As millennials, we have more power than we realize. We hold the responsibility of shaping the future. There are policies that are passing every day, and they affect us more than the people signing the bills. Consequently, it’s our job to understand the issues, voice our opinions, and strive to implement the changes we want to see. One particular candidate that has been making noise is Daniel Biss. He recently held a meet and greet on the West Side of Chicago, were he genuinely engaged in conversation pertaining to issues he truly cares about. In this upcoming gubernatorial election, we cannot get distracted by who’s popular, and we must support those making true change.
- “Dang, that’s crazy. Happens every day though.”
Living in Chicago, particularly in minority communities, we are immune to senseless acts of violence. If you ask the average young adult from Chicago about the latest shooting, their response will probably casually dismiss that casualty. I expressed my concerns about this issue to Biss, and he responded that “For some time now, I have realized this issue, and in return, once elected I will implement more psychologist in public schools to assist the youth to cope with these built up emotions.”
- Mental Health Matters, too.
The fact that $82 million had been cut from the department’s Division of Mental Health, has resulted in six of twelve mental institutions in Chicago to close is absurd. Most of these are coincidentally on the South Side. It is important that Biss is elected, so that budget cuts don’t risk our youth’s mental stability, but that it is his priority.
- Legalize not Criminalize
As the racist drug war continues into the 21st century, and Black and Brown folks are being slapped with felonies for marijuana, others gain wealth from their “totally cool pot Yoga class.” Biss and running mate Litesa Wallace agree that this is unfair. They both plan to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Their intentions are to halt the war on drugs and bring down the alarming rate of incarnated individuals.
- Ban the Box
While some are allowed to build businesses from pot, others are blocked from the job market because of their felony of distribution of the same product. Is this fair? Quite the contrary, which is why both Biss and Wallace have historically voted for legislation that reduces punishments for possession, to civil violation punishable to only a fine. Not only does this path lead to legalizing marijuana, but eliminates felonies passed around, thus the ability to attain jobs. Additionally, when elected, they plan to ban companies from using the felony checkbox on job applications. This eliminates filtering talent seeking employment.
The future is at our fingertips and is time for us to take full control. The time of allowing unfair policies that affect us to exist has come to a halt. We have to continue to educate one another and fight for change.
By Tyme Anderson