Demands, Hopes, Expectations: Illinois Leaders on Biden Agenda

Now that President Joe Biden is officially in the Oval Office, it’s time to get down to work.

Interest groups — made of supporters and critics alike — have a lot of expectations for the country’s 46th president.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Here’s a sampling:

Jaime di Paulo, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

“As business owners we’d like to see the economy reopen, but you also understand the issue of COVID. The faster we tackle COVID, the faster we get those into people’s arms, the faster we’re going to be able to open our businesses. We’re hoping that’s going to happen.”

Karen Tamley, Access Living and a member of Biden’s transition team:

“When we work to advance disability rights, and when we bake in disability issues and accessibility issues into policy making, we are going to make a better world for all of us. Because disability will touch every single one of us at some point in our lives.”  

Her priorities for the Biden administration include: “Advancing affordable, integrated and accessible housing. Education. Expanding home and community integrated services so that our community can live independently in the communities of our choices with the support service we need and then really just advancing civil and human rights for people with disabilities.”

Bob Reiter, Chicago Federation of Labor: 

“OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was put to sleep for the last four years and I know that President Biden is coming full force, not only to reactivate OSHA and have them out there enforcing safety rules, but President Biden, when he talks about being for unions and the word ‘union’ comes out of his mouth, he’s already taken bold action by putting one of our own, Marty Walsh, in as the Secretary of Labor.”

Ann Whalen, Advance Illinois: 

“The (Biden) administration has already signaled its willingness to invest more (money) to help our schools recover from COVID, to reopen, to really address that learning disruption and that’s desperately needed. So with his newly announced package for both childcare, for K-12 and for higher ed, we’re extremely excited about that. He’s also signaled his commitment to equity and to civil rights. So really placing back at the center of the role of the Department of Education protecting all students.”

Ahmed Rehab, Chicago Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations/CAIR-Chicago: 

“We are tired as American Muslims of being seen only through the lens of national security, whether instituting an executive order or repealing it. It’s good that we’re (Biden) repealing that executive order but our existence and our relationship with government doesn’t being and end in terms of national security but our community is contributing to all facets of American life.”

Jennifer Welch, Planned Parenthood Action Illinois: 

“What we need the new administration to do as soon as possible is to eliminate the gag rule, and that’s the global gag rule and the domestic gag rule so that health care providers can talk about all forms of care including abortion. They need to issue that executive order as soon as possible; today would be great, tomorrow’s alright too.”

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors