Nancy Rotering: Candidate Profile

10th Congressional District (Democratic)

  • Nancy Rotering, running for 10th Congressional District

    Nancy Rotering, running for 10th Congressional District

Updated 2/15/2016 2:13 PM

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Highland Park


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Office sought:

10th Congressional District

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Age: 54

Family: I met Rob Rotering in business school and we have been married for 26 years. We have four sons €" Charlie, Jack, Andy and Peter.

Occupation: Mayor of Highland Park, IL

Education: Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Stanford University, MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management), and Law Degree (JD) from the University of Chicago Law School.

Civic involvement: €Founder: Highland Park/Highwood Legal Aid Clinic, Leadership Alliance of Lake County, Highland Park Environmental Education Program, Highland Park Human Services Task Force

€ Board Member: Community Family Center, Highland Park Healthcare Foundation, Illinois Women's Institute for Leadership, Lurie Children's Hospital Foundation, Ravinia Women's Board


€ Former Board Member, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

€ Actively involved in many organizations including: Northwestern University Leadership Council, JACPAC, Personal PAC, Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Jewish Council for Youth Services (JCYS) and Highland Park-Highwood Rotary

€ Former Cub Scout Master, Co-President of the PTO, youth soccer coach

Elected offices held: Mayor, City of Highland Park, IL 2011 €" present; Council Member, City of Highland Park, IL 2009-2011; Precinct 222 Democratic Committeeman (2006-present); appointed City of Highland Park Plan Commissioner (2006-2009) and City of Highland Park Environmental Commissioner (2005-2006)

Questions & Answers

How will you work to make Congress more productive and effective? What actions are needed to produce a healthy federal budget? Specifically, what changes do you advocate regarding how revenue is produced or what our spending priorities are? In particular, what effect does current policy have on your district and what changes, if any, are needed?

I will bring a lifetime of advocacy and achievement reflecting the values of our district and a record of producing real results to a Congress that has achieved little in recent years. During my first term as Mayor in 2011, I shook up City Hall, passing a major reform of city government that resulted in increased accountability and transparency. I have balanced five consecutive budgets, maintaining the city's Aaa credit rating while shoring up pension funds for public safety workers, and passed one of the nation's first local assault weapons bans.

Budgets are the most important policy statements a government can make. A budget should be balanced and driven by priorities. Washington needs a budget that supports our values and protects our families and neighbors. I oppose the 2016 Republican budget, which cuts critical programs that provide assistance to our most vulnerable residents. It takes access to health care away from 16 million people. It ends Medicare as we know it, turning the program into a voucher system that will cost seniors thousands of dollars every year. It slashes education with devastating cuts to Pell Grants and Head Start. It robs us of our future and stifles economic growth.

In addition to necessary safeguards, the federal budget should be focused on shared economic growth, including: up-to-date tax incentives, infrastructure investment and post-secondary education support. We need to invest in our future to build long-term economic sustainability. The partisan gridlock focused on non-essential policy issues wastes resources and costs opportunities.

What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? How will these policies have an impact in your district?

I support comprehensive immigration reform that bolsters our economic goals and reflects our values as both a nation of laws and immigrants. The United States is the great nation that it is because of the generations of immigrants who have strengthened our country and contributed to our economy. Our future depends on an immigration system that reflects our values and meets America's needs, but the American immigration system is badly broken. It separates families, undermines honest employers and workers, burdens law enforcement, and leaves millions of people working and living in the shadows.

Additionally, the flaws in our system fail to retain thousands of university students. These students come to the U.S. to start a new life, receive the benefit of our university education system and then are forced to leave, taking their talents and dreams of a better life with them. These students represent significant contributions in the areas of science, technology, business, and more. We need a solution to allow them to stay and contribute to our great nation.

As Mayor, I took action to address local immigration needs by creating a legal aid clinic that actively advocates resolving issues that interfere with the path to citizenship. I have been and will continue to be a tireless advocate for our immigrant families and students, helping to incorporate them into our communities while celebrating their cultures.

