Transparency

Sunlight is the best disinfectant

As your Congresswoman, I believe that I must be accountable to you, the citizens of Illinois' 2nd Congressional District.  YOU will be my bosses.  I will work for YOU.  As such, I am dedicated to being fully transparent about what I am doing on your behalf.  Here are some of the things you can expect from me, as your Congresswoman: 

My Promises and Commitments to YOU:

1.  My Congressional Income:  A full accounting of how I am spending my Congressional Income.  How much is being taken out for taxes, benefits (like health insurance), and other deductions?  How much am I donating and to whom?  How much is being deposited into my family's household accounts?  You have a right to know how I am spending my generous salary.  I am planning to use a portion of my Congressional pay to invest directly into our district.  After taxes, the investment into our district, the salary for a nanny (so I can work for YOU), and my student loans, I am left with less than 40% of my gross salary.  Being your Congresswoman will not make me rich, nor should it.

2.  My Pay Donated During Shutdowns:  In the event of a government shutdown, even if the "No Pay for Failure" bill isn't passed, I will redirect my Congressional salary, during the shutdown, to charitable causes in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District.  I will not take my Congressional pay during a government shutdown.

3.  Daily Schedule:  Once I am sworn in, I will post my entire schedule daily, so you know what I have been doing.  The daily schedule will be posted by 9 am the following morning, detailing every phone call, email, text, meeting, debate, vote, and what research I am working on.  The log of my schedule will state who I was communicating with (if a private citizen or constituent, only first name or initials will be noted) and the general topic discussed (healthcare, budget, personal/non-government, etc.).  The point is that I want you to know exactly what I am doing.  And if I start to slack off, please call me out on it.  Hold my feet to the fire and make sure I am earning my salary.

4.  Term Limit:  I am not naive enough to think that I can get all my policies introduced, out of committee, debated, voted on, and passed in my first term.  I am dedicated to get as much done as humanly possible during my first term, but I am also realistic.  I expect that I may need to serve additional terms to complete the work I will be going to D.C. to do for you.  However, I will be on a time crunch since I do not want to serve more than 10 years.  If I am still serving at the 10-year mark, it will be time to pass the baton to someone else.

5.  Housing:  After reviewing many options, I have decided to join the Couch Caucus in Washington, D.C.  The "Couch Caucus" refers to the members of Congress that sleep in their offices rather than paying for an apartment.  Here are my reasons for joining the "Couch Caucus" and NOT getting an apartment in D.C.:

a.  The average rent (even for a tiny apartment) in D.C. would cost $2000 per month.  Based on the Congressional Calendar for the House of Representatives, I would spend 131 nights in Washington, D.C., with one month (August) spending 0 nights in Washington, D.C.  Since I expect to be working 12 – 16 hours per day, I would only be in the apartment for 6 – 8 hours per night.  This means I would pay $2,000 per month for an apartment that I would physically be in for only 77 hours per month (3 days, 5 hours). And 90% of that time would be sleeping.  That’s more than my mortgage payment here in IL! 

b.  By not spending $24,000 per year in rent (we haven’t even calculated utilities), I can use that money to reinvest in my district, helping people who need a hand up.  That's a much better use for that money.

c.  If I get an apartment in Washington, D.C., I will have to commute to and from the apartment.  Traffic is a nightmare in D.C.  Even if my commute is a mere 30 minutes each way, that’s an hour a day of wasted time that I could spend working FOR YOU.  I want to maximize my time in D.C. working, not wasting precious time commuting.

d.  D.C. is NOT my home; Illinois is.  My family will not be joining me in D.C. except on rare occasions, such as my swearing in.  During those rare occasions when my family is in D.C. with me, we will get a hotel room and I will stay in the hotel with my family.  I am not putting down any roots in D.C. because I will not make a career out of being in Congress.  I will be there to represent you and get problems solved.  When I have completed my tasks, I will finish out my term and pass the baton to someone else.  With my commitment to limit my service to no more than 10 years, there is no need for me to establish a “second home”. 

6.  Fly Coach:  Members of Congress have their travel arrangements paid for by a special expense account, which means that my travel will be paid by the taxpayers.  As a frugal person by nature, I will ONLY fly coach or economy.  I refuse to waste taxpayer money for "conveniences", like first class or even business class.  This will also be reported on my "Accountability" page of my official website, once I am sworn in.  You will be able to see that I am not flaunting my position nor wasting your money.

7.  Advocate for Justice:  President Donald J. Trump has put out the word that if someone is in prison unjustly or is serving an excessive sentence, he wants to know about it so he can review the case for possible pardons, clemency, commutation, or other intervention.  Of course, the President only has the power over those in federal prisons.  I am committed to reviewing cases brought to me by my constituents, on behalf of their family members or friends.  If the case is a federal case, I will review it and pass it along to the President for review and possible Presidential intervention.  If the case is a state case, I may reach out to our leaders in the State of Illinois to plead for assistance with correcting the injustice.  I am committed to assisting, and advocating on behalf of anyone who has been unfairly punished.  

8.  Advocate for Jobs:  As jobs are coming back to our country, I want our district to be on the front lines of that resurgence.  I will speak directly with the President to ensure that Illinois' 2nd Congressional District is THE top location for those jobs!  I will fight for your economic prosperity!

9.  Upcoming Votes:  I will direct my staff to make sure that information regarding upcoming votes in the House of Representatives are posted as soon as possible on my official website.  I want you to be able to view the necessary information on the bills, so that you can let me know how you think I should vote.  I vote on your behalf, so I need to know how YOU want me to vote.  I want my constituents to be the most informed constituents in the country.  This will allow you to be informed and provide a vehicle to make your voice heard!

10.  Prayers:  My staff will keep a running Prayer List that will be sent to churches and houses of worship throughout our district.  My staff and I will start each day with prayer for our constituents and specifically for those on the Prayer List.  If you need prayer, send us a message with "Prayer" in the subject and we will get thousands praying for you.  Whenever possible, my staff will try to intervene to assist further.  

11.  Weekly Video:  I will make every attempt to post a weekly video, letting you know what I am working on for you and to give you updates on the progress of our solutions.  You have a right to know what I am doing for you and where I am at in that process.  This will likely also include what Bible verses I have read that week, just in case you would like to follow along.

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