(The Center Square) – Candidates seeking their party’s nomination to be Illinois’ next secretary of state met leaders of disability rights group to discuss ways to improve care for Illinoisans with disabilities.
The forum was hosted by Access Living, a disability rights group, and included three of the candidates’ ideas for improving the lives of individuals with disabilities if they are elected.
Data shows that nearly 23% of Illinoisans live with a disability.
The forum covered everything that a secretary of state is responsible for, such as parking enforcement, digital accessibility, and availability of mobile response units.
For the first time in more than 20 years, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is not seeking reelection. The Democrat announced his retirement last summer.
There are four Democrats looking for the party’s nomination in the June 28 primary: Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, Alexi Giannoulias, David Moore and Sidney Moore. Two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination for the position: John Milhiser and state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington.
Brady, David Moore, and Valencia attended the Access Living forum over Zoom.
Brady gave his thoughts on what needs to improve to better the lives of those with a disability.
"One of the areas we need to improve when talking about accommodations in Springfield, where I worked on getting our daily calendar to have more access for the visually impaired with not only larger print but also a brail standpoint," Brady said.
David Moore said coming together on these issues is the correct approach.
"We need these people at the table," Moore said. "We need to stop pretending that we know everything and we’re making sure we have them at the table so that we can be using those resources wisely."
Valencia said her style will be similar to longtime Secretary of State White.
"Jesse White worked hard to make sure that government is accessible to all communities, and that will be the same approach that I take," Valencia said.
After the June 28 primary, the Illinois Secretary of State election will be on Nov. 8. It will be the first time Illinois elects a new candidate for the position since 1999.
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June 12, 2022 at 11:21AM