My opponent, Bill Foster, voted to support Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 along with other democrats and republicans. I would have voted against Trump's NAFTA deal because it will only exacerbate the climate crisis. I would have stood with these environmental groups: 350.org, Earthjustice, Food and Water Action, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Sunrise Movement.
Today I voted no on the gas tax. Will County roadways sustain more damage than other municipalities in the United States because we have the world’s largest inland port, CenterPoint in our back yard. The massive warehouses draw elevated levels of truck traffic and pollution to our neighborhoods. According to our friendly freight mobility study (2015), 380 million tons of freight traverse through Will County every day with 17,000 trucks traveling per day just on I-80 alone. Some of our state and federal elected officials have done a good job securing funding for infrastructure improvements, but the of costs to repair county roads falls on property owners.
Recently, Republican board members have raised opposition for this proposed gas tax, but they have done nothing to offer alternative funding mechanisms to adequately repair our roads. In the past, Republicans have controlled the Will County Board and allowed roads to go unrepaired or shifted the cost onto property tax owners. In addition to taxing homeowners, Republicans have allowed these large warehouses to dodge paying property taxes by creating a warehouse TIF district.
So today, the board is faced with a decision to implement a user tax on motor fuel to repair our roads. While the proposed tax would bring in an estimate $12 per fill up from trucks, it is estimated to only affect passenger cars by about 40-60 cents per fill up (or $28/yr). We cannot impose a tax on trucks only (per the state law). The tax would have to be on all motor fuel sold in Will County, including passenger cars and of course trucks.
I support a plan to offset the cost on the gas tax with the property levee used for highway funds so that property owners have relief from the gas tax. This plan was initially introduced by Tyler Marcum but unfortunately it did not receive the support of the other members and thus the levees were set for 2020.
So while I am in 100% support of raising road maintenance revenue primarily from the heavy users of these roadways. I cannot support support this proposed raising of gasoline tax on top of what the state has already increased without it being paired with a decrease in the property tax levy for county roads.
My goal in taxation would be to ensure that Will County homeowners experiences a decrease in their property tax and the burden of paying for road maintenance is shifted to those frequent users of the roadways in effect switching the burden from property tax to a user tax. I can not support this increase until the county board is prepared to provide property tax relief to the Will County homeowner at the same time.
How can we ensure success in our future if we do not invest in our children? More importantly, if we don’t work towards an equitable education system, how will America close the wealth gap, remove racial disparities with respect to income, and creates a strong economy that works for everyone?
Ventura said, “We’ve had an era of fossil fuels, of big energy, and poor policy. Brown skies, lead filled drinking waters, and unprecedented species extinction. We’ve rolled back EPA regulations, sold off our public lands, fracked, pillaged and polluted our waters and air. That Era is over. Today we enter a new era.”
Rachel Ventura engages activist and subject matter experts during lively discussion over the topic of criminal justice reform.
Rachel Ventura held an engaging round table discussion on the topic of criminal justice reform on Thursday, Sept. 12th at the downtown Joliet Library. About 40 people, largely an African American crowd, attended the event. At times audience members injected their opinions on various topics. The purpose of the event was to include activists, community leaders, experts and audience members in a discussion before drafting her final platform position. Topics for the 2-hour discussion ranged from re-entry to economic disparity, and the use of private prisons and prison labor. While not a focus, many panelists also discussed education system reforms.
Will County Climate Crisis - Crossroads of America, where the epicenter fights for economic and environmental justice and makes a compelling case for the Green New Deal.
Will County is effectively the "dumping grounds" for Chicago's dirty energy industry and garbage. Will County is home to two coal plants, two refineries and one nuclear power plant. We store the things America buys and we expose ourselves to higher level toxins so we can power the region and fuel transportation needs.