WARRENVILLE — If you’re from Chicago, it’s likely the family name Pritzker means something to you.
It’s a name that’s synonyms with philanthropy and entrepreneurship and it’s also a name that’s seen a lot of ink on Forbes magazine’s “America’s Richest Families” list. His estimated net worth is $3.4 billion.
JB Pritzker’s happy to have his name known both ways.
While on the gubernatorial campaign trail, he was invited to Warrenville May 24 by Indivisible Naperville to field questions from its members and introduce himself as Pritzker the candidate.
Convincing Democrats current GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner has to be unseated in 2018 is an easy task. Convincing Democrats to replace the Republican’s “rich guy” with one of their own “rich guy” isn’t always an easy sell.
Pritzker has an easy answer for them: the governor’s race is about values and what candidates stand for. “Before elected governor, Bruce Rauner never stood for anything. Then when he became governor, he suddenly had an agenda — a Koch brothers agenda,” Pritzker said.
Voters can chose from a number of pre-existing values Pritzker stands for, such as early childhood education, social and economic justice and historical preservation. “I grew up in a family where my parents taught me to stand up for the values we believe in,” he explained.
He says Rauner’s biggest issue is he doesn’t understand the difference in government when it comes to an expense, and an investment.
“The expenditures of government, sometimes, are really investments in people. In business they’re not counted as investments, but in government, they really are,” he explained.
The need to keep Illinois a blue state is more important now than ever, especially after every state around Illinois wen red in 2016.
“We say, ‘thank God Illinois’ blue,” but Republicans look at it and they see a bull’s-eye,” Pritzker warned.
With a Republican governor already working the Koch brother’s agenda, it will take a full-court press to keep Right-to-Work out of Illinois.
“Right-to-Work sounds great — if you don’t know what it is,” Pritzker said to audience laughter. “I like to say it’s Right-to-Work for less money.”
Organized labor knows the importance of keeping Right-to-Work out of Illinois. For more than a year, union members have voiced their opposition to Right-to-Work at county board meetings across the state because it is a way to cripple organized labor.
“I really believe unions helped create the middle class in this country and unions help maintain decent wages in this country,” Pritzker said.