Candidate Full Name:
Deb L. Gordils
5th Congressional District
Campaign Office Mailing Address:
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Map of 5th Cong. Dist. Map of 5th Cong. Dist.
Deb Leticia Gordils For Congress
Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.
Born and raised in the 5th Districts North side of Chicago. May 20th, 1960. My mother Linda is from Texas, my Father is from Puerto Rico. Both met here in Chicago and stayed to raise their 7 children. I went to both Private and Public schools graduating from James G. Blaine Elementary school located on Southport in 1974 and Lake View High school in 1978. My interest in serving others began at a very young age. I recall my first campaign effort elected to the Student Council at Blaine where I worked on raising money for school projects. In high school, every year I campaigned and continued my involvement in Student Government.
In 1977, feeling a sense of unfair injustice to our quiet North Side school, I led a school wide boycott for 4 days to bring awareness to the Lake View residents of the downside the turmoil of desegregating the Chicago Public schools had on our community.
In 1981, I assisted 5th District City workers in the Lake View area to stand up to an unfair Alderman in the Lake View neighborhood. I spoke for the Aging constituents as well as those who were threatened with job loss. We succeeded in addressing the unethical tactics and opening the Alder manic seat for a newcomer. I was asked to run for the seat but at age 22 declined to run for the alder manic position.In 1987, while serving as a Bi-lingual Director at a Proprietary Business school, I noticed discrepancy in paper work and federal loan papers. I turned over evidence to the States Attorney office and helped the Federal Office in their investigation into this company's illegal practices that were damaging the credit ratings of Illinois citizens. In addition I worked with then Senator Miguel DelValle to pass one of his first pieces of legislation and regulate these schools by speaking before the Senate Committee hearings in Springfield.
In addition when the warmth of O'Hare Airport was closed to the Homeless, I locked arms with fellow activists and although we lost the cause and watched as the threat of arrest loomed over us, I knew it was the right thing to do. Defending our poor and those treated unjustly is crucial if we are to make this world a better place for all. True leadership is standing up for those who have no voice.
In 1988, I was hired by the late Harold Washington Administration. I served under both former Eugene Sawyer's Administration and our now Mayor Daley's Administration in negotiating contracts with Agencies wishing to operate serving Chicago citizens. I traveled often to Springfield Illinois and met with DECA, to ensure that Chicago was in compliance with Federal Regulations in order to secure the $43 million dollars needed to run the Chicago year round program. I streamlined the RSP from 1,200 pages to less than 330 pages to better serve those seeking City Grants. I over saw the Coordination Agreement Meetings between all State Department Directors and the City to be sure we were not duplicating City and State services. In this capacity I was able to bring people of differing views to the table and compromise for the betterment of the people of Chicago. As the Green Party Congresswoman, I will do the same and bring Republicans and Democrats from the House to compromise and collaborate to do what is best for the people of our Great Country. I do believe that a nuetral voice is what is needed in Congress, someone from a party other than the Republicans and the Democrats.
In 1991, I once again challenged the Public schools while I had taken a teaching assignment with Bi-lingual students on submitting children into Bi-lingual programs who spoke only English but carried Spanish surnames just to increase their Federal monies. I will insist on accountability of all taxpayers dollars used in the Troubled Assets Relief Program.
In 1993, after graduating with a MA; ED from Dominican University, I left Chicago to volunteer along the Mexican American border working with Migrant Farm workers and their families. I watched as a desperate mother through her infant over a fence at the U.S border and then through herself over the fence and ran into the back roads of Arizona. I listened to the stories of the deprivation, hunger, and deplorable living conditions in Mexico that force many of Mexico's poor to flee into the hands of America. I walked alongside migrant farm workers both documented and undocumented and was outraged, as a crop duster flew by so low I could see the pilots face of indifference as he showered us with pesticides.
