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Illinoisans must stop acting like victims

Link to PJStar Opinion

My letter as edited and published by the Peoria Journal Star

August 3, 2017

Illinoisans must stop acting like victims

I have grown weary of hearing fellow citizens run this great state down, excusing themselves to others for living here. Their words express the same negative emotions as a victim of domestic abuse.

One phase of that is denial. Many Illinoisans refuse to acknowledge what great resources we have. We allow the dysfunction and corruption of our political system to overwhelm what a marvelous state we are. Illinois has produced great people, great ideas, great inventions. Now we cringe in denial, as if we fear the sun will not rise in the morning.

The dysfunction is breaking our school system. Strong public education was ordained at our founding, reinforced by an impressive higher education system. We have been a state dedicated to offering opportunity from Cairo to Chicago. We must seek solutions, not condemn students because they happen to be in poor districts. Many parents are forced to work multiple part-time jobs over multiple shifts at low wages without health insurance, and their children are provided fewer resources for their education. We then allow the power brokers to condemn these underachieving students to lifelong neglect.

Chicago great American City -- Illinois is the fifth largest economy of all states

Why do we not provide safe, nourishing, and enriching care centers from birth? This would allow parents to be more productive and young people to flourish in school. Now our governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 has thrown into doubt our schools even being able to open.

Meanwhile, we demonstrate other symptoms of victimhood. We withdraw from politics and budgets. We fall into partisan and ideological catch phrases that always blame the other side. All Illinoisans need to praise the brave Republicans who overrode the governor’s budget veto. We need to encourage young Democrats to run as challengers in primaries across the state. We need to resist the new era of propaganda news funded by the wealthy. We need to be skeptical of extremism and bromides instead of fact-based policy.

Illinois is a great state with all the resources to do great things. We need to stop taking it and fight back.

Steven E. Davis is the Elmwood Township assessor. He lives in Elmwood.

Ft Donellson

U.S. Grant's first great victory was at Ft Donelson on the Cumberland River

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