Who are the People of Illinois?

In the continuing battle that has prevented all elected state officials from doing their jobs, we hear from all spokespeople that they are doing what the people of Illinois expect them to do.  No one defines who the people of Illinois are, and one is led to believe that they are in the eye of the beholder.

It seems to me that the people of Illinois are:

  • Men, women and children who live in Illinois
  • Rich people and poor people
  • People who work, including state employees and the tens of thousands who work for service providers who contract with the state
  • People who rely on services provided by the state because of uninvited circumstances in their lives

The budget impasse will not affect all people of Illinois equally.  Those who depend on services will suffer, some with life-threatening consequences.  Those who work for or contract with the state will lose jobs, swelling the unemployment numbers and devastating lives.  Many who are barely holding on to lower middle class status will slide into poverty and some will join the ranks of those needing state services.

This is not necessary.  We call on those we elected to manage our state in a fair and equitable way to do so.  We don’t need to hear whose fault it is, we need to know that serving all the people of Illinois is the new priority.

All people in Illinois deserve this respect.

Ann Ford
Executive Director
Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living

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