Like so many politicians before him, Brad Schneider, former Congressman from the 10th district of Illinois, made a promise.
“The American Promise is that each generation be better than the next, that our parents work hard to provide a better future for us. However, yours is the first generation in our nation’s history that may be breaking that promise,” Schneider said. “I decided to run for Congress to start building your generation a better tomorrow.”
During his meeting on Tuesday night sponsored by Northwestern’s College Democrats, Schneider proved he could still relate to the youngest voting demographic and the current students of his alma mater.
For one, he's been keeping up with the football team’s success and juxtaposed it to the 34-game losing streak he experienced during his time here. He was also a student at Northwestern to witness the opening of the connection between Bobb and McCulloch, as well as the opening of the North Mid Quad dorm complex.
He began the meeting by laying the foundation of his views on the nation’s biggest issues today.
“I have a #1 issue, and that’s our nation’s economy. We need to give up on the Republicans trickle-down economics and start with the middle class.”
His vision for re-building the economy includes a particular concern for the quality of our nation’s infrastructure, having been an engineering major during his time at Northwestern.
“It’s the roads, rails, seaports, and airports that help get people around and get our products out across borders that will stimulate the economy from the middle-out,” he said.
Robert Bourret, a junior in SESP and President of Northwestern College Democrats, reiterated his comments on the crumbling status of our nations facilities.
“I worked on Brad’s campaign in the past, and one issue I’m really excited about is the infrastructure bank which no one talks very often, but is a great idea for investing in infrastructure,” Bourret said.
Schneider then opened the floor to questions from the audience, who asked about a topic they all knew well: education. Schneider said he was in favor of education reform, especially in secondary education.
“A popular topic is making community college affordable, but one of the biggest issues Northwestern students may face is student loans,” Schneider said. “Policy changes to be made are tying student loans to the type of work students do after college, or at the very least different payback schedules on loans: possibly payback forgiveness for those with jobs with community value, and most importantly getting states to put more money into public education.”
The question of immigration, however, was what stuck out the most to Madison Hursey and Rowan Hussein, both freshmen in Weinberg. Schneider believes we need a new comprehensive plan, and said the biggest struggle is finding a way to pass legislation in Congress.
An audience of 50 students had crowded into University Hall to see Brad speak. Students clamored to sign up to work for Brad’s campaign, as the last question of the session easily allowed him to fit in a plug for volunteering opportunities.
Brad Schneider was in no rush to leave, and this presentation at his alma mater was certainly not just a regular stop on the campaign trail.