Clayton D. Cleveland
Operating for: Illinois Home of Representatives 80th District
Political occasion affiliation: Libertarian Social gathering
Political/civic background: First time Candidate
Occupation: Full Time: Asset and Acquisition Supervisor at a Actual Property Firm. Half Time: Natural Farmer and Inventor
Schooling: Grasp’s in Monetary Administration from Drake College
The Chicago Solar-Instances Editorial Board despatched nominees for the Illinois Home of Representatives an inventory of questions to search out out their views on a variety of necessary points dealing with the state of Illinois and their districts. Clayton D. Cleveland submitted the next responses:
1. The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the funds of Illinois. The state is gazing a $6.2 billion funds shortfall on this fiscal 12 months. What needs to be achieved? Please be particular.
Whereas the Federal Reserve has been magically creating Trillions of , Illinois politicians have continued to overspend and previous guarantees are frequently catching up. Illinois wants to really admit to its monetary despair and work on consolidating and correcting its errors. The present financial atmosphere offers Illinois with a fantastic alternative to succeed in out to the central financial institution and put forth a refinance and restoration plan.
First, Illinois must account for all of its off steadiness sheet money owed. We want an sincere evaluation of all the long run liabilities. Then consolidate its off steadiness sheet money owed with its different bond obligation and repackage every little thing into one monetary instrument. In change for the consolidation of Illinois money owed, we should be keen to outlaw the practices that put us within the place within the first place and set expiration dates and time horizons for all authorities expenditures. The objective of this might be to place the burden of proof on this system and permit for better adaptation to altering populations.
2. What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic? Please clarify. What, if something, ought to he have achieved otherwise?
Being beneficiant, Gov. JB Pritzker deserves a D for his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Just like Gilligan’s three hour tour or the Axiom in Wall-E spending 700 years on the 5 12 months cruise, Illinois is in month 5 of the 15 days to flatten the curve. Pritzker was a key driver of convincing residents that if we solely take away liberties and freedoms for less than a short time then it is going to be over. Our governmental insurance policies have destroyed the livelihoods of thousands and thousands and the psychological well being of thousands and thousands extra, whereas failing to guard essentially the most weak.
Initially, we failed at defending the folks that wanted it most. When I’ve spoken to employees from assisted care and developmental facilities, there’s a widespread development that employee’s felt the services had been pressured to tackle sufferers with Covid even with out the sources to handle. An area facility was preventing to get authorities permits as a way to end an remoted wing to greatest serve the sufferers, however this course of was deemed non important.
The dearth of preparedness and communication all through all ranges of our authorities has been extraordinarily poor. On March threerd, I acquired an e-mail from my native Congressman stating “the chance to most of the people stays low.” Inside two weeks, Governor Pritzker had shut down colleges, bars and eating places, and a shelter in place order. The State went from zero to 100 inside two weeks. We went from free to scared to go exterior throughout a month’s time.
The crackdown on the outside and nature has been mindboggling. Pritzker and authorities officers have been very happy to close down trails, the state parks, native playgrounds, and lots of different outside actions, however really feel like it’s regular that individuals needs to be locked in shut areas respiratory the identical air at a a lot greater fee than regular. Early proof confirmed that the transmission of the illness open air was very low and the first supply of transmission was between members of the family. Individuals believed our authorities that we had been staying inside to maintain the virus exterior, however truly we had been locking ourselves in with the virus.
Pritzker and authorities officers have targeted on worry. The federal government focus ought to have been on well being and wellness and never worry and anxiousness. As a authorities official, I might have been selling train, as a substitute of threatening folks taking walks. The federal government needs to be selling optimistic diets and steps to struggle weight problems, which has been one of many main elements in Covid deaths. Authorities threats have elevated into authorities actions with the federal government issuing expansive fines and arrests for difficult their authority.
Whereas Illinois is in a a lot improved scenario from Might, we have now failed to handle the extra long run penalties of the lockdown. The measures towards small companies will hurt the livelihoods and effectively being of thousands and thousands of Illinoisans. From a enterprise standpoint, an estimated 24,000 Illinois eating places won’t ever reopen. From a top quality life standpoint, the scenario is so dire proper now latest CDC survey discovered that 25% of 18-24 12 months olds and 16% of 25-44% have “critically thought-about suicide” prior to now month. This can be a critical disaster that must be addressed. We have to begin taking measures to handle the issues created by the lockdowns, whereas nonetheless recognizing the severity of the illness. A possible vaccine and widespread inoculations should be greater than a 12 months away. We have to begin studying to struggle the illness with out destroying our lives.
three. Within the wake of the demise of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Ought to Illinois do the identical? In that case, what would that seem like?
