- Position sought: State Senate District 25
- Political Party: Democrat
- Website: www.ElectCorinnePierog.com
- Email: email@example.com,
- Phone: (630) 797-5092,
- Address: PO Box 3501, Saint Charles, Il 60174
- Age and Birthdate: 60, September 28, 1951
- Family: Husband: Robert Krawczyk Children: Catherine, age 30; Alexis, age 26; James, age 21.Grandchildren: Makayla, age 9; Brooklyn, age 2, Francesca, age 2 months.
- Education: University of California, Irvine, Bachelors of ArtsSan Francisco State University, Master of Arts Roosevelt University, Masters of Business Administration
- Occupation: Management Consultant
- Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: Serving on the Saint Charles School Board (2009- 2013). Appointed to serve on the Saint Charles Housing Commission (2012 - current)
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position? For the past 16 years, I have engaged in a broad spectrum of vital community service efforts. My professional experience has been focused on advocating for communities and families by developing initiatives that create opportunities for civic or individual economic development. As the founder the founder and president of Sustainable Leadership Solutions, a consulting company specializing in values-based leadership education, I continue to advise nonprofit and public agencies on matters regarding executive transition, strategic management, fundraising, and economic development. I also teach classes in management, finance and leadership. I believe that my executive experience coupled with my history of fighting for social and educational issues makes me a strong candidate for the 25th District and the Democratic Party.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office? My top priorities in Springfield will be job creation, advancing the critical priorities for strong schools, pressing forward with renewble energy resources, and developing and maintaining a stable, responsible budget.
What sets you apart from the other candidates? Experience: Having worked within the community for the past 14 years, I have lead organizations through complex changes including executive leadership transition, developing criteria for program assessments, creating standards for budget accountability, as well as values-based leadership training, enabling them to better serve their communities.
Education: With a strong commitment to learning, I went back to school to earn my second master's degree in financial and business management. This provides me with the skills needed to fully understand the complex issues of budget management and program accountability facing our state government.Ethics: As my mother taught me, and as I have always taught my children one must be honest, admit one’s mistakes and learn from them, and work hard. I am committed to an ethical and productive campaign, speaking directly and honestly with the voters of the 25th district.
Official name of your campaign committee: Committtee to Elect Corinne M. Pierog
What should first be done by the state to keep businesses that have strongly voiced the possibility of leaving, such as CME and Sears? The way forward is to begin to reinvest in talent and talent creation. It is projected that by the year 2018, 64% of Illinois’ jobs will require some post-secondary training beyond that of high school, but in Illinois two million working adults have obtained only a high-school education, a great many, much less.
We need to encourage job training opportunities to insure that our workforce is skilled in the latest technological applications and skill needs. Illinois has to start talking about manufacturing as our future, not just something of the past. We need to identify and move forward with both short and a long term strategies for job development.
Other industries show similar trends. Illinois’s medical services and financial services saw a decline in jobs between 1998 -2009, but 17,000 jobs in biopharmaceuticals were added. Illinois outpaced the nation in jobs in information technology, transportation and logistics. But Illinois lags behind its regional counterparts in patent development, the source of new industry and product expansion. Illinois needs to support the development of research because data indicates that support of innovation and creative ideas has a direct positive impact on the generation of jobs.
What can be done to help College Illinois? For the past ten years Illinoi’s public colleges and universities have seen an average annual tuition increase of 9.6%. Outpacing the consumer price index college tuition has become unaffordable for many Illinois families. College Illinois allows parents to lock in tuition costs at the state's public universities and colleges, years before their kids reach college age, giving them the chance to hedge their exposure to rapidly rising tuition.
More than 30,000 Illinois families hold contracts benefiting more than 50,000 future students. While there has been much conversation regarding its budget shortfall in reality this investment has done no worse than the stock market and maybe even better, depending upon the time the investor purchased. An actuarial study says the fund is good for at least ten years of tuition payments.
What should the government do to create more jobs? This is what I propose: 1. Illinois must develop research hubs that supports the generation of new and sustainable job growth. We need to encourage job training opportunities to insure that our work force is skilled in the latest technological applications and skill needs through initiatives such as Illinois’s Technology Development Account Program. Through this program over $75 million invested in Illinois venture capital firms has encouraged innovation, job growth, and business expansion. Thirty-eight states, including Illinois, currently provide some type of state Research and Development tax credit Illinois also has one of the highest concentrations of research institutions in the country, including more than 440 corporate R&D facilities and more than 200 academic, government, and not-for-profit research institutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that every dollar of tax benefit has spurred an additional dollar in private research and development.
