A recent Chicago Urban League report stated that we need “a market for educational innovations.” Parents, teachers, and students easily admit that our current educational system is not working. Unfortunately, many blame the failures of public education on money alone, yet there are schools that receive fewer dollars than Chicago Public School students and still out perform them. So the answer is not just more money.

The answer is competition. When the top 25 Chicago area communities with the highest concentrations of students performing at least 2 years behind grade level are concentrated in low-income communities, it becomes apparent that parents need more choices.

According to School Choice Illinois, “School choice has proven to lead to the increase in graduation rates, the decrease in dropout rates, an increase in school enrollment, more accountable school districts, and an increase in real spending per pupil.” Additionally, a University of Arkansas study on the effects of the DC Voucher Program determined, “the evidence tends to support the theory that public schools improve their performance in response to expanded choice and competition.”

This is why Isaac Hayes supports educational competition in at least two areas:

Charter Schools

Charter Schools offer a viable alternative to the traditional public schools our children have historically attended. Already, Charter Schools like North Kenwood-Oakland, Perspectives, and Chicago International North have outperformed neighboring schools. Parents' enthusiasm for such alternatives is clear from long waiting lists and proven increased parental involvement. The cap on Charter Schools must be lifted, and barriers that prevent kids from attending schools outside of their district removed.

School Vouchers

School vouchers open the door of possibility for our children to attend better and more racially integrated schools. Our legislators overwhelmingly send their children to private schools in DC because they can afford to. Even our current president enrolled his two daughters in private school. Unfortunately, the communities that are experiencing poor academic performance cannot afford to pay for alternative schools. School vouchers and tax credits can help to offset that disparity.

As Congressman, Isaac Hayes will make sure our school system provides every student with a quality education. He joins President Barack Obama’s goal of having the world's highest rate of college graduates by 2020. This can be accomplished through educational competition.

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When the poverty rate for African Americans in Chicago is 32% and unemployment in Illinois is as high as 23%, is there any question why crime pervades many of our communities? We must increase job opportunities for all of our communities irrespective of race, but we cannot overlook the need to create jobs in poorer communities that allow people to move from welfare to work, from employees to employers and from criminals to contributors.

Job Creation

We must open our communities to companies like Wal-Mart that provide hundreds of jobs, increase tax receipts, invest in the communities in which they reside and offer career advancement. Double digit unemployment requires quick and aggressive measures to drastically reduce the number of people out of work.

Attract New Business

Investing in and improving our educational system and work force, while at the same time lowering the corporate tax rate to less than 25% will attract new business investment. With business friendly policies and a highly skilled workforce, the Second District will hold up a welcome sign for business migration.

Small Business Mentoring

It is not enough to only start small businesses, because the true sign of economic development is sustainability. We want to build sustainable businesses so that people have sustainable employment. Providing ongoing business mentoring and coaching for small business owners will improve business operations, increase profitability, and create more jobs.

In Iraq and Afghanistan we are allocating billions of dollars to provide citizens with job opportunities to steer them away from joining groups like Al-Qaida and the Taliban. Sadly, our district is littered with over a thousand urban terrorists, but we offer no constructive alternatives to steer them away from the Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords. As Congressman, Isaac Hayes will work to attract corporate investment and workforce development. He will also double investment in infrastructure, transportation, education and business development.

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According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses “represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms… and have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.” Entrepreneurship leads to job creation.

In a recent survey, 52.7% of low-income residents stated they would like to start a small business in their community. However, the reason they felt they could not start a business was because of barriers. One barrier in particular is access to capital.

It is imperative that underserved communities gain access to capital to start small businesses. Providing more and more entitlements only manages people in their condition, but does nothing to transform them out of their impoverished state. Recent news of mismanagement and fraud with SBA loans necessitates stringent oversight to ensure that qualified applicants have real opportunities to bring economic development to high unemployment areas.

The key to economic growth in our district is through developing and growing small businesses.

Government & Community Partnerships

Increased support for entrepreneurial development by the SBA through training programs to help identify new growth sectors and improved business models are critical, as well as community organizations like the Chicago Urban League contributing to improve the workforce through job training and development programs.

No Tax for New Small Business

We can create business enterprise zones by providing a five-year “tax-free” incentive to small businesses that are established in neighborhoods with large areas of vacant property. Suspending taxes the first five years for new small businesses will provide the stimulus they need to sustain their businesses during their formative years.

Collaborative Business Startups

Offer startup small businesses collaborative co-op centers, where multiple vendors can share office or market space and lay the foundation for establishing long term growth. Overhead costs are a major deterrent to entrepreneurs. By spreading those costs among multiple business owners, several businesses can operate within a single office.

We must do more to ensure that the small businesses that operate in our communities are owned by and employ people from the same community. Circulation of capital within the community produces economic stability and the potential for true economic development.

As Congressman, Isaac Hayes will make starting and sustaining a small business a real possibility for the many members in our district who want to create work and wealth.

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Illinois has become a laughing stock across the country from “Saturday Night Live” to “the View.” From City Hall to the Governor’s Mansion, Illinois has been plagued by corrupt politicians who have abused their public trust. Regardless of party, Democrats and Republicans have both allowed power to corrupt them.

Our public image is in need of deep repair. Electing more people from the same system of corruption will not bring about the drastic changes that we need to reform our state. We must take our government back from those who have made government about power and not people. As one politician said, “We don’t want nobody nobody sent.” Well, nobody sent Isaac Hayes.

So what is Isaac Hayes going to do about it? He has a plan:

Overhaul The Congressional Ethics Process

Members of Congress and their staff should be prohibited from accepting for private benefit any gifts from lobbyists or the general public.

Prohibit The Purchase Of Influence

Members of Congress should be prohibited from providing influence or official action in exchange for campaign contributions or other consideration.

Strengthen Revolving Door Prohibitions and Improve Lobbying Disclosure

The “cooling off” period should be doubled to two years before Members of Congress can come back and lobby their former colleagues.

A government that was to be “of the people, by the people, for the people,” is no longer for the people. We can give the government back to the people by getting rid of those who are currently part of the problem. As Congressman, Isaac Hayes will restore our trust in government. He intends to lead our district with honesty and integrity. In fact, to prove his commitment to our district he has pledge to serve no more than eight years in the United States Congress.

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