No one knows what the future holds for Cheri Bustos. She’s been talked about for higher-profile leadership posts among congressional Democrats — and as a potential candidate for higher office.
What we do know for certain is that Bustos has been a good representative for the people of the 17th U.S. House District and deserves to be re-elected.
The 17th District includes Freeport, Rockford, Peoria, the Quad Cities and Galesburg. The district contains about 7,000 square miles and includes 14 counties. Bustos puts a lot of miles on her vehicle as she travels regularly from one end of the district to the other to keep in touch with constituents.
“Cheri on Shift,” the outreach effort in which she works a job in the district and gets to know workers and their concerns, is just one of the ways she connects with constituents. A former journalist, she hasn’t done a shift in our newsroom, but if she ever decides to we’re sure she would be good at it.
Bustos has been good at bringing your federal tax dollars back home to stimulate economic development here. Most notably she, with Sen. Dick Durbin, has helped secure millions of dollars in federal investment to expand operations at Chicago Rockford International Airport.
That investment has led to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs at the airport in the past year alone, with many more jobs expected in the years to come.
Workforce development is a big issue in the region. Bustos delivered a $2.2 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration for Colman Village, a $32 million, mixed-use development anchored by a Rock Valley College manufacturing technology training institute.
She serves on the House Committee on Agriculture and was appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee. She is keenly aware of the challenges faced by farmers in the counties that make up her vast district. She has sponsored the Crop Insurance Fairness Act of 2018, which would expand subsidies for beginning farmers. Her work on agriculture issues earned her the endorsement of the Illinois Farm Bureau.
We also appreciate that she, along with Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, took time to participate in a Civility Summit in 2017. The event was organized by 815 Choose Civility, a local initiative involving the media, public institutions and the private sector that promotes civility as an antidote to civic dysfunction.
Her opponent, Republican Bill Fawell, has campaigned hard with few resources. He is getting no support from his party because of his embrace of conspiracy theories about Sept. 11 and the Sandy Hook shooting.
Bustos’ focus on bread-and-butter issues — jobs, the economy, agriculture — appeals to voters across the political spectrum.
She deserves a fourth term in Congress. After that, who knows what the future holds for her.
Region: Northern,Feeds,City: Freeport,Region: Rockford,Opinion
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October 24, 2018 at 06:43PM