EXTRA: Why did you decide to run?
“Tony” Favela: I decided to run because I have been involved in politics for 10-12 years. Just knowing who my opponent is, she represents everything that is wrong with politics in Illinois. She was a Republican who turned Democrat after Madigan gave her $800,000. She has sold herself to the highest bidder.
Where did you get that information from?
From the Illinois State Board of Elections website.
What do you believe lacks in the 77th District?
I think it lacks leadership. When the votes for the gay bill came up, I read that she had to be given permission to vote ‘yes’ by Madigan. She is accountable to the people. The library in Maywood closed because they ran out of money. Chris Welch got the leaders of the community together and made them come to a solution to open the library. Kathleen Willis was nowhere to be seen.
What are the issues you want to work on?
We need to focus on the fiscal situation in Illinois. We can’t talk about anything else before we fix that. The pension reform will be found unconstitutional. We can do a progressive tax bill, 94 percent would see their taxes lowered. I want to work on consolidating and getting rid of some of the units of government, [such as] school districts, municipalities, townships. Some of those are part of the past and can be consolidated in other functions besides doing political favors to someone.
What is your top priority?
My top priority is the state finances. We need to get the finances in order before anything else can be discussed. The amount of money the state brings in is crucial. You can’t fund education is there no money. The politicians in power spend all these years robbing the tax payers. It’s time that we get out of these politics and try work for the people and not self interested people in power.
What is your stand on education?
I am endorsed by the Illinois Federation of Teachers. I am a big supporter of education. I just gradated law school. I recently read that the city of Chicago is planning to open 33 new charter schools. We are doing that and at the same time half of the current charter schools aren’t fully enrolled, they are under enrolled. We need to be more transparent when using tax payer money. We need to slow down things.
You went to law school. Why did you choose politics over being an attorney?
I went to law school because I knew I wanted to get into politics. I was always interested in the legislative process. A lot of politicians are lawyers. I am [also] interested in being a lawyer. I felt that I can be a better representative than Willis currently is.
What is your stand on job creation and pension reform?
The current bill is unconstitutional, clearly diminishes the pension for the union of the government workers. The Illinois Constitution says you can’t do that. We need to work more diligently with the parties affected by the whole pension reform issue.
I definitely believe in raising minimum wage. A lot of people complain about welfare. If we give people a living wage we can get more people off that and it will be good for the economy. It will benefit everyone. As far as small businesses, we need to foster small business creation, the engine of our economy. I am in favor of lowering business tax.
What would you like to say to the voters?
I encourage every voter to go out and vote. It’s the only obligation we have as citizens of the U.S. So many would want to vote but can’t and we take that for granted. We need more people that are not self-interested to come out to the polls and do what’s right.
What would you like to say to the Latinos in the 77th District?
The district is more than half Hispanic and what I would say to them is that I think I am more qualified because I understand many of the issue affecting our community. My father came to the U.S. as a young man and raised my sister and me. Many of my friends are first generation. I lived here my entire life. Teach GED classes in Spanish. I would offer better representation especially to our community.
For more on the campaign, visit: http://www.favela4staterep.com.