Today, I come before you, believing all my experiences in life have placed me here in this Congressional Race to best serve the people of Illinois. I have shared my record which demonstrates concern and commitment and now ask your permission to serve in the U.S Congress by voting for me on March 3rd. People and their struggles have always been important to me and I ask that you VOTE in the GREEN PARTY RACE on March 3rd and ELECT me DEB LETICIA GORDILS to serve as your Illinois Congresswoman.
Please tell us your general views about the role of government and some of the most important things you would like to accomplish in office?
The role of government is to secure the fundamental rights of its citizens, to provide for the common welfare of all and to promote the liberties of all Americans. I believe the government was created to form a sustainable establishment where Democracy can flourish. Today that Democracy is jeopardized by the wavering financial markets and corporate greed that has striped this nation of its common purpose. The purpose of government was never intended to make people richer, yet our regulatory systems have traded their loyalty to America in exchange for the almighty dollar. I'm against the bail out programs.In addition I would like to see Campaign reforms and term limits for elected officials. To days fast improving methods and technology is lost as a benefit to our society if new and fresh ideas are not regularly brought into our government.We deprive America of its best and finest when we close off the electoral process to new candidates.
During my time in office,
A.) I would like to stabilize the Economy and secure the regulatory mechanisms that oversee our financial institutions so we can ward off a financial collapse of this nature again. Accountability on the part of our banking systems and financial markets is crucial to sustain our country and the continued existence of America as a world power.
B.) I would like to take a lead role in Immigration Issues and see how this comprehensive Immigration packet impacts America and the economy. A win- win situation is possible where all parties involved in the Immigration issue share a sense of fairness to the proposals and a workable approach is then implemented.
C.) The creation of jobs through infrastructure improvements much needed in America is essential to stabilizing the economy. Our Bridges, Rivers, Parks, Highways, all need repairs or upgrading.
The current economic crisis is squeezing the middle class. What should Congress do about it? What specifically would you do if elected to Congress?
I would push to reduce the withholding tax in the paychecks of the working class to put immediate money into the hands of the people.. I grew up in a middle class family. I know the struggles and concerns of the middle class. We have slowly seen this classification disappear and many who grew up middle class have dropped to just above the poverty level struggling to make ends meet. Most families have both parents working, struggling with Day care issues and mortgage issues. I will work to strengthen the middle class and help relieve their burden. My constituents are almost all in this category, made up of mostly Catholics, police Officers, teachers, and the working class. My constituents are mostly Union members. I am Catholic and a union member. I support all Workers Rights.
What are some of the main things you would do to help create jobs in Illinois?
I would Work to see where we can begin projects to put people to work in infrastructure projects, clean-up projects of our rivers and parks .As former Assistant Director of the Mayor's Office of Employment and Training, I can put those 4 years of experience into a large coordination project to put people to work. The Mayor has upgraded this program and I would like to explore linking the unemployed with existing Federal funded Job training programs offered by the City who are receiving millions to operate throughout Chicago. These service providers would receive technical assistance to fall within guidelines created to provide training redirected in employable areas such as nursing, teacher aides, law enforcement, home health care, child care. These programs share in receiving millions of tax payer's dollars and need to be part of the script in getting the people of Illinois back to work. We have an experienced determined Mayor, a new hard working Governor and with my election as Congressman we have a team that can make things happen. I know much about how we came about these Federal Funds because I was assigned to securing the Federal funds from the State to operate these programs in the city of Chicago. I then revised the Request for Proposal the city would distribute to these Service Providers and review their answers to be able to receive these Federal Dollars to operate their programs which benefit the unemployed. I was nicknamed, "The Warrior" by many of these agencies because of my refusal to release their "accustomed" amount of money unless they were in compliance. These programs are in place, we do not need to wait for more money from the Feds to get going on this coordination project just a willing Mayor and willing Governor and I who have the experience in this established city-wide program think we have what it takes to get moving on this the day after I'm elected.
B) My work with Illinois utilities introduced me to the need to provide public incentives for technology leaders such as IBM to improve the power distribution grid in much the same way that telecommunications companies expanded the fiber optic footprint in the 1990's. Energy conservation will help us to plan more prudent use of existing generating plants.
