Angelique Collins hopes to be the voice for the next generation in Springfield while representing Illinois’ 25th district in the state house.
The first-time candidate recently stated what’s needed in the state’s capital is a “young mind.” She said an individual without a jaded past, without loyalty to any party, and a willingness to work on both sides of the aisle is what’s necessary moving forward. She asserted the district’s residents do not need a “know-it-all” in Springfield.
“I see myself as the millennial candidate,” said Collins. “I just believe Springfield is changing. I think we’re going to get about 30 new legislators in Springfield. People are excited. I’ve been talking to my constituents and they’re excited to see me out being so young and [ready] to fight for the issues.”
Collins, a product of Chicago Public Schools, explained running for a state representative seat was always a goal of hers (offices like alderman do not appeal to her). She said when she heard incumbent state representative for the 25th district, Barbara Flynn Currie, was retiring, she took it as a sign. She told the Defender anyone who questions her life experience need only check her resume filled with degrees from Howard University and Roosevelt University and experience as a business owner.
“The announcement that Barbara Flynn Currie was retiring was almost a sign from God saying this is your time,” said Collins. “Politics is about timing, you have to be strategic with your planning, and so with her exit this just spoke to me, saying this is your time.”
Collins knows a thing or two about how to run a successful campaign from watching her mother, former state representative and state senator Annazette Collins, in action over the years. She said she saw an entirely different side to her mother when visiting her in Springfield as compared to her demeanor at home. The elder Collins has already lent her wisdom to her daughter’s campaign, according to the candidate. The elder Collins, a Woodlawn resident, has been helping with details on the campaign trail. She has yet to miss a debate or engagement.
“My mom is awesome; I’m grateful to have her support,” said the candidate.
One of the reasons Collins currently seeks office is to ensure small business owners like herself receive the tools needed to maintain a high level of success. Unfortunately, she said due to a lack of accessible financial capital, she had to close her cosmetics and beauty supply business, Studio 27, formerly located at 2329 W. Madison St. in Nov. 2017 after three years in business. She said she was the first African American owned beauty supply business on the West Side of Chicago. She said she hired teens for summer jobs at her store where she taught them entrepreneurial and business skills. She stated if locally owned businesses thrived, crime within the community would go down as more money would be circulating for those in need.
“I didn’t want to shut it down,” said Collins. “It was a struggling small business because it wasn’t supported. It’s one thing to open and get it going, but you have to be able to maintain it, and how you maintain it is that you have access to capital. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity should be able to help, that’s why they are there, they should be able to help businesses maintain themselves.”
If elected, Collins told the Defender she intends to revitalize the 71st shopping corridor, strengthen local community schools, invest in the southern portion of the district to increase the number of jobs/opportunities. She said she wants to work to bring the considerable influence of the Department of Commerce and Economic Resources to her community.
Collins shared what her approach would be in Springfield if elected.
“I want to go down there [to Springfield] and make friends and learn from the seasoned people. I’m definitely trying to get down there and learn,” said Collins. “I want to learn how best to serve my district, and you do that by making friends, getting acclaimed by the system in Springfield.”
For more information about Angelique Collins’ campaign, visit https://www.friendsforangeliquecollins.com/meet-angelique.