What should be the top priorities in Congress related to the Affordable Care Act? If you want changes, what specifically do you recommend? If you want the act entirely eliminated, please address these questions: Is that politically feasible? If it proves infeasible, where do you see the potential for compromise? If it is eliminated, what would you replace it with, if anything?

I support increasing access to health care by making insurance more affordable, providing more predictable coverage, and ensuring the continuation of Medicare and Medicaid. For decades, I have prioritized ensuring accessible, quality, affordable health care for all - advocating professionally and personally. Before entering the public sector, I worked on the policy and administration side of the health care industry, and then I practiced health care law with McDermott, Will & Emery.

Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provided over 16 million Americans with access to quality health care, while ending some of the worst abuses in the insurance industry. This historic change enables millions of Americans to finally obtain consistent medical care for themselves and their families, allowing them to enjoy a better quality of life without risking health, savings, financial independence and dignity. It provides financial and emotional peace of mind.

As the mother of a son who developed Type 1 diabetes at very a young age, I recognize the economic and psychosocial challenges faced by many parents of children with chronic conditions. I strongly support provisions in the Affordable Care Act that prevent insurers from withholding health insurance from those with preexisting conditions and allow children to remain on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.

Although the ACA is not perfect, I believe Congress should work to make improvements where possible and build on the ACA's success, rather than waste resources on repeated efforts to repeal this vital program.

What military or diplomatic roles should the United States play to promote peace and stability in the Mideast? Under what circumstances, should we have military forces actively operating?

I am a staunch advocate for a strong partnership with Israel and our regional allies in order to ensure peace and security throughout the Middle East. While I believe that our foreign policy should enhance our security interests through engagement and diplomacy before resorting to military intervention, we must be realistic in our analyses, preparation and responses to threats of terrorism here and in the Middle East. By working strategically with our allies, we can promote stability and provide an impactful joint anti-terror effort in the region and across the globe.

It was with these principles in mind that I publicly announced my support of the Iran Nuclear Deal. I believe that while military action should never be ruled out, it should be considered a last resort, following a strong diplomatic effort. Given the facts that were available in connection with this global agreement, we had no alternative but to accept this imperfect deal. Rejecting the deal without proposing a realistic or credible alternative was a disservice to all who are concerned about the security of the US, Israel and the world, and was irresponsible at this critical time in our history. Rejecting the deal would not have returned negotiating nations (P5+1, Iran and the European Union) to the table for a "better deal". Now is the time to work with our allies to ensure strict Iranian adherence to its obligations, to solidify our strong defense partnership with Israel, and to enhance the security of the Middle East.

Please list any elected office you have ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?

Mayor, City of Highland Park, IL 2011 €" present (won, two terms)

Council Member, City of Highland Park, IL 2009-2011 (won)

Precinct 222 Democratic Committeeman, 2006-present (won)

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

As a Mayor and a mother, infrastructure improvements and education are two of my top priorities. Investing in infrastructure promotes public health and safety as well as America's future €" a stronger economy, jobs and our quality of life.

Additionally, I will work to ensure that all children have access to a quality education. We must provide good funding for our public schools, ensuring our teachers have the resources they need to guarantee our children the best possible education. We must also invest in early childhood education, post-secondary opportunities and address the real challenges families are facing with college affordability.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Senator Dick Durbin is a committed, thoughtful public servant, who consistently focuses on improving people's lives with common-sense policies, prioritizing collaboration and communication.

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

From an early age, we learned the importance of treating people equally and with respect, and advocating for those who may not otherwise be heard.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

I tell my children "Life is either a good time or a good story, and challenges are really opportunities." I wouldn't change a thing.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

My favorite Business School class was Ethics in Management and Leadership - a great foundation for courageous decision-making in my professions and as a Mayor.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

The lessons of my parents: treat people equally and with respect, take time to appreciate life's wonderful moments, and work hard to heal our world.