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About the Candidate

Name: Rachel Ventura
DOB: Age 38
Occupation: Business Director for Legendary Games, an international publishing company.
Political Experience: Will County Board Member, Will County Forest Preserve Commissioner, Board member for Heritage Corridor Visitor Convention Bureau, and Board Member on Nature Foundation
Twitter: @electventura

Candidate Statement

My name is Rachel Ventura. I am a progressive Democrat Running for US Congress in Illinois’ 11th district.

I am a mathematician, a naturalist, and a mother of two amazing twin girls.

There are big differences between myself and my opponent, Wallstreet Democrat Bill Foster.

I am supporting the Green New Deal as the only serious way to combat the climate crisis and create jobs to stabilize our economy.

My opponent supports a $50 million dollar fossil fuel bail out called The USE IT ACT, which supports enhanced oil recovery and fracking.

I support improving and expanding Medicare for All, because it is immoral that 40,000 Americans lose their lives, each and every year because for-profit insurance companies denied their care.

My opponent refuses to sign on to Medicare for All and continues to take money from the for-profit healthcare industry.

I support Criminal Justice Reform like getting rid of mandatory minimums, ending cash bail and sealing records.  I support a pathway towards citizenship that is attainable.

I support fully funding education from Pre-K through college.

And I support Public financing of elections so people like you and me can run for office.

I am running a clean campaign without corporate PAC or SUPERPAC money.

My opponent has taken more than $2 million from big Pharma, Big Oil and Big Banks.

I understand the broken systems that frustrate everyday Americans. The 34th richest member of congress is out of touch with the kitchen table problems.

I will fight for solutions that make our lives better.

Imagine leaders that inspire and transform. Imagine better jobs, a stronger economy and more time with family with better pay.

Imagine access to affordable healthcare!

Imagine a country where people treat each other with respect and dignity.

Imagine coming together, people of all backgrounds, skin color, age, gender, religion, and social class to create a government that works for everyone.

I believe that a different world is possible… when we fight to protect that which we love.

This is the future we are building.

Please join me in building this future by voting for Rachel Ventura on March 17th.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

We deserve a government and an economy that works for everyone, and a congresswoman who will get us there. After meeting with the current representative about cosponsoring the expanded and improved Medicare for All bill, and others approached him about supporting the Green New Deal, I realized that he was not going to change his thinking nor support any legislation that addresses the wealth gap. Good Jobs, a sustainable planet, and access to healthcare are top issues! Further research revealed that he has taken money from big pharma, big oil and more than $1.4 million from big banks. I realized Bill Foster is not working for us.

As a Will County Board Member, I have been a strong voice for working people and have taken a leadership role in passing the Greenest Region Compact, getting the community of Fairmont, IL onto Joliet’s public water system instead of the private company, Aqua. I pushed for Will County to move to 100% renewable energy and I continue to fight for this issue today.

Despite these accomplishments, I feel that there is so much work that needs to be happening at the federal level if we want to address the wealth inequality, the escalating climate crisis, and a broken government system that only represents wealthy special interest groups.

What is your vision for this office?

In the same way that I have been a voice for the people in Will County, I will be a voice that is continually speaking up to represent the 11th district. I believe that we can have a government and an economy that works for everyone. Right now, there are very affluent areas and very poor areas of the 11th district. It is reflective of the nation as things are today. We are facing a looming climate crisis, growing wealth gap, and a president who is destabilizing the Middle East. The high poverty parts of the district are home to temp workers who are employed at the massive warehouse district, CenterPoint that is known as the largest inland port in the world. We also have two oil refineries and a converted coal plant.

I envision passing the Green New Deal and putting people in Illinois back to work in well- paying, living wage green-collar jobs. We can save our planet and create an economy that works for everyone. I envision people transitioning from jobs in oil refineries to jobs making homes energy efficient or constructing hydropower, wind and solar farms to power those homes and businesses. I envision people of all races and religions across the globe working together to combat the climate crisis, not fighting each other over the last few fossil fuel resources in the Middle East.

I envision leaders that inspire and transform, better jobs, a stronger economy, more time with family, better pay, and access to healthcare! I see a world where you can marry the one you love, and a country where people treat each other with respect and dignity. I am fighting for a country where people of all backgrounds, skin color, age, gender, religion, and social class come together to create a government that works for everyone.

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

The growing wealth gap in America is the issue that seems to resurface again and again, in a number of different ways. For senior citizens who are living on a fixed income and living in poverty I suggest we scrap the cap and increase the size of their Social Security checks. For other people the issue is poverty wages. We need a $15/hour living wage that is indexed to inflation.

For some people it is a choice between paying the mortgage or paying for healthcare. I talked to one woman who chose to lose her house so she could pay the $250,000 in doctor bills. She still owes some money on those bills. As a solution, I am supporting Medicare for All as the simplest to implement, and most affordable way to cover the cost of healthcare for all Americans.

For some residents, the wealth gap makes it more difficult to pay for a college education and give their kids a debt-free start in life. As a solution I support fully funding education from Pre-K through college.

A higher number of residents in Illinois’ 11th congressional district have criminal backgrounds because Joliet is a prison town. Once someone has a record, they have a hard time getting a job, let alone a good paying job. For these individuals to have a shot at the American dream we need serious criminal justice reform like eliminating mandatory minimums, getting rid of cash bail and sealing people’s records who have already for served their time.

When Americans have better paying jobs, healthcare, and more time with family, they have a higher quality of life. We all deserve a government that makes our lives better.