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About the Candidate

Name: Bill Foster
DOB: Oct. 7, 1955
Occupation: Scientist and businessman
Political Experience: Current U.S. Representative (IL-11) since 2013; Served as U.S. Representative (IL-14) from 2008 to 2011
Website: billfoster.com
Twitter: @Foster4Congress

Candidate Statement

Hi, I’m Bill Foster.

I am a scientist and a businessman, and I am proud to represent the 11th Congressional District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives - a district that includes VIBRANT and diverse communities like AURORA, JOLIET, NAPERVILLE, and BOLINGBROOK.

And that diversity makes us STRONGER.

That’s why it has been so DISTURBING to see what President Trump has been trying to do to our country over the past three years.

But our values are more powerful than his hateful words, corrupt schemes, and cruel policies.

So I am confident that we will turn the page on this dark chapter of American history.

And we must do just that, by coming together and thinking logically and carefully to address the complex problems that we face.

Issues like health care.

We need to strengthen and expand the Affordable Care Act and introduce a Public Option that will give people a HIGH QUALITY, LOW COST alternative to for-profit health insurance and move us towards universal coverage.

Issues like gun violence.

After passing common sense gun violence legislation that will help SAVE innocent lives, we must see that through the Senate and have it signed by the President.

Issues like climate change.

As a SCIENTIST, I focus on the FACTS when I make decisions about policy, and the facts about climate change are CLEAR.

To combat climate change we need REAL solutions and FACT-BASED policies.

That’s why I’ve been a leader on legislation to increase grid energy storage, so that we can increase penetration of renewable generation and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

I’ve also hosted numerous forums on climate change, with everyone from Nobel Prize winners to Tom Skilling, because I believe it’s important that people get EDUCATED about the science of climate change.

I am PROUD to bring my scientific background, And my experience building a successful business to Congress as I tackle these issues.

So I’m asking for your vote to return to Congress and to continue to address the complex challenges that will determine the country and the world that our children will inherit.

Thank you.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I have been proud to represent the 11th Congressional District of Illinois since 2013. This district includes Aurora, Joliet, and Naperville - the second, third, and fourth largest cities in Illinois. One of the features of this district that makes it such a special place is its diversity and how we work together to build communities that people seek out to live in, work in, and raise families in. It is my honor to stand up for the people that call the 11th District home and be their voice in the U.S. Congress.

I am proud of my record of advocating for policies that benefit the people of our district such as expanding health care coverage, common sense gun legislation to make our communities safer, robust funding for scientific research that is vital to economic growth and combating the grave threat of climate change, legislation aimed at building an economy that works for everyone, and protections for DREAMers who have known no other home than America and deserve to know they are welcome here - just to name a few.

Unfortunately, a lot of the progress we’ve made over the years has been threatened because of President Trump and his allies in Congress. We’ve also seen this President try to divide our communities through bigotry, racism, and fear. I reject this type of politics. It does not reflect the values of our district and I am committed to working each and every day to stand against it and to help turn the page so that America can once again move forward, together.

What is your vision for this office?

The most important job I have is to listen to my constituents. That’s why beyond my work in Washington, I try and interact as much as I can with the people I represent. Over the past year I’ve hosted many town halls, both in person and over the phone, to hear from constituents on a variety of issues. I have attended hundreds of community events and met with dozens of individuals and groups in my district offices to discuss a wide range of policies and concerns. This is a consistent pattern of my time in Congress because I believe the people I represent should have the ability to tell me how they feel about issues important to them and their families, and it’s something I will continue to do as long as I have the honor of serving them.

As the only PhD physicist in Congress I also have a unique responsibility for ensuring that we develop policies on the basis of facts and logic. I have introduced and supported science-based policies for medically assisted opioid treatment, energy research to increase the penetration of renewable electricity sources into our electric grid, and increasing research into quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and carbon-free power sources.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

I continue to believe that health care is a basic human right and that we should continue to move towards universal coverage while lowering out-of-pocket costs. Voting for the Affordable Care Act in 2010 remains one of my proudest votes in Congress and I believe we need to continue to strengthen and expand the ACA. I believe we should introduce a robust public option to the health insurance marketplace to provide people with a low-cost, high-quality competitive alternative to private insurance plans. I voted for a public option in the original House-passed ACA and continue to support it today. In the current Congress I voted for H.R. 3 which would lower prescription drug costs by price negotiation and capping drug prices charged by manufacturers. Further expanding eligibility for Medicaid is another important step we can take to continue to build on the progress of the ACA and get us to universal coverage.

It’s unfortunate that the ACA has been a target for repeal and weakening by President Trump and congressional Republicans who would like to see us return to a time when insurance companies could deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. This would be a grave mistake for the health and well-being of the American people and I am committed to defending the ACA from these attacks.

Beyond quality health care coverage, we must support investment in medical research, including detection and treatment options for chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. We need to continue to aggressively fight the opioid epidemic that has cost too many lives, and the best way to do that is by supporting expanded treatment options for those struggling with substance-use disorder, including evidence-based medically- assisted treatments.

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