By Kelly White
The 6th District State representative Democratic primary race features a classic battle between a longtime incumbent and a challenger. The district includes parts of the West Loop, South Loop, and Bronzeville
Sonya M. Harper, a former South Side community activist, has served as the 6th District Illinois State representative since 2015.
Harper noted the State’s fiscal year 2023 budget contains $250 million for the Reimagine Public Safety Act, in addition to more than $200 million for other public safety and law enforcement measures. Of that, $124 million will assist local police, she explained.
“The legislature also passed a smart-on-crime package to make our streets safer, support police, and help crime victims get the support they need,” Harper said. “We specifically targeted carjackers and smash-and-grab criminals. We also funded youth intervention programs. Finally, we worked to ensure that victims and witnesses of violent crimes can come forward and receive support with relocation. I believe that these measures, among others, will help reduce the violence facing many of our communities.”
On ethics reform, Harper said, “One of the most important guarantees at the foundation of American democracy is that those we elect to represent us in government will do so in a manner consistent with the law, ethical rules, and democratic norms. Recent events have called attention to the fact that some public servants sadly failed to meet this standard. In response, this session, we passed SB 539, the most comprehensive ethics reform package Springfield has ever seen.”
An advocate of voter protection, Harper said, “Voting is one of the most important, if not the most important, rights Americans have. I am firmly committed to ensuring that every American citizen has not only the right to vote but the right to access to the ballot box. Democracy and equal suffrage are inseparable.”
Healthcare, including funding to battle long-term effects of COVID-19, is essential, Harper said. “This session, I was proud to help pass HB 158, which enhanced healthcare equity in our state by remedying healthcare disparities and inequalities which were being experienced by many Black Illinoisans,” she added. “Healthcare is a basic human right. Every person deserves access to quality, affordable health care—no matter their race, age, ZIP code, or income level. Here in Illinois, this isn’t a political issue. This is a life or death issue for our residents.”
On funding education, Harper said Illinois’s balanced budget for FY 2023 invests in education in a number of ways. “A great example of this is the $350 million which will go toward evidenced-based education funding to help give children high-quality schools—regardless of their socioeconomic background,” she said. “Education is the most important resource we can give our children.”
Harper said she is working to ensure fair property tax assessment. “My staff and I are always standing by to address concerns from constituents, including on the important subject of property taxes,” she noted. “I was proud to support Gov. Pritzker’s balanced budget, including the $300 expansion of property tax rebates, as well as voting for SB 1975, which has been sent to the governor and would make it easier for the eligible surviving spouses of deceased veterans to qualify for property tax exemptions.”
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Carolynn D. Crump did not respond to multiple Gazette Chicago requests for an interview.
Crump, who obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana in recreation and leisure facilities management, went on to earn an MBA, an MS degree in financial forensics and fraud, and a doctorate in business administration from Argosy University.
Since 1999, she has served as a Chicago Police officer and since 1995 as a part-time security officer for the Chicago Ridge Park District.
Crump also is a Service Employees International Union member and a Chicago Lodge 7 union representative for the Fraternal Order of Police. She remains active in the local community, volunteering her time to Bark in the Park, Bike the Drive, and the Hunger Walk.
If elected, her legislative priorities would be promoting justice, protecting workers’ benefits, and fighting for better wages.
For more on Carolynn Crump, log on to www.linkedin.-com/in/dr-carolynn-d-crump/.