Legislators ought to have a look at reforms in methodology of policing, however a better focus needs to be in reforming the authorized system. If legislators would work to cut back the variety of victimless crimes, then there could be fewer adverse interactions between residents and police. Streamlining the authorized system and rising understanding of legal guidelines and rights would assist each police and residents. Police are being requested to implement legal guidelines that run counter to particular person freedom, which might trigger hostile interactions.
four. Ought to the Legislature go a legislation requiring all legislation enforcement officers to put on physique cameras? Why or why not?
Sure, I might help legislation enforcement officers to put on physique cameras. It might enhance accountability and transparency.
5. Federal prosecutors have revealed a complete scheme of bribery, ghost jobs and favoritism in subcontracting by ComEd to affect the actions of Home Speaker Michael Madigan. Who’s guilty? What ethics reforms ought to comply with? Ought to Madigan resign?
If Speaker Madigan is discovered to have dedicated bribery, particularly on the alleged scale, the query needs to be whether or not or not he belongs in jail and never simply asking about his resignation. Mike Madigan is 100% guilty. No matter whether or not or not the courts convict Madigan, he nonetheless ought to resign. His underlings, allies, and associates allegedly profited on the expense of $450 Million from Illinois residents.
Among the ethics reforms that the legislature must undertake are a two 12 months ready interval for lobbying and consulting for politicians leaving workplace, clear registration by lobbyist, and necessary recusal for battle of curiosity.
6. Please inform us about your civic work within the final two years, whether or not it’s laws you’ve sponsored or work you’ve achieved in different methods to enhance your neighborhood.
That is my first time working for public workplace. Over the previous seven years, I’ve labored with a corporation to assist develop academic alternatives locally and assist present school scholarships.
7. Please record three issues which are particular to your district, corresponding to a undertaking that needs to be undertaken or a state coverage associated to an necessary native challenge that needs to be revised.
1) Lincoln Method North and Wealthy East Closures
Two of the general public excessive colleges (Lincoln Method North and Wealthy East) serving the district have closed completely, lowering alternative for college students, rising prices, and costing tax payers tens of thousands and thousands of . The one options put ahead had been extra public funds. We want efforts to usher in exterior cash and outdoors concepts to assist our instructional system.
2) Elwood and Joliet Intermodal
The growth of the CenterPoint Intermodal Port has been a boon to sure facets of the economic system. Whereas there have been many positives, it has additionally positioned a pressure on the native infrastructure and security of residents. We have to work to steadiness the financial impression on the regional economic system with the security and infrastructure with native residents.
three) Bettering Empty Retail House
All through the district, there are giant swathes of empty retail, industrial, and industrial area. As a substitute of offering tax advantages to develop new land, the neighborhood focus and tax advantages ought to go to revitalizing the empty present areas.
eight. What are your different high legislative priorities?
1. Poll Entry Reform.
In 2018, nearly half of the IL Home of consultant races had been unopposed. We’re supposedly a part of a consultant Republic and an important a part of our authorities is having selections within the electoral course of. Individuals love having selections relating to the grocery shops, leisure platforms, eating sources, however our present electoral system denies us any selection. Illinois has among the most stringent poll necessities of any states.
2. Eliminating Authorities Corruption and Creating Transparency
It’s no secret that Illinois is well-known for its machine politics and corruption. It’s time that the federal government begins representing the folks and never the politicians. I’ll push for time period limits, limits on lobbying and consulting when politicians go away workplace, and legislative recusals when donors are concerned.
three. Lowering Authorities Paperwork and Redundancy
Illinois has practically 7,000 totally different taxing authorities, which is over 1600 greater than Texas, the following closest state, that has 2.7x the inhabitants and four.6x the scale. Bettering the effectivity of our authorities will assist shut the funds deficit and scale back property taxes.
four. Schooling Reform
As a substitute of making an attempt to suit college students into colleges, we have to let college students discover colleges that match them. The federal government attracts imaginary packing containers round its residents then tells us that our solely choice to hunt training is throughout the imaginary field that they created. Mother and father and college students should be allowed the sources for them to hunt the very best training that matches their very own studying and self-discipline wants.
