Residents of the 11th congressional district kept their promise to come back to U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger's office with even more ralliers this week if the Republican legislator failed to respond to their hand-delivered letter calling for a town hall meeting to discuss the lack of good jobs in the area.
The residents are frustrated with the 15 percent unemployment rate in Joliet, so about 75 of Kinzinger's constituents met at the congressman's office in that town to chant, march, and rally for more help from the legislator they voted into office. But instead of getting help or some form of communication from their representative, the congressman's staffers reportedly called the police on the ralliers -- for the second time in a week.
“We need help out here, Congressman,” said Demetrie Collins, an unemployed worker from Joliet. “We need to be heard—not just those people from the business roundtable you have met with this summer.”
Hoisting signs reading "It’s Your Job to Make Sure We Have Good Jobs in Joliet” and “The Answer isn’t More Corporate Tax Breaks. It’s Better Jobs for Workers!”, Kinzinger's constituents say the congressman has yet to hold a town hall meeting during the August recess, despite their continued efforts to get an in-person session scheduled with the representative to discuss the job crisis in the area.
“Congressman Kinzinger, we need you to raise your mind up off the obsession on tax breaks,” said Brian Piccini, of Kankakee, a town that is also in Kinzinger’s district. “There are already a lot of tax breaks and relaxed rules for corporations. But they aren’t putting it back into the workers who work for them.” Piccini has been out of work for close to two years.
Kinzinger's constituents say they are undeterred by Kinzinger's lack of response or the repeated calls to the police by his staffers. Instead, residents of the 11th congressional district pledge to continue their fight to get the representative's attention as they call for more high-quality jobs in the area.
“We’re going to keep coming back with more and more people until Congressman Kinzinger meets with us to tell us how he is going to bring good jobs to Joliet,” promised Uylonda Dickerson, an unemployed resident who helped lead last week's action at Kinzinger's office.