“Too many people are suffering in Illinois.”

I have been a Registered Nurse for 25 Years at Cook County Hospital taking care of Cook County’s most vulnerable and neglected patients.  And this is why I support Biss for Governor because I know as Governor he also cares about my most vulnerable patients. He will work to ensure they have access to the healthcare care and social services they need to be healthy.

My great-grandmother, Birdie Keglar, was a civil rights activist. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. 10 months later, in January of 1966, despite having received death threats, she traveled with 4 Black Civil Rights Activists and a 27 Year old White College Student to a hearing held by US Attorney General Robert Kennedy.  There, she gave testimony on poverty in the Delta and about how Voting Rights were being denied.

On her way back home she was murdered by Klan terrorists that ran her car off the road. She and her 78 year old mentor were decapitated. I was five years old. When the pall bearers rolled her casket out the church I touched it with my little hands. I promised her I would not cry and I would not give up.  My great-grandmother felt compelled to fight for what was right and to fight for our right to vote.  Now, it’s 52 years later and I also feel compelled to stand against the greed and power grab by the billionaire candidates Rauner and Pritzker. My great grandmother gave her life so that I could have the right to vote. And I don’t intend to squander that vote. I intend to not only vote for Daniel Biss for Governor, I also intend to do the work to help get him elected.

Too many people are suffering in the State of Illinois.  Poverty and lack of opportunity are taking their toll.  Last year more than 700 people died from Gun Violence – Two of those that lost their live were my loved ones.

I worked for years in the dialysis unit at Stroger.  Many dialysis patients end up in kidney failure because they don’t have access to the basic health care that they need.

  • I remember so many patients that ended up on dialysis because they couldn’t afford to fill their blood pressure medications.
  • I remember undocumented patients that never had health care until it was too late to save their kidneys.  
  • I remember a patient that had a kidney transplant as a child and then ended up on dialysis because she got old enough to fall off of her parent’s insurance and couldn’t afford care.   Governor Rauner and Democrats that only serve their corporate donors threaten cuts that will further endanger my patients.

That’s why I’m supporting Daniel Biss for Governor. Daniel Biss supports healthcare for all through a single payer system. Daniel Biss supports free public higher education for all because he knows education is pathway out of poverty. Daniel supports a financial transaction tax, known as the LaSalle Street tax. A tax on the trillions traded on LaSalle Street could raise billions annually for the state of Illinois. The money raised from a very small tax on LaSalle Street could fund the programs many people need. The problem is that our legislators lack the political will to tax the corporations and the very wealthy. Daniel Biss is not afraid to demand that the very wealthy and the corporations pay their fair share.

Daniel Biss stands for the visions and values that my great grandmother Birdie Keglar instilled in me over 52 years ago. This is why I am proud to support Daniel Biss.

— Martese Chism, Registered Nurse