A. No, but we do work with nonprofits in Chicago and other cities to assist them in creating programs to help low-income people find jobs. When people receive grants to enroll in community colleges or to buy health insurance, that helps the recipients find jobs.
Q. What do you think are the causes of the unemployment rate that many people don’t like to talk about?
A. We also are concerned about the lack of opportunity, and the very serious problems that are being created in our communities, especially in Chicago and our inner-city communities. I’ve spent my entire career with the public safety. There are a lot of people who think the police are a burden. I spent a lot of my career helping people in inner-city communities. We should be focused on people who are the ones being threatened by the police, the ones who are being victimized.
Q. The Chicago Reader asked you at your 2008 campaign kickoff if you had any regrets about supporting the president who would later endorse your opponent.
A. Well, I’ll be a pretty good congressman for the next several years. In particular, I did not go to the White House when it was clear that Bush was taking us into war in Iraq. The vote to authorize that war was a vote to send the United States on a war against Iraq. That is how irresponsible this president has been, and it is why I have come to call him a president of war more than a president of peace.
My husband and I had already been campaigning, and now when it appeared that the White House was moving forward with the war in Iraq, I didn’t want what I knew to be a disastrous war to happen. I decided, instead, to do something about the unemployment of our fellow Americans, especially in places like Chicago.
Q. You have a history with the Republican Party. Tell us about yours. How is it different from that of your opponents? And what has your relationship been to this Republican Party?
A. Well, as you know, people in my community have always been Republicans. We were Republicans. There were some people in our community who were Democrats, but most people in my community — and some in my family — were Republicans. The Republicans that I ran with have worked on the Republican side for 40, 50 years. They’re more comfortable in Republican circles. They’re not afraid to stand up for the right things and they’re not afraid to work with people who aren’t Republicans.
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