Alexandra Eidenberg: Candidate Profile
17th District Representative (Democrat)
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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.
Family: Alexandra is married to Roger Cady and they have 4 kiddos
Annaliese, Miriam, Owen and Jack.
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Education: BA, Marketing Communications, Columbia College Chicago
MAM, Masters Arts Management, Small Business Entrepreneurship, Columbia College Chicago
Civic involvement: I run an organization called We Will, that helps women and children get involved in the legislative process. We have over 7000 members and have become a staple in Springfield fighting for the rights of women and children. I have helped pass various pieces of legislation including
Pregnancy Accommodation by testifying in committee hearings
helped write and pass Pro Vaccination
helped remove tampon taxes. My organization and I have worked on various equal pay initiatives, family leave , the ERA, and marijuana regulation and taxation. I have built several coalitions including Moms for Marijuana which has been very successful.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
What needs to be done structurally to make the legislature more effective? Will you vote for your current legislative leader? What is your position on term limits in general and for legislative leaders specifically?
I support term limits for leadership. As a democrat I am proud of the work that our community has done and continues to do. I want democrats in leadership. With that said current leadership has been serving longer then I have been alive. It is not working any longer. The Republican party has done an amazing job at damaging and investing in damaging our leadership. It is time we move forward and protect the democratic party by having a new voice and a new leader.
On budgeting, what should be done to ensure that the state does not again go through a period of time without a budget in place? What will you do as a legislator to help ensure that the spending priorities you espouse during your campaign are reflected in the budget?
I support a balanced budget. It is the duty of our governor to propose a balanced budget. Governor Rauner let us all down when he did not propose a balanced budget. Going 2.5+ years without a budget damaged our communities and depleted needed resources. Many local non profits are unable to make a come back, low income families went without resources, and it was women and children that suffered the most from this gross mismanagement on the part of Governor Rauner. We need a new governor!
We need more revenue to afford our deficits. I support taxing recreational marijuana, progressive taxes and am ready to learn and understand more ideas that will gain the needed revenue to get Illinois on track. As a legislator I will work hard to balance the budget by increasing revenue creatively while not raising property taxes. We must continue to support our communities and provide resources.
Should the legislature approve ballot initiatives either for a constitutional amendment on legislative redistricting or one on term limits? If so, how would you recommend the issues be structure? If not, why not?
We desperately need term limits for leadership. I will work any angle to accomplish this initiative. Illinois is in desperate need of a comeback. We can not bounce back unless we have new leadership that can take us to the next level.
What approach do you support in fixing public employee pension systems?
The pension crisis is the topic I hear about most as I canvas in the 17th District. The pension crisis is our main budget and financial problem in Illinois. The workers have paid their portion into the pensions and our state grossly erred and neglected to pay their portion. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our hardest working people and slash their earnings and pensions to fix our issues. We need to negotiate a direction that allows for our workers to confidently afford their lives and futures. Union leaders need to be at the table during these crucial negotiations, and we must find common ground that allows our state to rise out of debt while meeting the needs of our workers.
For new employees I support moving to a hybrid of defined benefit and defined contribution plan with quality contributions coming from the state and not exclusively the worker. In this new employee hybrid option the employee would be required to enroll and contribute to both the defined benefit and defined contribution plans allowing for a base of funds to be created along with the state contributions making the account viable. We can not balance the budget on the backs of our hardest working citizens.
To what extent do you support or oppose legalization of marijuana for recreational use?
I fully support Marijuana regulation and taxation. It is a critical component to fixing our financial crisis. My organization, We Will, has one of the largest coalitions, Moms for Marijuana, fighting for passage. Not only do we need the tax revenue from legalization but we also need the criminal justice reform. Removing thousands of people from jail saves us money and allows for many minorities that are unfairly jailed to be removed from the system that holds them down.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
A woman's right to choose and women's rights initiatives at at the core of my values. Fighting for equal pay, family leave, the Equal Rights Amendment, and preserving a woman's right to choose are key.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Political leader? Representative Sara Feigenholtz. She leads with charisma and always by example.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Cause and effect. Every cause has an effect. Make sure your cause is worthy. - Always stuck with me.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Spending more time with my grandparents. If only I could have one more conversation with each of them.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
I always loved marketing classes. They taught about the possibilities and the ability to succeed through messaging. Words are powerful.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.