I joined many of my colleagues and voted to help pass the most recent ethics reform bill in the House of Representatives this session. However, ethics reform, as we have discussed it, is not enough to change the problems that plague our communities. The current ethics reform does not address the unethical problem of social injustice that people confront every day as they try to find work to buy food for their families, pay for their medications or pay their rent.

This ethics reform does not decrease the reliance that some citizens have on social service agencies. We should save the State of Illinois money by decreasing the reliance on social service agencies, and we should instead emphasize the creation of new jobs. Improving the procurement process is an important ethics reform, but the process should also ensure that persons who cannot afford to join a union can also find jobs.

Speaker Madigan and my colleagues have worked hard on ethics reform this session. But if we want to end the many disparities we face in our state, we must also address the ethics of true social justice. In our great state of Illinois, we must strive to live up to our Constitution, which was ordained and established “in order to assure legal, social and economic justice.”

LaShawn K. Ford
State Representative, 8th District
Oak Park

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