and she persisted, nothing stopped her from achieving her goals. She graduated college, founded the first settlement house in the United States of America, which is Hull House. Along with building a place that the poor could come to for shelter, food, Jane was also big on education and political action. Hull House became a place for political research that pushed issues (i.e. the 8-hour day, women’s suffrage, children receiving an education rather than have children working in factories). She was not only devoted on the local level but made wide impacts on the national and international level. She was the National Chairperson Women’s Peace Party and President of the International Committee of Women for a Permanent Peace. These are few examples out of numerous of other accomplishments this one woman achieved. I am in admiration that all this social and political work was accomplished by one person.

21. What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?

Legomasters is my favorite show. It is amazing to see how individual bricks are brought together, brick-by-brick, to build something grand.