Running for: State Representative, District 64
Political party affiliation: Democrat
Political/civic background: Union President, Community Consolidated School District 46 Paraprofessionals and Support Staff Labor Union Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504. Former Vice President and Board Member of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA). Former Executive Board Member of the Grayslake Arts Alliance.
Occupation: Media Relations Specialist/Webmaster at Community Consolidated School District 46, Grayslake, IL
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Millikin University, Decatur, IL
Campaign website: thepeopleforleslie.com
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees for the Illinois House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois and their districts. Leslie Armstrong-McLeod submitted the following responses:
The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the finances of Illinois. The state is staring at a $6.2 billion budget shortfall in this fiscal year. What should be done? Please be specific.
Illinois needs to approve the Fair Tax Plan to relieve the burden on lower-wage workers and require the top 3% of earners to pay their fair share.
What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic? Please explain. What, if anything, should he have done differently?
I would give the governor a B+ in his handling of the pandemic. As an education professional, I appreciated the quick and decisive action on the stay-at-home order early on in March. I appreciated his daily briefings with Dr. Ezike and the decisions made to limit activities in the public. As the pandemic has continued I have been disappointed with discrepancies in the governor’s orders and guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and unobtainable requirements and guidelines for the reopening of schools.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Should Illinois do the same? If so, what would that look like?
Yes. While I have the utmost respect for those who choose to become law enforcement officers, we need to take a hard look at policing policies, namely no-knock warrants, excessive use of force, and use of body cameras. We also need to stop the militarization of the police departments. I would like to see more transparency in law enforcement, much like you see in state reporting for education with interactive report cards that are easily accessible by the public. The public should not have to dig to find information like how many officers are employed by a village, what is their educational background, what training have they had, how much are they paid, how long have they been on the job. We need more transparency for the public. Law enforcement needs to go back to serving and protecting the public.
Should the Legislature pass a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras? Why or why