On Thursday, Jan. 31, I met Larry D. Pickens at his home on the South Side of Chicago.
Pickens spoke about a myriad of issues within the district and seemed to have a strong working knowledge them all, but one of the most interesting things he address was accountability. Pickens spoke of forming a panel of 2nd District community leaders, just to keep him in check, if elected.
Visit Larry D. Pickens's candidate profile on Patch to watch the extended video of the interview.
Pickens took aim at the problems within the Chicago Public Schools system, as well as those of school systems south of the city. He said there should be more discussion about the government supporting the efforts of the communities trying to improve their schools.
Small Business Lending
Pickens said making it easier for small businesses owners to get start-up loans from banks is another important issue. He said he wants to find ways, through the Community Reinvestment Act, to more effectively support business owners.
Taking the focus away from gun laws, Pickens said he would like to look to giving families more of a support system to combat violence. He also said increasing the number of mental health facilities would be key.
"I think that is't problematic after a while, when you've been in congress, to really be able to hear what people are saying to you. That happens when you've been in Congress for 17 years. You sort of feel invincible." - On accountability and Jesse Jackson Jr.
"It's interesting when I hear some of the candidates talk about what they will do day one, when they get into congress. What I will be doing day one is listening and learning and finding out how I can move forward in order to function best within that institution and how I can impact the lives of the people in the 2nd District." - On how he will spend his first year in Congress, if elected.
Within the context of this election, one might call Pickens the Anti-Fenton. That's not because he opposes opponent Ernest B. Fenton's stances on the issues, but because his calm and modest approach is the complete antithesis to Fenton's confident energy.
If voters take the time to learn who he is, they might see Pickens as the kind of representative that will take all the people's needs in to consideration.
On the flip side, voters may not want a representative that needs to take the time to learnt he ropes before he can do anything for the district.
What do you think? Does Larry D. Pickens's "listening and learning" approach sway you in his direction? Tell us in the comments!
Monday, Feb. 11: Victor Jonathan explains why his background makes him the most fit to bring jobs to the 2nd District.
Return to our intro page to learn more about this series and see the full list of candidates.
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