Kristen Steel

Kristen Steel

“As a mom of three, I ran for school board during the last midterm election cycle. Since running for the board, I’ve been entrenched in Illinois politics. While campaigning, I learned so much about government, how things work and how things work in Illinois. It came naturally to learn about Amendment 1.”

“I will definitely be voting ‘no’ and opposing it. There’s no way that it’s right to essentially hand over the power to run the state to union bosses representing less than 7% of Illinois workers. The unions already have far too much power in our state. It will increase our taxes, and it will put the burden on taxpayers. Just the mere fact that it would prohibit any law at all that ‘interferes or diminishes’ the rights of the employees is just wrong.”

“The teachers union already has far too much say and power regarding what goes on in our schools. We’ve gone so far past the original idea or purpose of a union. Instead, unions like the Chicago Teachers Union are some of the top donors to the Democratic Party. It’s sickening.”

“Watching even our local union take over school board elections was so disheartening. They have far too much power. Our district recently underwent contract negotiations, and it was very eye-opening not only seeing the process but also the contract we ended up with. Amendment 1 would make any future contract negotiation very burdensome.”

“I don’t know how we got here. Both of my parents were educators. I grew up in a teacher household, wanting to even be a teacher and my parents told me: ‘No, you will not be a teacher.’ They ended up retiring around the time I was heading into college, and they could already see things changing. The unions today don’t represent what my parents would have wanted.”

“I have read Amendment 1 enough to know that it also states if the teachers decide to collectively bargain and put in their contract something ridiculous such as, ‘Kids need to wear masks when five people have COVID-19 in the school,’ they could unilaterally do it. There would be no law we could pass … that would give parents or lawmakers any way to fight back.”

“That’s what Amendment 1 would do. It puts that kind of power into law.”

“So, your vote absolutely matters. We’ve gone so long, myself included, pretending that it does not. I wasn’t always this involved in politics. There was a time when I could not have possibly cared less about politics. I thought the governor didn’t have much to do with anything.”

“And now I know I was so wrong, and I remained both complacent and ignorant for too long. But I believe when you know better, you do better. So, I have canvassed, campaigned and I try to educate people as to why their voice and vote matter.”

“It is the same with people who don’t know about Amendment 1. I got some signs and info material, and I was able to reach out, talk to people and pass out signs. I even talk with the retired demographic. Most of them are Democratic and have voted Democrat their whole life. They’re old-school Democrats, and educating them on the impact Amendment 1 will have on them, and what it could potentially do to their finances, has convinced even them to vote ‘no.’”

“These are very strong union folks. All my parents’ friends are retired teachers, and this is important to them. Tax hikes hurt them because they’re on a fixed income, but they’re still at a larger income level than most people who aren’t teachers.”

“It is imperative to educate and spread the word about the negative effects Amendment 1 would have on our state, which is already a very strong union state – to a fault. This would make that stronger, and not in a positive way.”

Kristen Steel
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

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