Many of my supporters read your endorsement last week and encouraged me to share with the readers of the Wednesday Journal my plan "as a reformer" for how we can all work together in the 78th District to revive our communities.
For those who know me, either from working together in the community on the Local School Council or Galewood Montclare Community Organization (GMCO) or on the Fiscal Indicators Committee in conjunction with the Civic Federation and DePaul University, the Capital Improvement Advisory Committee, responsible for maintaining transparency in identifying the financial needs of the current infrastructure and capital asset programs or through continuing education at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University as a fellow with Leadership for the 21st Century, know that I am committed to a life in public service and believe strongly in accountability and transparency.
In the last few weeks, the Springfield old political guard, led by the Madigan Machine, has inundated resident mail boxes with mailers that are not only misleading they are downright false — to the tune of a half-million dollars spent on mailers.
My mother, like most other mothers, would say, "People who know you, know what they are saying just isn't true." She reminded me of an old Filipino proverb she learned from her father: Awán kas iti sursúro a sanikuá, ta daytá awán makatákaw kenká, "Knowledge is wealth that can't be stolen."
In addition to being pro-choice — and, believe me, as a Catholic I take a hit on that stance — there is one other thing I must set the record straight on. Shedrick Thomas, like many other African-American families, moved into the Galewood neighborhood wanting a good education for their children at the local school, Sayre Language Academy, a CPS School. Mr. Thomas as well as other parents came to the Local School Council seeking assistance in understanding the legal process of principal selection and how to apply. Known throughout the community as a member of the Local School Council who believed in accountability and transparency, I as well as others on the board complied with their requests. There absolutely was no cutting in line, favoritism or "old school clout" involved as portrayed in the Madigan Machine mailer, nor was it some kind of "private school."
I was recently asked by a reporter from another newspaper, "Why is Mike Madigan in the middle of a two-way race between two Democrats? He gets a Democrat either way." The answer is in your endorsement: "Nardello combines a social service background with interesting state and municipal budget expertise. He gets how severe the fiscal problems are in Springfield and he is enough of a reformer to grasp how failed politics took us to this precipice."
Madigan doesn't want someone who will stand up and say "enough is enough" in Springfield. Financial reform isn't just a campaign slogan in Illinois; it's a necessity. If the voters of the 78th District put their faith in me as a true reformer by electing me to office, I can promise you I won't be a rubber stamp Madigan Democrat (maybe that is why some are trying to label me a Republican.) I have made a pledge not to accept any special interest money in campaign contributions, and I also pledge that I will work diligently to improve the economic climate in the 78th District for the future of Illinois.