I was born and raised in Joliet, IL. My mother was a union teacher. My father was a drawbridge operator and local politician. He worked across the aisle to get the first black woman onto the Will County Board because he thought that everyone should be represented.
One of my most challenging decisions in life was starting over as a single mom and returning to my home town of Joliet. I realized that I had to make a different decision. I knew that continuing along the same path would put my children in jeopardy. I left my previous situation to protect my children.
Starting a new life in Joliet was empowering. I was free to start over with a blank canvass. I realized that Joliet was a prison town in more than one way. People had fewer opportunities once they had a criminal record. Immigrants were trapped by the same dead end streets and low-wage warehouse jobs offered these people little hope. I started to see the bars around my city like the bars that had surrounded my life. I decided to do something about it.
I ran for city council and lost. I ran for the Will County Board and won by wide margins. New people were engaged and I had inspired people to become involved.
I’m running for United States Congress because I realized that things can’t be fixed from the Will County board. We need a living wage. We need criminal justice reform. We need a green new deal. We need to shut down the NorthPoint warehouse expansion and create green jobs. We need a single-payer healthcare system. The prison bars around the lives of people living in our community can’t be removed at the local level. I see new people stepping up to run for election. It is a movement. It is growing and I’m here to play my role and fight for a government that works for everyone.
January 22, 2020
Progressive challenger Rachel Ventura and centrist Rep. Bill Foster took part in a feisty joint interview Wednesday morning with the Daily Herald Editorial Board as the two mixed it up on a variety of issues including climate change, income inequality and health care.
Watch the full interview of the exchange in the Democratic primary for the seat now held by Foster in the 11th Congressional District.
Ventura, a member of the Will County Board, is from Joliet. Foster is from Naperville. The election is March 17.