The State of Illinois is in a financial downward spiral. While there are many potential causes, one primary contributor to the situation is the failed political leadership. While in neighboring states governors and legislators are making bold moves to create business-friendly environments, Illinois continues to make short-sighted policy choices.
The math is fairly simple. A thriving state economy, driven by business opportunity and stability, creates prosperity. However, in this state, instead of a focus on policy that encourages businesses to start, locate, and grow in Illinois, legislative and executive action continues to take care of those constituencies that offer little in terms of fostering that environment. The result has lead to unpaid bills, downgrades in ratings, and attempts to push debt onto local municipalities as unfunded mandates.
Year after year, dozens of plans cross our desk with grandiose visions for fixing our great state. And year after year, these plans have failed. The reasons are simple. Those plans have been short-sighted, assuming the problem that took decades to create could be fixed in just two years. And they have been based on a reliance on current leadership—the same leaders who may have tried valiantly but unfortunately have failed to return the jewel of the Midwest to economic prosperity.
With that, we believe the path forward is clear: we need a long-term plan to foster a new generation of leadership in Illinois. This is the only way to reject the status quo and reverse the trend in Illinois. To accomplish this mission, we intend to identify and advance young leaders in the following three categories:
- Elected Officials – Fresh candidates and political leaders with business and/or economic backgrounds
- Advocate Leaders – Free market oriented young activists, policy leaders, and campaign personnel
- Political Investors – The next generation of donors, board members, and investors in conservative causes
In the end, by identifying, training, and advancing free market individuals who will lead in these three categories, we can and will effect long-term change in Illinois and finally bring about a return to prosperity in the Land of Lincoln.