League of Women Voters Hosts 11th District Congressional Forum

Congressional Forum
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Congressional Forum

On Saturday night, the League of Women Voters hosted a virtual 11th District Congressional Forum to hear from the candidates running in the general election on November 3 this year.

Congressman Bill Foster (Democrat) and Rick Laib (Republican) each had up two minutes to answer questions. Some of the questions addressed topics such as climate change, immigration, and health insurance.

Systemic Racism

One question focused on how to eliminate systemic racism: We are learning the role that racism has played and how it continues to be perpetuated in our systems at all levels. What are you doing to educate yourself about systemic racism and what can be done to eliminate it from our culture and legal system?

FOSTER: “I’m proud Democrats in the House have taken action by passing the Justice and Policing Act. This does things including banning chokeholds, funding body cameras. It establishes a registry of police misconduct so that bad actors can’t simply move from one police force to another. And for the first time it makes lynching a federal crime. I am sad that the Senate has done nothing on this so this unfortunately will remain on our list awaiting a better president and new leadership in the Senate.”

LAIB: “The long-term goal I think would be to stop the attack on anyone wanting to practice religion. So we want to protect and defend religious liberty. That’s going to be the outworking of removing any of these kinds of sins and hurts from our planet. So what we want to is to aggressively fight for religious liberty and defend religious liberty.”

COVID-19 Aid

Another question addressed COVID-19 aid: What is your stance on getting more coronavirus aid to local and state governments?

LAIB: “The best aid that we can give to any kind of business and immediate is to get rid of regulations and lower taxes and help businesses to thrive. In March we had very little idea of what was happening and we needed to lockdown. That put a lot of financial strain on institutions, put a lot of financial strain on the governments. And I understand all that, but we know far more now than we did before. It would seem to me the best path then is to do whatever we can to help businesses thrive. We can do so as safely as they want but we want to encourage businesses to move forward. We want to embrace any kind of medication, any kind of treatment, anything that might be working in this area.”

FOSTER: “This crisis is not going to pass quickly and in no amount of happy talk is going to make it go away. So I do favor the continuation of economic support both to individuals and to businesses. Restaurants are not going to magically reopen and have customers because all regulations and all legal liabilities have been removed from them. Customers will not come to restaurants when they don’t feel safe. What we have learned in terms of what works are things like universal masking, things like maintaining social distance, absolute minimization of people leaving homes. We have to tell people the reality of this that it’s going to go away when we get a vaccine that works well.”

You can watch the full forum on the League of Women Voters Facebook page.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.