Candidate Full Name:
Jan H. Donatelli
5th Congressional District
Campaign Office Mailing Address:
477 W Deming
Chicago, IL 60614
Donatelli for Congress
Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.
As a resident of the fifth district, I'm not a professional politician. Instead, I served my country as an officer in the U.S. Navy; a pilot for Delta Air Lines; and a union activist. During President Obama's campaign I was proud to serve as both a volunteer and a policy advisor on transportation, infrastructure and veteran's issues. Additionally, I am mom of six great kids, and I know what it's like to struggle to pay the bills. The most important thing to voters today is their jobs, their homes, and their health and those are things I understand firsthand. I believe President Obama's message of change was a call to action and it is one that I proudly answered.
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?
Our nation is facing an economic crisis. Keeping people in their homes and keeping food in their cupboards has to be a top priority. We can put Americans back to work and stop the ravages of home foreclosures if we have the will to elect officials who are willing to be activists for the change we all voted for in November. Additionally, I will focus on transportation, infrastructure and veterans' issues ? and I have built, and will continue to build, relationships with the officials who are now implementing policies in Washington.
The current economic crisis is squeezing the middle class. What should Congress do about it? What specifically would you do if elected to Congress?
In 2000, the country showed their first budget surplus in over 70 years, and we had a balanced budget. Over the past 8 years that balance has been squandered; I believe taxation should be fair and responsible. Marginal rates should most certainly be raised for people who make more than 200K, although not to levels above those paid during the Clinton Administration. During the 90's the tax code did not give these extensive tax cuts, while today working Americans feel the brunt. This is University of Chicago economic policy and it has never worked, despite the fact that this influence is still felt today. Economic theorists may write in detail about this question, but I believe in assisting the greatest number of Americans with our tax policy in an effort to grow the economy from the bottom up--not the top down.
What are some of the main things you would do to help create jobs in Illinois?
Too often, federal funds are distributed by politicians who owe favors and not by committed public servants who answer only to the voters they serve. My priority will be to use stimulus funds strategically to provide construction and infrastructure jobs that support rehabilitation of blighted communities thereby creating both affordable housing and jobs where they are most needed. Additionally, as a transportation policy maker, I support funding "NextGen" Technology to improve O'Hare's efficiency, and the implementation of advanced multi-modal infrastructure to bring added revenue to our district.
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?
In the short term, we need to send a clear message that "business as usual" will not be tolerated. One thing we know is that uncertainty, fear and greed drive speculation. I think the best message we can send is to wean our dependence on foreign oil; ultimately that will be the best short and long term step to bring stability to gas and energy prices. Long term, I support solutions, not bandages. We need a basket of sustainable options: wind, solar, bio-fuels; all must be used in combination and are especially well suited to our North American ecosystem.
Is there anything that can be done to make health care more accessible and affordable in Illinois? If so, what would you do?
I will seek to mandate cost-effective systems and processes that reduce errors, paperwork and expenses. I will also ensure that preventive and wellness services, along with mental healthcare services, are accessible to all Americans. I will support ending pre-existing condition exceptions, and allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices for the Medicare program and allowing seniors to import safe prescription drugs from overseas. Americans want a basket of choices that ensure minimum coverage, while at the same time allowing maximum benefits.
Please state your general views about the war in Iraq.
I am opposed to the War in Iraq, and I have been and always will be. Preemptive attacks against a sovereign state, without overwhelming evidence, are a negative force. I do, however, support troop increases in Afghanistan. I believe that we must continue to hunt Bin Laden, his allies, and those who wish to do harm to this country and destabilize the Middle East. Unlike Iraq, we were actually greeted as liberators. The past Administration lost sight of the mission in Afghanistan and moved on to Iraq. This allowed for greater insurgency and fundamentalist factions to grow their strengths around the Pakistan/Afghan border. We must enlist the Afghan people to begin to defend themselves while providing strong resources to assist in the capturing of these criminals and bringing them to justice.
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.?
We need a rational policy that stops criminalizing productive members of our society and separating families. We need an immediate path to legal residency status for all otherwise law-abiding persons. Not only is this acknowledgment of their actual status, but it would provide an immediate economic stimulus as well. As people begin to more freely pay taxes, invest, and spend, our economy will benefit. At the same time we need to secure our borders (not a fence) and properly fund needed immigration and naturalization services. As is, the system is unwieldy and drives otherwise legal citizens underground.
What ideas do you have for improving our education system and for making our colleges and universities more affordable?
Opportunities for college students and productive citizens begins at birth. Better funding for early childhood education and adequately funded K-12 programs will prepare more students to enter college. I support programs that extend public educational benefits to at least 2 years of post high school education, and I will fight to make college affordable through increased Federal student loans and grants, public service and reduced interest rates. I support President Obama's plan for free college in return for national service.
What are your highest priorities for protecting the environment in Illinois?
In Illinois, Lake Michigan is our greatest natural resource. Additionally we have many valuable waterways and forest preserves. Furthermore, Illinois is a valued segment of the historic prairie eco-system; protecting our traditional plants and animals are vital.
Veterans and Military Families for Progress
United Airlines Council, Airline Pilots Association (AFL-CIO)
Delta Airlines Council, Airline Pilots Association (AFL-CIO)
Continental Airlines Council, Pilots Association (AFL-CIO)
Association of Flight Attendants ? AFA-CWA (AFL-CIO)
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
CMD SGT Major John L Estrada (USMC, Ret.)
CMD SGT Major Michelle S. Jones (USA, Ret.)
Delta Air Lines PAC
American Airlines Pilots PAC
Southwest Airlines Pilots PAC