2. Illinois needs to invest in education, start-ups and entrepreneurship, but it also needs to develop immediate fixes to develop job growth opportunities. We must help and support our small businesses. The state’s current tax incentives now support large companies, but these tax breaks are funded on the backs of the rest of Illinois’ business community. Illinois’ tax breaks have to be fairly metered, impacting both the small and large businesses. The extension of the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit is a strong start, but property tax breaks and other incentives should not be given without an understanding of impact these breaks on other Illinois businesses.
3. Illinois needs to provide incentives for companies to locate in vacant or underutilized buildings in our suburban downtown communities and to update these into a state of the art facility promoting both job growth and downtown redevelopment. By encouraging a partnership between both the private and public sector influxes of small business specializing in research and product development can address the needs of our local communities by helping to expand sales tax, and retail expansion. We must invest in innovative and sustainable industries and technologies. Illinois has enviable selling points. It has a diversified economy, a central location, a strong transportation hub, first-rate research universities and world class cultural offerings. Illinois has the capacity to develop a quality work-force, access to international markets, and high quality of life. I will promote policies that encourage job growth for the people of the 25th District and throughout Illinois. We need policies that rid the despondency of our communities. We need to secure a more stable economic future
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and what should government’s role in those issues? I support same sex marriage. Protection and Civil Union Act (Senate Bill 1716) was signed by Governor Quinn on July 1, 2011, As stated it “ensures that religious denominations are not forced to recognize or solemnize civil unions.” The Act expressly provides that: "Nothing in this Act shall interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious body.
Any religious body, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group is free to choose whether or not to solemnize or officiate a civil union." I am in complete support of this legislation.
I fully support a women’s right to choose.
Do you support a gaming bill that would increase the number of casinos or other gambling venues in Illinois? Should a casino be built in Chicago? I appreciate the difficulty of legalized gaming, but as Senate President Cullerton sated “ . . .the decision was made long ago to have gaming, so now we find ourselves setting policy for a multibillion-dollar business in heated competition with surrounding states. While we've wrung our hands over politics, Indiana puts casinos just across the border so the parking lots can fill with Illinois gamblers while Wisconsin interests hire lobbyists to try to kill off Illinois competition.”
A neighbor of mine who was employed at one of the Fox Valley’s local casinos has lost her job, because the casino had to look at measures to maintain its viability. While our casinos are not immune to the recession a lack of support for these gambling institutions will have a direct economic impact upon the Fox Valley as well as the agricultural industry which supports our racetracks. We must act responsibly but we must not disregard the real and positive economic impact that the gambling industry has upon our communities.
What do you suggest for property tax relief? Property tax relief can only truly occur until Illinois readjusts its heavy reliance on property taxes to fund its schools. For example in Saint Charles more than 3/4 of the annual property tax bill is used to pay for its schools, which means that less than 25% of our property tax bill is used to pay for municipal and county government.
If we want real property tax relief we need to reconsider how Illinois pays for its schools. The State has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education. Illinois is over-reliant on property taxes as a revenue source for funding education.
Should the state consider consolidating school districts? What would be the best way to accomplish this in your legislative district? There's been discussion at the state level to consolidate as much as 500 of the 868 school districts in Illinois. In smaller, rural counties, there are some districts that have only one or two schools. In the Chicago area, there are some communities that have multiple school districts (including Aurora which has at least more six that include portions of the city, such as West Aurora, East Aurora, Indian Prairie, Batavia, Kaneland, Oswego) may create a real disparity. While considering school consolidation issues of economies of scale, assessment of student performance, extracurricular activities, curriculum and instruction as well as local community involvement would have to be addressed.
It is important to continuously explore ways to improve Illinois public education. According to Norm Durflinger, Ed.D., and Lynne Haeffele, Ph.D., in their paper, Illinois Public School District Consolidation A Tiered Approach, suggest that , “It is also important to understand the many factors that influence our public education system, and to take an informed and comprehensive view when planning improvements.” A thoughtful process of research, deliberation, and cooperative planning is much more likely to produce both the savings and the academic performance the state seeks to foster.
Should the state legalize marijuana? This is a federal issue and needs to be addressed as such.
Are there ways to reform the legislative scholarship program, or would you support calls to eliminate the program? I do not support Legislative Scholarships. The $14 million cost of these unfunded scholarships are paid for by every student who attend out public universities. I would prefer that these scholarships are awarded to students who may not otherwise afford to attend and managed by the college’s financial aid office.
Who are your political heroes and why? My heroines are women who have made a difference and believed with a fervent passion that they could do so: Joan of Arc, Elizabeth the Queen, Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, Emma Goldman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Hillary Clinton.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, sued successfully or had a restraining order placed against you? If so, please explain. No.