Kristine’s Priorities
Kristine Schanbacher, Democrat for Congress, in a black business suit in an office setting.
Kristine’s Priorities

“The U.S. leads the world in prison population when we should be leading in education, healthcare, innovation, and human rights.  We can do better.” — Kristine Schanbacher

We need to reform our criminal justice system and ensure that every reform is vetted through the lens of equity.

I support comprehensive reform, including: 

  • Federally legalizing marijuana and ending the failed “war on drugs” which has disproportionately targeted and impacted black and brown communities, and ensuring that our focus is on restorative justice for those who have been affected.
  • Providing federal funding for implicit bias training for law enforcement and emergency management services. 
  • Reducing outrageously high prison population and promoting rehabilitative pathways for inmates, which will reduce recidivism. 
  • Eliminating 1033 programs, reducing the over-militarization of police forces.

We must reduce the deficit. I will fight to repeal the GOP tax plan, which has already added trillions of dollars to our deficit. 

We also need to get wasteful government spending under control. For example, we are wasting resources on  manufacturing certain military equipment that even the Pentagon says is unneeded. We can better allocate such spending to manufacturing of green technology and infrastructure and funding public education, which will further strengthen local economies. 

We also need to seize the opportunity to be a world leader in environmental clean-up and in green energy and infrastructure, so that the United States can utilize its innovation to expand our green economy.

Our economy has to work for everyone. I will fight to ensure that the minimum wage is a living wage, create protections for tipped workers and “gig economy” workers, and I will support unions and fight against so-called “Right to Work” laws. I will also fight to ensure pay equity for all workers, and ban the ability of employers to fire employees on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Climate change is a major threat to our national security and we must address it now. The United States must rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, and become an innovator and a leader in green technology. 

We must address environmental racism, ensuring that communities of color do not continue to disproportionately bear the cost of our environmental policy failures. We must invest in urban green space, pollinator pockets, urban farming initiatives, and move the country towards an entirely renewable energy grid and net-zero carbon footprint.

I will work to drastically reduce, with the goal of eventually eliminating, non-recyclable packaging with a combination of tax incentives for sustainable packaging development and fees and fines for continuing to employ single-use plastics.

When we support working families, we support our entire economy. I will fight for a family leave policy that guarantees parents paid paternity/maternity leave. 

I support universal access to quality pre-K programs for all children, which will not only help close the achievement gap, but will also give parents an opportunity to rejoin the workforce.

I will fight to strengthen and improve the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) to reduce food insecurity. I support increased funding for school meal programs, and giving students and their families access to sufficient nutritious food on weekends and summer breaks. I support investments in urban farming initiatives, which not only reduce hunger and eliminate food deserts, but  also benefit our environment.

Healthcare is a human right. We can’t have a strong and sustainable economy or an equitable and just society without a healthy population. I will fight for universal access to quality healthcare, including mental health care, affordable prescription drugs, and access to birth control and abortion care.

We need to rethink our approach to higher education and strengthen trade school programs. Lenders are making record profits due to predatory interest rates. 

I support cutting student loan interest rates and making student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings.

We have an affordable housing crisis in the Chicagoland area. 

I will fight for additional funding for affordable housing options and community programs to reduce homelessness in the district and to provide further assistance to working families. 

We must abolish the inhumane, cruel, ineffective, and expensive immigration system we have today, close the ICE detention camps, and pass comprehensive immigration reform.  We must reform our immigration system so that all people are treated with dignity, there are clear pathways to citizenship, families are kept together, DACA recipients are protected, and everyone going through the immigration process has access to representation.

We must rebuild our crumbling roadways and bridges. But it isn’t enough to maintain and repair our infrastructure. We need to invest in roadways that are able to capture energy and convert it into a renewable power source, which would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.

We need to make a high-speed rail a reality.  A high-speed rail system would boost our economy for years to come by creating a high volume of construction, manufacturing, engineering, and service jobs.  And we need to update our air traffic system, making it more efficient.

Energy. Commitment. Results.

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