- Name: Larry D. Pickens
- Position sought: Illinois Second Congressional District Representative
- Website: LarryDPickensforCongress.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Age: 54
- Family: Wife, Debra Pickens, Daughter, Jessica (19)
- Education: DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL
Juris, Doctorate Degree-1993-7
Honors: Dean’s Scholarship; Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL, Doctorate of Ministry Degree-1985-7; Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL, Master of Divinity Degree-1982-5; Bossey- Graduate School of the World Council of Churches, Céligny, Switzerland, Certificate of Ecumenism 1984-5; Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL, Master of Theology Degree-1980-2; North Park University, Chicago, IL, Bachelor of Arts Degree, Political Science-1976-1980
- Occupation: Clergy
- Political Party: Democrat
- Official name of campaign: Larry D. Pickens for Congress
- Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: Chicago Community Development Block Grant Committee, Elgin Committee on Human Relations
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
My experience as an attorney and a pastor provides unique experiences for me and prepare me for service in Congress. Community involvement and organizing is consistent with my role as a pastor. The analytical skills that i have developed as a lawyer have prepared me for this responsibility. I have significant international experience in complex organizations. This experience has provide me with the resources that I need to do the job.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Economic development related to the creation of jobs is important. In relation to this need, education and violence are directly related. Creating more sustainable communities that are conducive to business growth will require that educational resources are available to train a productive work force and that people feel safe enough to enter into communities in order to engage in economic intercourse. These are priorities for me. Clarifying the status of the Peotone airport will also be a priority as we decide its fate and consider issues of control and authority. The clean up of toxic waste areas in the district is a concern and a green job opportunity. I will also want to bring corrective measures to the mortgage default crisis in the district.
Which of Jackson's 2nd District plans do you agree with and plan to continue?
I will continue the Congressman's efforts on the Peotone airport.
How do you define a small business, and what can government do to support them that isn't being done?
I would define a small business as a company with 50 or fewer employees. Creating tax incentives for small businesses is a away of promoting the creation of these business' to communities. Creating a civic and business consortium in order to define ways in which communities can work with small business owners and institutions of higher education in order to coordinate development, training and industry opportunities.
What steps would you take to reduce the federal deficit? If it includes tax increases, what taxes? And if it involves federal service cuts, which?
I agree with the policy of tax increases on persons making $400,000 or more. I would also cut defense military spending. I would cap military spending through 2020. I would require the President to establish annual cuts on war spending. I would reduce Congressional and White House budgets by 15 percent. I would propose a freeze on federal and defense workers. I would sell excess federal land and property. I would set physician payment targets under medicare in order to limit increases. I would also eliminate Congressional earmarks.
What should the government do to create more jobs?
As a congressman I would subsidize small business incubators in low income and high unemployment communities. I would work to create green jobs to address the environmental hazards that exist in the community. I would work with the colleges i the district in order to make certain that the training opportunities exist for the creation of green jobs in the district. The federal government should make certain that low interest loans are made available.
Should the federal government set different measurements than now for economically disadvantaged students, special education students, students learning English as a second language, etc?
Standardized tests may not be the best measuring tool for these students. There are other factors that should be considered in relation to the development for the economically and socially disadvantaged persons. Community context should also be considered in this framework. We should also create opportunities for mental health counseling, nonviolent conflict resolution and teacher support systems that will enhance the ability of these students to develop.
Should federal immigration policy be changed, and if so how?
The Dream Act should be implemented which allows a pathway to citizenship for those persons who are seeking citizenship. The creation of a registry should occur in order to process those persons who are law abiding, in school and employed, as they move toward citizenship.
There should also be a stronger level of border control established.
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and medicinal marijuana and what should government’s role be in those issues?
I support same sex marriage and support defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act.
I support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion with regard to health, family planning and economic considerations. I also support the sale, regulation and use of medical marijuana.
What should minimum wage be in Illinois and through what method should increases be determined?
The minimum wage should be $12 per hour in Illinois. I think that this will actually stimulate the economy. I think that Congress should play a role in establishing a federal minimum with respect to minimum wage but there can be a bipartisan initiate that include stale legislators in Illinois designed to determine how a state would establish a wage that exceed the minimum wage stablished by the federal government.
Bi-partisanship is often mentioned by congressional members. Tell us how you would work with members of the opposite party?
I will work to find areas of common interest and agreement with people from the other party. It is important to build relationships in Congress in order to get things done. This happens within the party and outside of it. I will work to establish the relationships in order to build the trust that it takes to accomplish goals in Washington and the district.
How do you feel about the level of financial transparency as it relates to political campaigns?
I think that the financial transparency provisions are strong enough as it relates to reporting requirements. The greatest challenge is campaign finance reform.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, sued successfully or had a restraining order placed against you? If so, please explain.