To the Editor:
I had the honor of attending an event Aug. 11 that was held to shine a light on the violent tragedy that recently occurred at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital. The intended goals of the rally were to raise awareness on issues of workplace safety in the hospital, especially for the nursing staff, and most importantly show support for the victims of this horrific event. As I engaged supporters and observed the crowed, it became even more clear to me why I am running to become your representative for the Illinois House 50th District.
This rally, which was held to support nurses and health care professionals, was well attended, with members of both political parties there to speak and discuss the issues at hand. I spent the entire day conversing with nurses and their friends and family to help gain a better perspective of the concerns they have. Every event I attend I make it my goal to do this exact same thing. I want to meet everyone I can, so that I will truly know the concerns of the people I hope to represent. By contrast, others in attendance made it abundantly clear that being there and actually having any real interaction were not on their list of priorities.
Everyone there, whether speaking – or in support – has a busy schedule. When invited guests give the appearance that their goal is to make a statement to the press and be photographed, it deeply offends everyone in attendance. People there were in a state of grief and wanted others to feel a sense of their anger, fear and their hope for what the future could hold. They wanted to be heard and have some comfort that decision-makers could help them. When someone shows up late and leaves early without so much as saying a word on the way out, the hopes of those supporters are quickly dashed.
I will not be a politician that is beholden to someone’s pocketbook. My intent with this letter is to bring to light my goal in running to be your representative and not necessarily to disparage others in attendance. I want all who meet me to know that I am bound to you; I care deeply about your concerns; and wish to find practical and responsible ways to make all of our lives a little better.
James G. Leslie
Candidate for the Illinois House 50th District seat