Will Guzzardi

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Will Guzzardi is a Berniecrat, a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[1]

Rosa connection

In 2015, twenty-six-year-old immigrants’ rights organizer Carlos Rosa defeated the incumbent, Rey Colon, by a whopping two-to-one margin.

Rosa, who will be Chicago’s first openly gay Latino alderman, had a few advantages: Colon was notoriously corrupt, and there were no other challengers in the race. His ward also overlapped significantly with the state legislative district that elected progressive Will Guzzardi a few years ago.

Rosa was involved in that campaign and was able to develop Guzzardi’s campaign organization into his own. He also received endorsements from both the CTU and SEIU, the latter of which spent $230,000 on his race, dwarfing the $13,000 that Colon got from Chicago Forward.[2]

Sangamon DSA connection

Sangamon Democratic Socialists of America, April 23 (2018)

Guzzardiut.JPG

Happy to announce that IL State Rep. Will Guzzardi will be speaking at our May 8th meeting!

Progressive Caucus foundation

February 2019, a group of House Democrats formed an official Illinois Progressive Caucus they say will champion a liberal agenda “to provide a better direction” for Illinois.

State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) speaks during a news conference Thursday in Capitol in Springfield to announce the formation of a new progressive caucus which will push for the legalization of cannabis and campaign finance reforms this legislative session. She was joined by (from left) Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago), Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago), Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago)

Among their legislative priorities are increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, legalizing recreational marijuana, and campaign finance reform. The minimum wage increase has been approved by the Senate and House and awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.

The Progressive Caucus’s 16 members, most of whom are from Chicago and the suburbs, also plan to consider other initiatives, such as a progressive income tax and expansion of Medicare.

“We are a group of legislators who believe in a progressive vision for our state, one where our government guarantees stability and decency for all Illinoisans,” said Rep. Carol Ammons, caucus co-chair from Urbana.

That evolved into the caucus’s Statement of Principles, based on an idea “there is an unjust concentration of power at the very top” of government, said co-chair Will Guzzardi, a representative from Chicago.

The governor also indicated his support for legalizing recreational marijuana. Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago, with Sen. Heather Steans, is leading the group’s efforts to accomplish that.

Chicago Rep. Theresa Mah outlined the group’s ideas, which have not yet been submitted as legislative proposals this session. A candidate could choose to forego accepting large donations, in favor of small-donor ones that are matched “several times over” by a public fund through state government.

Other members of the group include Reps. Celina Villanueva, Delia Ramirez, Sara Feigenholtz, Robyn Gabel, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Greg Harris, Rob Martwick, Joyce Mason, Aaron Ortiz, Lamont Robinson, Anne Stava-Murray and Maurice West.[3]

Background

References