9. What’s your place on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated revenue tax? Please clarify.
I’m strongly towards the proposed graduated revenue tax. This may enable politicians extra skill to extend tax charges with much less enter from residents. Illinois is already dropping inhabitants to different states and one of many main causes is due to the taxes. We don’t want the State to supply extra causes for folks to flea.
Within the occasion the graduated revenue tax goes by way of, I might suggest an expiration date on the tax. The idea of perpetual taxation is very undemocratic and taxes future generations with out illustration.
10. Illinois continues to battle financially, with a backlog of unpaid payments. Along with a progressive state revenue tax — or in lieu of such a tax — what ought to the state do to pay its payments, meet its pension obligations and fund core providers corresponding to greater training?
Illinois is in a scenario wherein we have to take giant measures to safe the long run. The rate of interest and cash printing atmosphere has created a possible alternative to refinance and consolidate our money owed. Just like the reply in query one, Illinois must work with the nationwide authorities and the Federal Reserve to create a consolidation plan.
Illinois must account for all of its off steadiness sheet money owed. We want an sincere evaluation of all the long run liabilities. Then consolidate its off steadiness sheet money owed with its different bond obligation and repackage every little thing into one monetary instrument. In change for the consolidation of Illinois money owed, we should be keen to outlaw the practices that put us within the place within the first place and set expiration dates and time horizons for all authorities expenditures. The objective of this might be to place the burden of proof on this system and permit for better adaptation to altering populations.
11. Ought to Illinois take into account taxing the retirement incomes of its very wealthiest residents, as most states do? And your argument is?
Non-public revenue for Illinois residents shouldn’t be taxed. Illinois already ranks close to the worst for retirees, we don’t want to provide folks extra causes to maneuver out.
12. What can Illinois do to enhance its elementary and excessive colleges?
In the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, in individual lecture rooms vs distant studying has turn into one of many largest points inside training. Illinois wants to acknowledge that every particular person household, scholar, and trainer could have totally different consolation and security ranges regarding the pandemic and their skills to be taught. Some college students will do effectively throughout distant studying and a few won’t, some mother and father will have the ability to work throughout distant studying and others could have points with employment.
I’m totally in help of micro colleges or pandemic pods to assist develop the alternatives for college students that won’t succeed with out in individual studying. Micro colleges could be small 7-15 scholar class rooms that could possibly be arrange in empty retail area or workplace buildings and even in houses. The micro colleges could be significantly useful to lecturers and college students by lowering the potential for publicity, enhance the quantity of particular person consideration, plus develop the autonomy and freedom of the lecturers.
Because the world transitions right into a novel put up Covid atmosphere, increasing the choices for particular person studying will result in the best profit for training inside Illinois. There’s a substantial amount of sources being allotted in direction of distant studying, which result in a brand new crop of lecturers and college students that thrive on-line. On the similar, many college students and lecturers will profit being in a bigger social setting.
To enhance training in Illinois, college students and households want to have the ability to entry studying environments and fashions that greatest match their particular person wants, skills, and talents. On the similar time, lecturers want extra freedom to manage the methodologies that most closely fits their strengths.
13. Mass shootings and gun violence plague America. What can or ought to the Legislature do, if something, to handle this drawback in Illinois?
Throughout Alcohol Prohibition, the US noticed a 37.5% INCREASE in homicides per capita. The 10 years following the tip of Prohibition, the US noticed a 47% DROP in homicides per capita. Legislators ought to check out ending different black markets and prohibitions within the Illinois and all through the nation. Opening up transparency within the black markets and legalization has stemmed violence on this nation prior to now, there may be sturdy proof that it could once more sooner or later.
14. Do you like or oppose time period limits for any elected official in Illinois? Please clarify.
I consider there needs to be time period limits for all elected officers in Illinois. I additionally consider there needs to be a collective complete for time allowed to be spent in authorities. Time period limits would assist scale back alternatives for corruption and scale back political favors. I wish to see eight 12 months max for the IL Home and IL Senate with a mixed legislative max of 12 years. A max for the governor of eight years and a complete max in IL State huge authorities of 20 years.
