Rayburn makes sense for the 28th House seat

The career politicians and the ones using the Illinois State House of Representatives as a stepping stone to a higher office have long held sway in Springfield. But given the state’s pitiable condition, it is time for another kind of legislator to join th

Tomorrow voters in the 28th District should vote for Earick Rayburn as their new state rep. Even though he ran for 9th Ward alderman last year, Rayburn is a newcomer to politics. Apparently, his newness resonates well with voters. Rayburn garnered more than 21 percent of the aldermanic votes.

That’s impressive for someone who never sought political office previously. It also speaks volume for his commitment to serve, by picking up the mantle again after an ugly loss. Certainly one of the most appealing factors about Rayburn is he shows commitment û not talks about it. He was serious enough in his aldermanic bid that he stopped work on his doctoral program at the University of Illinois û Chicago when he went after the alderman’s job.

Rayburn is so deep into the campaign one would think he is the incumbent rather than challenger. While few candidates show Rayburn’s youthful exuberance for the job, even fewer show up at an editorial board meeting with position papers on education and stemming violence already prepared.

With Rayburn in office, 28th District residents will get a candidate who looks like most of them, has new insights on how to make the district better and some astute positions on existing legislation, such as the joint HB750, which focuses on educational reform and comprehensive funding for our schools.

The former math teacher might fall out of favor with some on this position, but Rayburn’s stance on expanding the sales tax base to include some professional services makes sense. He’s also politically savvy enough to understand that taxes are an enormous burden on the poor. The 29-year-old is pushing an agenda that would relieve that burden by providing tax credits up to 60 percent for the poor and property tax abatement for those who need it most.

Rayburn understands that a freshman representative carries little if any clout, so wisely, he is prepared to build coalitions with those members whose ideals line up closest with his. His youth, dedication and willingness by his own admission to “get into the trenches” is what the 28th needs.

Residents have lived through three terms of the incumbent’s sponsored bills getting sent to committee but not seeing the light of day in terms of a vote for passage. That translates into having a state rep who is little more than a tourist in Springfield. Rayburn’s readiness to take on issues of violence and improving services for youth is testimony that he has his ear to the ground and is hearing what the problems are. Look for Rayburn, once elected, to work to get more money for more youth-focused dollars into that district.

He is on target in his belief that stemming violence and availing young people to more opportunities will increase the livability of the 28th district. The Roseland resident is proposing well thought out, attainable and realistic changes. The state’s condition is too tenuous now to let an insightful and talented person like Rayburn continue to stay on the sidelines.He needs to be among those in Springfield. (AP)

______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  

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