Friday, February 2nd, 2018
My name is Jonathan Carroll, and I was recently appointed to the office of State Representative to the Illinois 57th Representative District. Let me start by emphasizing what an honor and privilege it is to have this opportunity to serve our community. These first three months have been an incredible experience, and I thought it might be interesting to relay some of the stories I’ve come across during this time. The phrase I keep finding myself using is that I have been “drinking out of a fire-hose”, so I’m sure there will never be a shortage of topics.
I’ve decided to launch this blog, “From the 57th” as a way of keeping my constituents informed as to what is going on in our capitol, as well as our district. I’ll try to regularly update it, and moving forward, you can expect at least two blog posts per month. As you come to know me, you will discover that my governing philosophy revolves primarily around hearing all sides of an argument, and listening to the concerns of my constituents. Towards that end, I encourage you all to attend our many public outreach events, post on my social media, and share your opinions, concerns, and story.
Now that we have the administrative aspect out of the way, let’s dive right into my first blog post!
My district staff and I have definitely hit the ground running, cooperating closely with surrounding legislators’ offices, and trying to bring innovative opportunities to communities on our own.
My bill for middle-class tax relief has been getting a fair amount of press recently. I will embed a link to the recent Reuters article here. We are trying to create novel solutions for the tax burden recently laid on us by our federal government. I am proud of Illinois, we are the power-house of the Midwest, and our state’s GDP is comparable to nations like Turkey and the Netherlands. This is why many saw this recent Tax Plan to be unfair. Illinois, like several other states considering similar legislation, are actually net contributors to the federal government. Put simply, we give more in tax revenues than we receive in funding. To put punishing taxes on these states seems fool-hardy at best, and that is why my colleagues and I are working to pass HB4237.
We also just had Governor Rauner’s State of the State address, this past Wednesday. The governor made some big promises and asked that we all work together down in Springfield. It’s great to hear our state’s leader emphasize collaboration. We need more of it. In my time down in Springfield, I’ve worked with colleagues of both parties to help make our state a better place. The governor will present us with a balanced budget next month. I am looking forward to him keeping his promise.
Many of my colleagues and I were dressed in all black for this day. We were showing support for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. While this sent a powerful symbolic message, I should also mention that I proudly serve on the Sexual Harassment Task Force that was set up to fight this problem head on. Men need to stand with women, and combine our strength, in order to leave these despicable practices in the dustbin of history. The time for the culture of permissive sexual harassment in the workplace is over. We need to set a better example for our children. Here are some photos!
This first entry is already running a little longer than I initially anticipated, so I should probably end it here. Stay tuned for updates and recaps on events, knocking doors, community outreach, Springfield, and anything else worth sharing. I’m really looking forward to this continuing blog, and to hearing from all of you.