Nancy Wade is the Green Party candidate for congress in Illinois’s 5th congressional district. Nancy Wade is a Teacher and Green Party activist. The Democratic candidate is incumbent Rep. Mike Quigley who has held the seat since 2009 when Rahm Emanuel resigned so that he could become President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. The Republican candidate is Dan Schmitt who is self-employed. Nancy Wade is a legitimate candidate because it is extremely difficult to even get on the ballot in Illinois for a Third Party or Independent candidate. The state of Illinois requires signatures from 5% of the number of people who voted in the previous election in that district. That means you would need upward of 5,000 to 10,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify for ballot access.
The following is from an interview by quadrust.com political reporter David Flatt with Green Party candidate Nancy Wade.
1. Give an introduction to your candidacy and/or biography.
I have been a community and political activist for more than 25 years. During this time I have spent a lot of time in legislator’s offices, trying to persuade them to do the right thing. When the Occupy movement began last fall they inspired many of us to take courageous steps. I decided to take my experience as an activist to the next level and run for congress. Progressives in the 5th district were not being represented by a strong champion for progressive solutions. I am that progressive champion representing a real choice for real change in the 5th district.
2. Explain what qualifies you to be a candidate.
I have been a community and political activist for more than 25 years. That experience has taught me through grassroots participation the workings of the political process. I have been an educator for twenty-one years and hold a Master’s degree in education. As an educator I am well versed in analyzing complicated issues and decision-making based on values.
3. Explain why you are a better candidate than your opponents.
As members of the Republican and Democratic parties my opponents are two sides of the same coin. That coin is engraved “In Big Corporate We Trust”. I do not take corporate donations. My campaign relies on individual donations; therefore I am answerable only to constituents. The Democratic incumbent, Mr. Quigley, takes donations from the very corporations and organizations that tanked our economy: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, among others. He cannot be relied upon to regulate these corporations to protect us from a repeat of that disaster. It is asking the fox to guard the hen house.
4. Explain what is the most important issue(s) in the campaign.
Create a National Environmental Defense Plan
Our planet is under siege. The U.S. is the world leader in consumption of fossil fuels. We must be the world leader in converting to the green, sustainable economy of the future. Every decision we make must take into account the impact human activities have on the planet on which we and every other living being depend. Stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. Stop fighting wars to defend fossil fuel interests. Immediately turn our full attention and political will to adopting alternative fuels and conservation of energy and revitalize our economy in the process.
Fairness in taxation and the Robin Hood Tax:
Pass the Buffet Rule to start undoing the inequities in our tax structure. Right now the top wealth-holders pay a significantly smaller percentage in income tax than do the rest of us. Beyond that, the marginal income tax on the top 1% should return to pre-1981 levels, to at least 70 percent. A transaction tax should be charged on all Wall Street transactions. Those who profit from gambling with the economic future for all of us should have to contribute a percentage of their profits for improving the common good.
Create jobs that benefit our communities:
Use the resulting revenues to create youth corps, senior corps, park corps, educational improvements, local food initiatives, mental health facilities, and other services for communities hardest hit by the economic irresponsibility of regressive policies that have transferred wealth away from the 99% and to the 1%.
Medicare for all:
The US is the only advanced country that does not provide this basic human right to its citizens.
Get the Big Money out of politics:
All political contributions over one thousand dollars should be disclosed, candidates should have public financing in elections after showing a threshold of support, and the Constitution must be amended to specify that only humans, not corporations, are people and that money is property, not speech.
Reorganize mortgages and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act:
Underwater homeowners should be able to reorganize their mortgages under bankruptcy. This alone would go far toward moving the economy forward. Without this it will take more than ten years to undo the current damage in the housing market. The Glass-Steagall Act would break up the biggest banks so they are no longer “too big to fail” and thus dependent on taxpayer bailouts.
Cut the basic military budget by 25 percent over the next decade.
National defense has become the nation’s biggest jobs program. We need to invest this money here at home to provide sustainable jobs for our young people. We must give them better choices than looking to the war machinery for employment because they see few other options.
5. What are the most critical environmental problems facing the United States/world today?
Global warming is a fact, as is the role of human activities in causing it, specifically the use of fossil fuels. Global warming threatens the human race and every other living being on our planet. We must recognize and rise to this challenge. That is why I call for a National Environmental Defense Plan. Our country must take the lead in combating global warming.
6. How can green energy free us of dependence from foreign oil?
Replacing fossil fuels with green alternatives, such as solar, wind, and geothermal along with extensive and effective programs of retrofitting for energy conservation can not only free us of dependence on foreign oil but from dependence on fossil fuels. In the process we can revitalize our economy with jobs that cannot be outsourced. The technology is here, the funds to make the shift can be obtained through stopping the subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, and it is imperative for our future and the future of the planet that we make the change.
7. Give a concluding statement along with a message to voters.
There are no shortages of viable, progressive solutions to the economic and environmental challenges facing us. What is lacking is political fortitude. We need champions for the solutions we know exist, champions who are not beholden to corporate donors. Right now we need to get our country back on track, with solutions that move us decisively toward a green, secure economy.
It is time for us as progressives to vote our values. For too long we have looked to the Democratic Party to stand up for us. It is now abundantly clear that the two parties are two sides of the same coin – a coin that has the words “In corporations we trust” engraved on it.
As I have been going door-to-door in the fifth district I have been finding voters are ready and eager for a real choice and a real change. It’s time to stop doing the same thing, hoping for a different result. It is time to vote our values and support me, a progressive, un-bought, Green Party champion.