Bill Graham

Bill Graham

“I’m a retired engineer. I worked in the environmental field. So I worked on projects to clean up the environment, to clean up air quality and wastewater quality and clean up solid waste. I worked for 42 years. I’m retired. I’m on a fixed income.”

“So in the old days when I worked, the marginal increase in taxes wasn’t a big deal. But now it actually is a substantial issue for me.”

“I actually moved within Glen Ellyn to reduce my tax burden some years ago. I came here from New Jersey, which is apparently No. 1 in property taxes. And my concern is if Amendment 1 were to pass, this would perhaps get us into the No. 1 position.”

“There have been estimates done, estimates of approximate annual increase per home in the state. And it’s substantial. It’s not negligible.”

“Most of us have a household food budget in the $1,000 to $2,000 range, so we’re talking about someone taking from us the amount of money we would need to buy food for the year. If you put it in those terms, it’s pretty significant that they’re taking away the money you have to spend on food. Forget restaurants. I’m talking about bananas and soup.”

“[Amendment 1] essentially codifies into the constitution rights for unions that go far beyond what citizens have as rights. And I just think that’s inappropriate because the constitution was established for the citizens. We the people as a group are not likely to pick isolated groups of people and favor them and give them laws that allow them to bypass the courts, bypass the legislature, bypass the executive. So this is really a very, very dangerous thing that they’re proposing.”

“The thing that really concerns me is I’m pretty active in looking after our school systems, our school districts, our school boards. I believe it will make it so parents and school boards have virtually no say in what goes on in public schools. They’ll basically not be able to do a thing. This ‘economic welfare’ phrase that’s in the amendment will allow them to encompass virtually anything and everything. And there’s no limit to it and there isn’t really a series of court cases that tells us what that really means.”

“I’m one of those people: I’m a senior, I could easily leave the state. I’m one of the few people that financially and otherwise could leave the state. I love Illinois. My family’s here. My grandkids are here. There’s a lot of things I like about it, but we’re certainly going in the wrong direction and many people like me are leaving. I’m not leaving yet. I don’t know when I will, but we’re sending away a lot of people.”

“Get involved, definitely. The reason the state of Illinois’ government has gotten so mutated and so far away from what reasonable people would like … is because people aren’t paying attention. They put the government on cruise control. That could be the school board, the town board, whatever.”

“If we don’t start paying attention and actually spending part of our lives investing them in this issue, telling people what we think and talking about it, one with the other, we’re going to end up with a country that’s essentially tyranny.”

Bill Graham
Retired environmental engineer
Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!
Keep scrolling for more inspiring stories

Have a story to share?

Tell us how a state or local policy affects your life.
If we decide to feature your story, one of our writers will reach out to you directly.