C) Don't forget requisite investment in the nation's freight railroads & Interstate highways. I would press for additional funding for CREATE which will help to remove bottlenecks in freight railroad logistics in the Chicago area-the hub of the nation's freight railroad network. Rail-grade separation projects will help greatly to eliminate the current Canadian National Railway suburban community controversy.
What do you think can be done to bring short-term stability to gas and energy prices? Also, what do you think is the best strategy - to both affordably and responsibly - provide for the nation's future energy needs?
We need to force car makers to produce more economical vehicles not in 5 years but now. These are urgent times; the expectation that is placed on government for a speedy turn around must also be placed on these large corporations to quickly make the changes necessary. We have the intellect and people well schooled in workable energy to lead us in a direction that best serves the energy needs of this country and the well being of its environment.
Is there anything that can be done to make health care more accessible and affordable in Illinois? If so, what would you do?
I have a daughter who has had two open heart surgeries. I have spent lots of time in and out of the Children's hospital, and with agencies that serve children's medical needs. I believe in Universal Health Care. I have seen families deal and confront a myriad of children's health issues and wonder how they are going to cover these costs and provide for their families and still continue to work. I believe all people of Illinois must get free insurance if they do not have health coverage. I do not know as of yet how we will fund this enormous plan but it must be funded and it must exist.
Please state your general views about the war in Iraq.
This is complex. Iraq must receive all the assistance that it needs to stabilize and prosper. I do not support war and will stay out of one at all costs but I believe in Democracy and humanitarian rights and condemn all countries that do not see the value of its people. I would need to be briefed on the Iraq Issue that has not yet been made available to the average American to be better apt to comment on Iraq's situation with America and how we should proceed.I do not think a complete with drawl of soldiers is fair to the Iraqi people.
What are your thoughts on how to deal with illegal immigration? Also, what do you think should be done about illegal immigrants who are already here in the U.S.?
Another not so easy question, but an area where I have much experience. I have worked with immigrants both documented and undocumented since 1988. I understand the culture and the contribution that this group has provided this country. We need to address this situation with dignity and fairness and in accordance with American values and America's responsibility to people of all nations. If we are to lead on the global stage then we must lead by example. Each Immigrant has a story to share as to why they came to America and I'm sure dreams that are yet to be fulfilled. I watched as a desperate mother through her infant over a fence at the U.S border and then through herself over the fence and ran into the back roads of Arizona. I listened to the stories of the deprivation, hunger, and deplorable living conditions in Mexico that force many of Mexico's poor to flee into the hands of America. I walked alongside migrant farm workers both documented and undocumented and was outraged, as a crop duster flew by so low I could see the pilots face of indifference as he showered us with pesticides. Immigration must be addressed in the American spirit of justice and Fairness to all parties involved.
What ideas do you have for improving our education system and for making our colleges and universities more affordable?
We have some of the brightest teachers in the public school system, we need to tie our high schools to our Junior colleges as we mix senior year with freshman year in providing a continuum that promotes continuity to higher education. That way at a minimum a student goes' to the 14th grade as opposed to the traditional 12th grade. We then need local Universities to work with Junior colleges in securing the transfer of courses to students who wish to pursue a 4 year college degree. Research studies have shown that students of parents who do not have a college degree will most likely not obtain a college education. We have to use our counselors to fill in the gap of information that is lacking from the parents to bridge their child on to college.
What are your highest priorities for protecting the environment in Illinois?
Answer 10My priority is to clean and protect our rivers, drinking water, and air quality. I firmly believe that the environment is directly related to childhood birth defects ranging from autism to cancers. This generation of children has been plagued by inexplicable ailments that were not evident in my generation. Our families were made up of 5-9 children. No one heard of children with birth defects of the heart, or intestines, allergies, asthma, autism and various cancers. What awaits our children's children if we do not take effective measures today to secure our environment?
No endorsements provided by candidate.