Nabeela Syed: 2022 candidate for 51st state House


Party: Democrat

Office sought: 51st state House District

City: Inverness

Age: 23

Occupation: Digital strategist

Previous offices held: none


Q: What needs to be done structurally to make the legislature more effective? What is your position on term limits in general and for legislative leaders specifically?

A: I've repeatedly said that our state legislature must provide greater transparency and improved planning. Rushing legislation to the floor in the late hours of the night does not provide the public confidence in the legislature or its process. If our elected officials need to show up to work an extra day because they ran out of time the day prior then so be it.

I support legislative term limits. In fact, the State House of Representatives put forward a proposal to do just that. Every year, Representatives must vote on rules that govern the decorum on the House floor. In those rules was a provision enacting the first-ever legislative leadership term limits which I am very supportive of. I look forward to working alongside members of the State House to strengthen and propose additional reforms to make the legislature more effective.

Q: Federal assistance has enabled the state to make important advances toward improving its budget. What will you do to ensure these advances continue when the federal aid is gone?

A: During the summer of 2021, credit rating agencies upgraded the state's credit rating for the first time in two decades. Due to continued fiscal restraint and investing in the places that sorely needed attention, rating agencies have upgraded our state's credit rating 6 times since June 2021. To put this in perspective, Illinois received 8 credit rating downgrades from 2015 to 2017. We've also eliminated our bill backlog, passed balanced budgets, invested in childcare & senior homecare, put more money into education, stood up for reproductive rights, and so much more. It's clear Illinois has turned a corner and is headed full-steam forward toward a brighter future.

We need to continue this fiscally responsible progress and the next step is addressing property taxes. Our community, especially senior residents reliant on a fixed income, are rightfully concerned about how much they are paying in property taxes. It's time to act on it to make sure Illinoisans are able to stay in our state.

Q: To what extent are you happy or unhappy with the evidence-based model for education funding now in place in Illinois? How would you define "adequate" state funding for Illinois schools and what will you do to promote that?

A: I am passionate about public education. In our area, we have some of the best public schools in the state but, unfortunately, not every school has the same opportunities. When the Evidence-Based Formula went into effect, we witnessed one of the most equitable transformations in education our state has seen in a generation.

Every child should have access to basic learning materials and the right to learn in a school environment that is safe.

The Evidence-Based Formula shows that our state is increasing education funding in a meaningful way.

Since 2017, the state has invested an additional $3 billion into the future of our children. We have a ways to go, though I'm encouraged by our recent track record.

As State Representative, I will be a champion for our public schools and ensure that children continue to have the opportunity to receive an excellent education.

Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?

A: I believe elections are free and fair in Illinois. Actually, I believe that elections in Illinois are examples for some of our other states to look upon when they recognize the need to allow their residents greater access to the ballot box.

I want to ensure that polling locations are properly staffed and that election officials are adequately trained so that voting goes smoothly and securely. Voting should not be a confusing or intimidating process.

The right to vote, and ensuring access to exercise this right, is non-negotiable for me. It's why I continue to be puzzled by my opponent's NO vote on HB 1871, a bill that would allow curbside voting. How many of us know a senior citizen or a neighbor with disabilities? Representative Bos voted against access to one of our most cherished rights. It's inexcusable.

Q: How well has Illinois responded to Supreme Court indications that it considers abortion, gay marriage and other social issues to be state, not federal, responsibilities? What if anything needs to be done in these areas and what would you do to make your vision come to pass?

A: As other states around the country, and the Midwest, move to restrict a woman's freedom to make her own healthcare decisions, Illinois has gone the other way - expanding and cementing the right for women to make their own healthcare decisions with their medical professionals.

Voters in the 51st State House district could not have a more stark contrast in their choices for State Representative. My opponent is an extreme, anti-choice politician who believes that even in cases of rape a woman should not have access to abortion care. It's outrageous. He believes in criminalizing women and their doctors for providing lifesaving medical care. Though I'm not surprised, given his campaign is funded by the most extreme anti-choice advocates and organizations in Illinois.

I believe in reproductive freedom and protecting marriage equality.

I believe in banning the sale of weapons of war to the public, my opponent does not. In fact, he is supported by backers of the NRA.

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