15. All people says gerrymandering is unhealthy, however the occasion in energy in each state — Democrats in Illinois — resist doing something about it. Or do we have now that improper? What needs to be achieved?
I don’t know if gerrymandering will ever be solved, however I believe Illinois can take some steps to assist rectify the damages created by it. Initially, time period limits. Second, scale back the boundaries to poll entry. 54 of 118 IL Home of Representatives races went unopposed in 2018. Make the method for getting on the poll simpler and rising the quantity selections for voters.
If the powers within the State are going to proceed to disclaim folks entry to getting on the poll, the opposite concept could be to institute a ghost runner coverage. In an unopposed race, this might require a candidate Not one of the Above to look on the poll. Sure politicians have been capable of stay in energy solely based mostly on their skill to maintain others off the poll. This may require politicians to take care of their positions based mostly on the deserves of their candidacy and never their authorized prowess.
16. The U.S. legal professional’s workplace in Chicago is investigating potential official corruption by state and native officers. This prompted the Legislature to go an ethics reform measure to amend the Lobbyist Registration Act (SB 1639). It was signed into legislation in December. What’s your tackle this and what extra needs to be achieved?
I consider that there are plenty of optimistic steps in direction of making an attempt to wash up Illinois politics. Will probably be an extended and tough highway to wash up the corruption, however one of many simpler steps that could possibly be undertaken is time period limits. Limiting the size and the facility of politicians can strengthen transparency and stronger checks and balances. Among the ethics reforms that the legislature must undertake are a two 12 months ready interval for lobbying and consulting for politicians leaving workplace, clear registration by lobbyist, and necessary recusal for battle of curiosity.
17. When folks use the web and wi-fi units, firms acquire knowledge about us. Oftentimes, the data is offered to different firms, which might use it to trace our actions or invade our privateness in different methods. When firms share this knowledge, we additionally face a better danger of identification theft. What ought to the Legislature do, if something?
I wish to see people have the ability to have simpler entry to their info that’s getting used and offered. One of many difficulties about our privateness is the shortage of transparency relating to what’s being collected and the way it’s getting used. If shoppers are allowed extra clear and comprehensible info on their knowledge, people could be higher capable of make their very own selections on who and the way it may be used.
18. The variety of Illinois public highschool graduates who enroll in out-of-state universities continues to climb. What can Illinois do to make its state universities extra enticing to Illinois highschool college students?
To enhance the attraction of state colleges to Illinois highschool college students and households, I consider there needs to be a hard and fast price degree that could possibly be began as much as 4 years earlier than the scholar enters school. College students and fogeys would have the ability to lock in a fee as freshmen in highschool and that fee would final them by way of school commencement. This may enable for extra time to prepay and put together for the precise prices of school.
19. What’s your high legislative precedence with respect to the atmosphere?
There are a number of totally different steps that I wish to see Illinois take to enhance the atmosphere and enhance the long run relationship between people and nature.
1) We have to take away the tax restrictions on non productive land. The tax construction punishes open areas.
2) The state also needs to put restrictions on authorities entities from issuing tax breaks to develop new land close to places which have unutilized improvement.
three) Legalize blended grid and decentralized renewable utilities.
four) Promote personal funds to increasing public prairies and Miyawaki Forest
5) Elevate personal funds for awards to developments in power and inexperienced structure
20. What historic determine from Illinois, aside from Abraham Lincoln (as a result of all people’s huge on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please clarify.
Whereas I’ve to confess that with the observe document of Illinois politicians it’s tough to search out inspiration from lots of them, I’ll say that I like among the actions and practices of Shadrach Bond, First Governor of Illinois.
Just like our present scenario, Gov. Bond led a state with no cash, however nonetheless wished to supply for the folks. Gov. Bond led a non-public effort to fund public roads and transportation. He additionally pushed for lowering punishment for misdemeanor offenses and lowering authorities involvement in citizen’s lives. Lastly, he vetoed efforts to for the State Financial institution.
Whereas I don’t agree with all of the actions of Gov. Bond, I firmly consider authorities ought to work to encourage personal residents to provide freely for public items. I additionally consider in fixing our judicial system and reforming punishment. Lastly, I don’t consider that the Authorities needs to be spending now and leveraging the way forward for Illinois residents.
21. What’s your favourite TV, streaming or web-based present of all time. Why?
South Park. It mixes clever commentary on politics, society, and present occasions with infantile rest room humor.