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伊利諾斯州議會候選人或將創造歷史

The Illinois General Assembly's 40th District onChicago's northwest side is the place Paul Sack callshome, even if he doesn't like the way he sees politicsworking locally. "Supposedly, we have thousands of politicians whoare representing us at the city, the county, and thestate level and other districts, but really there areonly a few guys that are in charge." But a knock on the door to his apartment last year gave him new hope. "This campaigner told me a little bit about him, and he seemed like he believed in the samethings I believed in. And with the state and the mess that it's in, it seemed like it was the right time for me to getinvolved with something." So on March 15, Sack's top choice for the general assembly is a Muslim American immigrant whohas never before held public office. Harish Patel bills himself as an "independent Democrat," someone who isn't beholden to thestate party. "My state has not respected or responded to the needs of my community. So in this district, I just feel like there is a crisis of democracy." When Patel came to the U.S. in 1999 with his widowed mother, he didn't speak any English. "And in the assembly that we do is to make laws for the state of Illinois." But thanks to public programs, he got an education and a college degree. Now he wants to give back. "All of this is possible because of the investment the community has made in me. And now is sort of my time to figure out how to keep those programs so other people arecoming to this neighborhood, or other people that live in this neighborhood build thisneighborhood, have the same access that I got." Chicago's 40th is one of the most ethnically diverse in the state. It also is home to three mosques and a large population of Muslim Americans. The primary is a two-man race between Patel and incumbent Jaime Andrade. Whoever wins is likely to win the general election in November because there is currently noRepublican challenger. If Patel wins, he would make history as the first Muslim American immigrant elected to the IllinoisGeneral Assembly. Something Paul Sack hopes to witness that not just as a voter but also as a new member ofPatel's campaign. "It is great that somebody from another country, somebody who didn't learn English until hewas 14, is…you know, might be my representative." Winning the election may be the easy part. The General Assembly next year will face many issues, including how to solve the state's $9billion annual budget deficit. 雖然并不喜歡當地政治的運作方式,但伊利諾斯州芝加哥西北的第40選區是保羅?薩克稱之為家的地方。 “據說,代表我們市、縣甚至是州等地區的政治代表有上千人,但是真正履行職責的人只有很少一部分。” 但是去年一位人士的到訪給他帶來了新希望。 “這位活動家給我講了一些他的事情,看起來我們倆的想法是一樣的。 現在州內一團亂,我想是時候要做些什么了。” 因此在3月15日的州議會上,薩克將會選擇這位從未出任過公職的穆斯林移民。 哈利斯?帕特爾宣稱自己為“無黨派民主人士”,不受制于州政黨。 “我所在的社區不被這個州尊重,我們的需求也從未得到回應。 因此在這個選區,我覺得民主正面臨危機。” 當帕特爾1999年跟隨寡母來到美國時,他根本不會講英語。 “在立法機構我們要制定法律。” 但得益于公共項目,他接受教育并取得了大學學位。 現在他想要有所回報。 “我現在所有的一切都是社區對我的投資。 現在我要想辦法維持這些項目,這樣其他人才會來到這個社區,或者在這里生活的人們共同建設家園,讓更多人得到我曾獲得的幫助。” 芝加哥的第40區是種族最多樣化的一個地區。 這里有3座清真寺,而且大部分的美國穆斯林都聚集在此。 初選是在帕特爾和在職的亞伊姆?安德拉德之間進行。 無論誰獲得勝利,都很有可能在11月的大選中獲勝,因為目前共和黨無人參加競選。 如果帕特爾獲勝,他就將創造歷史,成為首位贏得伊利諾斯州議會選舉的穆斯林移民。 而對保羅?薩克而言,他最希望的不僅僅是成為一名投票者,更希望成為帕特爾運動的一員。 “如果能夠看到來自其他國家的一個人,一個直到14歲才學習英語的人成為我們的代表,這將是一件非常振奮人心的事。” 而選舉獲勝或許只是其中最容易的部分。 明年的州議會將面臨諸多問題,包括如何解決伊利諾斯州每年高達90億美元的預算赤字。

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伊利諾斯州議會候選人或將創造歷史

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