Why I'm Running

My name is Anne Shaw and I’m proud to be our candidate for open Illinois House District 4.

Some of you know me as a hard-driving, determined community activist who spent the last 10 years trying to make our community safer by fighting to keep open police precincts, organizing block watches and spearheading personal protection classes for our seniors.

Together, we made a difference. But the problems are outstripping our local answers, so it’s time to raise the stakes on what we’re willing to do to fix the biggest problems facing our hardworking families and small businesses.

The short answer to why I’m running is because people I respect asked me to run. By many standards our communities have never been in worse shape. Our State just went nearly 800 days without a budget because of partisan brinksmanship down in Springfield.

Budget

While we’re happy to finally have a budget - after nearly three years - it came with a large tax increase with rumblings of more to come and huge debt  - and with the loss of thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs - people who have moved out of Illinois taking their tax revenues with them - never to return - because once again we let the politicians in Springfield break things. I had more than one friend have to close their business because of lack of payments from the State. Illinois literally put Chicagoans out of business. A lot of those jobs aren’t coming back.

I’m running for the Illinois House because our budget is broken.

The process to get a budget approved is broken. Our tax system is antiquated and broken. We couldn’t fix the problem because all of our tools are broken. It’s a mess.

We have to fix all of these things before this happens again. Thank God we have a budget and our schools and human service programs have some money and some people can get back to work - but if we were smart we would start working NOW to make sure the next time the politicians break things, at least we have working tools.

That’s why I want to work hard with community leaders to reform our income and State tax laws to make them broader-based, stable and more productive while protecting our working families and seniors.

Many of you know I’m a successful small business owner and award winning civil rights attorney who also helped found one of the most successful pro bono legal clinics in Chicago - one that is dedicated to immigrants and non-native-English speakers rights. I’m used to working within a budget, making sure we make payroll, and taking care of EVERY Illinois family in the process. Imagine what I can do as our next State Representative.


Gun Violence

While we’ve all been worried about the budget the gun violence hasn’t gotten better, it’s gotten worse.

And I’m running for the Illinois House of Representatives because it’s time someone who has been facing down the gun violence in our communities goes to Springfield to try to do something about it.

More than 700 dead and more than 4,300 wounded in the worst gun violence spree since 1997. We all know the statistics and we all know the stories. We all clamor for solutions but we’re all still clamoring a year later.

It’s easy to point fingers but hard to stem the tide.

In Illinois it’s easier to get a gun than to get a job.

In Chicago’s it’s easy to see the Police Department’s relations with minority communities are at an all-time low. Both of those things need to change.

In the past 25 years no other U.S. city has faced the guns flooding our streets like Chicago has. The kids we’ve lost are never coming back - but I’m running for the Illinois House of Representatives to try to stop the bleeding. I’m not afraid of aggressive outside the box solution - our kids deserve to see us try every option we can think of until we find the one that works.

Do we need to crack down on criminals with guns? Of course - and I’m eager to work with anyone who wants to partner up to help take back our streets - cops - Black Lives Matter groups - the NAACP - neighborhood groups - to protect our kids we might have to check some longstanding grudges and decades old hurt feelings - but the truth is we are all in this together. Everyone’s kids are dying - checking our egos and our assumptions seems a small price to pay to get everyone back to the table, right?

Once we get the criminals and the guns off the streets it’s our job to make sure our kids’ have the brightest possible future.


Education

I’m running for the Illinois House of Representatives because we have to fix our kids’ schools.

They are nothing and have nowhere to go without them. If we don’t get a handle on this issue we will be condemning an entire generation to poverty and violence.

We all know what's wrong with the schools, and if we are honest with ourselves we know why the problem isn’t getting fixed. The politicians currently making the decisions are incentivized to sit on their hands because they are too afraid of alienating certain constituency groups that they need to get reelected, so they continually kick the can down the road

Our teachers, God bless them, are staggering under the weight of every statewide politician’s educational reform legislation, and after working too many hours in classes that have too many students trying to pass too many state wide tests while working with too few resources, they have very little left in the tank and cannot shoulder more unfunded mandates. Frankly they have done more than we ever should've called on them to do, and they have more skin in the game than anyone else on the sidelines.

So how do we even start to fix the problem? You send smart, experienced, trusted community activists to the table that are beholden to no special interests.

You give more control back to the principals.

But most importantly you elect people with the courage to change the way we fund our kids schools. it's going to take nearly revolutionary change to turn around the three decades that it took to get us to this place. it is not work for the faint of heart. but we owe our kids nothing less than our most ferocious and fearless effort to protect their futures.

It's a daunting list. And I'm going to need a large amount of support from every one of you.

So I’m asking. Starting today I need your support, your prayers and your vote for the open Illinois House District 4 race. Thank you so much!