Posted on: November 3, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By the Editorial Board

Do you care about issues like climate change? Access to abortions in Illinois? Gun violence? Workers’ right to unionize for better conditions and pay? If so, it’s important for you to vote in tomorrow’s midterm election.

According to the fall 2022 Harvard Youth Poll, “More than 7-in-10 young Americans (72%) believe that the rights of others are under attack; 59% believe that their own rights are under attack.”

Several issues are likely to bring young voters to the polls in this midterm in record numbers.

“Inflation and economic concerns are top of mind, but young voters also see this election as a referendum on the rights that form the foundation of our society,” said Alan Zhang ‘24, student chair of the Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP). “For many young Americans, abortion rights, the future of our planet, and our democracy itself are all on the line this November – and they are acting accordingly.”

After taking a deeper look at some of the issues at stake in this year’s election, the Editorial Board is providing this guide to who and what you should be voting for. These candidates are endorsed by the Moraine Valley Glacier. 

Amendment 1: Vote Yes

A “yes” vote for Amendment 1 means support for worker’s rights to unionize, protecting them from being exploited by corporate greed, as our recent editorial points out. If this amendment passes, Illinois would be the first state to have the right to unionize included in its constitution. The amendment will ensure workers “the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.”

Senate: Tammy Duckworth

Control of the Senate is at stake in this election, as it has been evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans for the past two years. Tammy Duckworth, a combat veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, is in favor of reinstituting a federal ban on assault weapons.

“Let me just say, I’ve carried an M16,” she said. “For 23 years, I’ve fired machine guns … I know what an M4 will do to a human body. It is designed to shred and destroy your enemy on the field of battle.

“It is not designed for hunting. It is not designed for target practice. It is designed to kill the enemy, so that they don’t stand back up.”

Senators are the upper chamber of Congress, and they have the power to approve treaties and several jobs in the government, such as Supreme Court judges. In addition to gun legislation, Duckworth has expressed focus on several issues such as job development programs, environmental justice and equal rights for all Illinoisans. She also is in favor of a federal pro-abortion rights law.

Governor: J.B. Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has emphasized the importance of the climate crisis in Illinois, claiming that it is the greatest stress on our future. He has invested in violence prevention programs and mental health services in an attempt to ensure safety in all Illinois neighborhoods and help put an end to gun violence.

In light of the decision to reverse Roe v. Wade, abortion rights are now determined by each state. Pritzker is strong on protecting these rights, saying, “As long as I’m governor, abortion will remain safe, legal, and accessible in Illinois.”

As we have pointed out in a previous editorial, the reversal of Roe v. Wade is not only a women’s issue but an education issue, as an unplanned pregnancy is the most common reason for college students to drop out of college. Although we feel our reproductive rights are safe in Illinois, that could change depending on who is in office.

Attorney General: Kwame Raoul

The attorney general is responsible for being the legal advisor and representative of all state agencies. As the U.S. Supreme Court leans toward limiting the federal government’s power by giving more power to the states, the position of state attorney general becomes even more important.

Kwame Raoul is a former prosecutor and former state senator who has seven issues that he is focusing on: fighting crime in our communities, advocating for women, supporting survivors, protecting children, fighting for affordable healthcare, protecting voting rights, and standing with workers.

Secretary of State: Alexi Giannoulias

When you got your driver’s license, you may have seen a portrait of our outgoing secretary of state, Jesse White, who is retiring after being reelected six consecutive times. White has endorsed Alexi Giannoulias.

Giannoulias has a number of priorities, among them being fighting climate change and protecting voting rights.

He explains why he’s running for office this way: “Government has prioritized the interests of the powerful and wealthy over the welfare of the majority, resulting in a lack of trust and confidence in our elected officials, especially among those with less means and people of color who have been left out and alienated by the status quo.”

Comptroller: Susana Mendoza

The state comptroller is responsible for maintaining the state’s fiscal accounts, or in layman’s terms, acting as an accountant.

In the midst of a pandemic, Susana Mendoza has eliminated Illinois’ backlog of debt, led Illinois to its first credit update in 20 years, and saved taxpayers up to $6 billion.

Treasurer: Michael Frerichs

A state treasurer is the chief investment and banking officer, investing money on behalf of the state.

Michael Frerichs claims to have returned more money to Illinoisans than any other treasurer in history. He has expanded tools like the Secure Choice program, aiding with retirement, and the ABLE program, helping families to plan for loved ones with disabilities.

Illinois House District 6: Sean Casten

Congress people introduce bills and resolutions, and offer amendments. Sean Casten is concerned about protecting voting rights, eliminating climate change and advocating for women.

Before running for Congress, Casten was a biochemical engineer and clean energy entrepreneur.

As we argued in a previous editorial, “The slow murder of our planet calls for uproar. We have seen scientists chain themselves to buildings and light themselves on fire, and citizens lay down on highways in protest. Yet world leaders are ignoring cries for help from scientists and citizens alike.”

We need leaders like Casten to help us take action on climate change NOW. 

The Glacier Editorial Board consists of Rosie Finnegan, Opinion Editor, Nick Stulga, Editor-in-Chief, and the section editors of the publication. Editorials represent the official position of The Glacier.