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Disability Supporter Pritzker Wins Illinois Governorship

Springfield, Illinois, Nov. 6 – Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker is projected to take the governorship in Illinois defeating Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner.

Pritzker responded to a disability issues questionnaire for Senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national disability organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire to which Pritzker responded gauges how candidates plan to tackle disability issues. This way, voters with concerns about disability policy know which candidates have the positions that they agree with the most. Pritzker’s opponent, Rauner, did not respond to the questionnaire despite repeated requests to the campaign from RespectAbility.

While Pritzker did not respond to each of the 10 listed questions but rather issued a statement highlighting overall policy goals in response.

“People with disabilities deserve real options that provide them with the supports they need to live independent, meaningful lives that are integrated and included in the community,” responded Pritzker. “We can do this by improving and increasing access to a range of reliable supports designed to meet the individualized needs of people with disabilities, and by expanding access to economic opportunity.”

Economic opportunity for the disability community is certainly a pressing issue in Illinois. Only 35.7 percent of working-age Illinoisans, between the ages of 18 and 64, with disabilities are employed. This means that 64.3 percent, or more than 400,000 working-age adults, remain without jobs. In comparison, 77.7 percent of working-age Illinoisans without disabilities are employed.

To help address such issues, Pritzker wants to begin working toward “principles for an inclusive administration.” In summary, the goals of Pritzker are to ensure that people with disabilities live independent lives, free of poverty and judgment, with access to the services that they need.

You can read Pritzker’s full statement below.


People with disabilities deserve real options that provide them with the supports they need to live independent, meaningful lives that are integrated and included in the community. We can do this by improving and increasing access to a range of reliable supports designed to meet the individualized needs of people with disabilities, and by expanding access to economic opportunity.

It’s also vital that policy decisions that impact people with disabilities are made with and by people with disabilities. People with disabilities will play an integral role in my administration.

JB’s principles for an inclusive administration:

  • Public policy decisions that impact people with disabilities should not be made without people with disabilities;
  • People with disabilities deserve to live meaningful, independent lives that are integrated and included in the community;
  • People with disabilities deserve to choose where they live and to receive individualized services designed to meet their needs;
  • People with disabilities deserve stable, reliable support from caregivers who earn a living wage;
  • People with disabilities deserve equitable access to education, housing, health care, preventive health services, human services, transportation, and other general state services;
  • People with disabilities deserve access to expanded economic opportunities.

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. You can see more candidate responses at http://therespectabilityreport.org. To learn more about the organization, visit www.respectability.org.

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