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Letters to the Editor

'Willing to stand up for the middle class'

What's needed is accountable, active, accessible representation

Sara Dady
Sara Dady

As a mother, a business owner and a community leader, I am fully invested in the past, present and future of the 16th Congressional District. 

We need accessible, active and accountable representation. 

I moved back to my hometown of Rockford after my mother died from an illness that could have been prevented if she had had access to medical care. My children attend the same public schools I did, and are in the same 4-H club. 

I started my immigration law practice out of the living room of my home; and a decade later, I have the largest immigration law firm west of Chicagoland. My job is to help my clients navigate federal laws, regulations and policies that change on nearly a daily basis. 

I know how deeply a change in law can affect a family and a community. We need a representative who is accessible, active and accountable.

As an employer, I know firsthand how the skyrocketing cost of health care is hurting the growth of my business. When my firm began providing health insurance to our employees, we agreed to pay 50 percent of their premiums, but with increases of 17 percent to 20 percent each year, we realized our employees' annual raises would get eaten up in the higher premium costs. So now my firm pays nearly 75 percent of health insurance premiums for our staff. 

This is unsustainable for any small employer. It also prevents people from starting their own small business out of fear of losing employer-sponsored insurance. We need universal health care.

As the late Sen. Paul Wellstone said, “We all do better when we all do better.” 

Middle-class wages continue to stagnate while Republicans continue to undermine workers’ rights to unionize and collectively bargain, which we need to balance negotiating power between employers and employees. Unions are responsible for bans on child labor, safe workplaces, the 40-hour work week, health insurance benefits, and overtime pay, to name just a few rights that protect all workers. 

We need a representative willing to stand up for the middle class, which is why I am calling for a federal ban on right-to-work because when unions are weakened, all working families suffer.

I’ve been fortunate to work with many elected officials and community leaders through both my professional and volunteer work with 4-H, neighborhood groups and my church. As a result, I have been endorsed by the National Organization for Women, state Sen. Steve Stadelman, over 50 faith leaders in the 16th District, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, and 28 state and local officials throughout the district. 

We know government works when we work together to build safe communities, strong public schools, good-paying union jobs and secure retirements for everyone.

I ask for your vote on March 20 because we need a representative with a proven track record of effective representation who knows us, cares about us, and will work for the success of every resident in the district.

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