Dixon mayor sees Springfield diving deeper into dysfunction
While on the road, Liandro Arellano has stayed current on what's going on in Springfield, such as House Minority Leader Jim Durkin’s (R-Western Springs) legislation to create an outlet for victims of sexual assault and harassment to be heard.
“Self-policing has clearly not been an effective deterrent or solution,” Arellano,who is running for the House seat from the 45th District, told Illinois Valley News. “On the same note, any hotline should go to a fully independent investigatory agency.”
The mayor of Dixon said individuals should be held accountable for their wrongs and a system must be put in place for punishing wrongdoers.
“Elected officials and other political actors should not be above the law," he said. "Separate, independent reviews should be conducted that are not controlled by elected officials."
Arellano spoke in the wake of sexual harassment allegations nationwide, including in the Illinois General Assembly.
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) has introduced legislation to require all lobbyists and lawmakers to attend annual awareness training as a preventative measure against sexual harassment incidents.
“Clearly the problem has been severe,” Arellano said. “The sheer number of complaints displays a culture of harassment and repression. It is one more sign of how dysfunctional Springfield has been over the past decades.”
In fact, the position responsible for reviewing sex harassment allegations, the legislative inspector general, went unfilled for almost three years until attorney Julie Porter was appointed on Nov. 4.
Arellano said he remains optimistic.
“The campaign has been going well," he said. "We've continued to build up a ground team, and the focus right now is on collecting petition signatures."
Arellano is running for the seat held by Rep. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), who is retiring.
The 45th District covers all or part of Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.