“[I moved to Illinois] from Germany in 1972. I came with my husband.

“He went to school here after the army and got training as an HVAC person. When I came over here, I found work in a travel agency for two years and then was pregnant and stayed home until my children were in school.

“In 1998, the owner of this agency called me, and she asked me if I wanted to buy the agency. In 1999, I bought it.

“I’ve been in travel all my life. My mom said I was born with a suitcase in my hand. I’m lucky that I’m in this business. I’m 68 and I’m still working 60 hours a work; not because I have to but because I love to.

“My hope is that better heads prevail, and more people vote against the so-called ‘fair tax.’ It’s not going to be fair; it isn’t fair. We’re taxed out the wazoo already.

“These lawmakers are not getting a few things. They’re not getting that this is going to affect all of us. I don’t trust them because they have proven to us over and over, every chance they get, that we shouldn’t trust them.

“Now, with this minimum wage [increase] of $15. I start somebody that comes in the door at $9, but that’s for three months and only because I don’t know what they’re capable of. If they prove they’re capable, they get more than that.

“That will affect our business in a major way because our profit margin is [already] so small. We have about an 8% profit margin, which is nothing. I may have to close the office and have everybody work from home. Then I don’t have a meeting place for our clients anymore.

“I know people that are living here in town who are paying well over $6,000 in property tax. [Our customer base] is Quincy locals, famers from around here, and they’re suffering. So, we’re feeling that too.

“I like a lot about Illinois. We have a rich history; we have season just like I was used to from home. We’ve got two grown daughters. I’m in it for the fight.”

Mecki Kosin
Travel House of Quincy
Quincy, Illinois