* During the break…
* Press release…
A longtime gun violence prevention and workers’ rights advocate, Denyse Wang Stoneback, on Monday jumped into the 2020 Democratic primary to challenge State Rep. Mark Kalish (D-Chicago) who, Stoneback said, “can’t be trusted to keep his word in Springfield” in her announcement referring to the appointed-incumbent’s flip-flop vote on a key reproductive healthcare bill during the spring legislative session.
Stoneback is backed by the Niles Township Democratic Organization and former Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who last January supported Kalish’s appointment to his House seat. She also has the endorsements of MWRD Commissioner Josina Morita and Personal PAC.
During her campaign kick-off event at Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie, she called out Kalish not only over his flip-flop on the Reproductive Health Act, but also for caving to gun rights advocates aligned with the National Rifle Association.
The first-time candidate noted that Kalish killed his own concealed carry legislation, HB 3023, after pushback from the gun lobby.
“When he was given the chance to honor his pledge to our community to protect a woman’s right to choose and protect our community from gun violence, he reversed his course on choice and he caved to the gun lobby,” said Stoneback. “He cannot be trusted to keep his word in Springfield.”
Stoneback, who grew up in and raised her son in the 16th District and is a social media consultant and former senior adviser to the National Gun Victims Action Council, said a priority is to restore “trust and confidence” with the district’s voters.
“With falsehoods out of Washington, voters, here, in Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, and Chicago are desperately seeking leaders that they can trust,” said Stoneback. “I pledge that I will listen to and represent my constituents to the best of my ability. I will be cognizant of issues that matter to the district and the values of the district. I will be true to my word once it is given.”
During her speech, Stoneback, who founded the Skokie-based, gun violence prevention group People for a Safer Society, offered pledges on multiple fronts, including being “a fighter for progressive change and a vocal leader on issues that this community cares about.” She promised to work “toward a safer, more equitable and just society for everyone.”
Lang held the seat currently occupied by Kalish for 32 years. He offered a full-throated endorsement to Stoneback.
“If you want a state representative that you can trust on choice and guns and who will stand up to anti-choice extremists and the NRA, Denyse Wang Stoneback is your candidate,” said Lang. “Denyse will represent the values of our communities – your values – every single day when she is voting in Springfield, unlike Rep. Kalish.”
* Kalish moved to table his bill in February…
Amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Adds any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other place of worship, to the places where concealed carry of a firearm under the Act is prohibited.
*** UPDATE *** Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC…
Personal PAC is proud to endorse Denyse Wang Stoneback for State Representative in the March 2020 Democratic primary.
As State Representative, Denyse will always vote to defend the right of women to make their own health care decisions without interference from politicians, unlike Representative Kalish.
Kalish promised publicly and privately, verbally and in writing, on numerous occasions, that he would vote for the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), but refused to do so when the RHA came up for a vote in the Illinois House.
Kalish lied to Personal PAC, lied to Planned Parenthood, lied to the ACLU, lied to Lou Lang, lied to Jan Schakowsky, lied to Ram Villivalam, lied to Josina Morita, lied to his House colleagues, lied to the RHA House sponsor, lied to everyone in this room, and most egregiously, lied to the voters of the 16th House district who have counted on their State Representative to protect them from the attacks of the right-wing who wish to make abortion and birth control illegal in Illinois.
By refusing to support the RHA and lying to everyone, Kalish stood with Donald Trump and his supporters in Springfield who are working to return women to those horrible days when abortion was illegal and women died in back alleys and hospital emergency rooms from botched and self-induced abortions.
I grew up and was raised in the 16th district. I’m a graduate of Niles West High School. I now live just a few miles from here and remain grateful for the incredible diversity of my hometown.
The real question for the voters of the 16th district in March of 2020 is which one of us, which one of you, will Kalish lie to next? When is the next time he will stand with right-wingers to cause harm to others in our communities who are under fierce attack every single day by Donald Trump and his enablers?
At this time when the right-wing is attacking women at every turn and the U.S. Supreme Court is looking to overturn Roe v. Wade ASAP, we need a State Representative who will say NO to these attempts in Illinois, and that State Representative must be Denyse Stoneback, not State Representative Kalish who is so easily willing to join in the attacks on the dignity, health, lives, dreams and aspirations of Illinois women.