Gilbert Villegas: 2022 candidate for U.S. House 3rd District

  • Gilbert Villegas is a Democrat running for U.S. House 3rd District.

    Gilbert Villegas is a Democrat running for U.S. House 3rd District.

 
Updated 6/9/2022 6:43 PM

Bio

Party: Democrat

 

Office sought: U.S. House 3rd District

City: Chicago

Age: 51

Occupation: 36th Ward Alderman of Chicago

Previous offices held: 36th Ward Alderman of Chicago

Q&A

What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?

The most important thing our representatives can do is stop worrying about what a small group of people are saying on social media channels and pay more attention to the everyday concerns of ordinary people. This requires them to get out of their so-called bubbles and listen to people.

What is your position on changing voter access?

As a Marine, I swore an oath to this country to protect it against all enemies foreign and domestic and that includes anyone using the political process or government actions to limit the ability of voters to cast their ballots. We should make sure voting is both convenient and secure with whatever resources are necessary.

Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?

Yes, it was legitimate and fair. The fact that this question has to even be asked because Republicans are unwilling to stand up to Donald Trump's delusional attempt to sow doubt about our election process is sad.

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What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?

A lot can be said about the impact a country's leader can have on the rhetoric and temperature of a nation in crisis. President Donald Trump fanned the flames and legitimized misinformation and violence in the name of his own personal agenda. In order to prevent this from ever happening again, we need to ensure that we support leaders who care about our nation more than they do themselves.

Additionally, our political leaders at all levels need to work to take the temperature down. President Obama famously quoted Sen. Paul Simon that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That is sound advice.

What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?

America is a shining beacon of freedom and tolerance that sets the example for the world to follow. We have a special responsibility to promote peace and stability as one of the world's oldest and mightiest democracies. Regarding Russia's aggression against Ukraine, President Biden has led our country admirably in forging a strong international coalition to combat Putin's illegal and unjustified war. It is a model of how the United States should approach other regional issues -- use all diplomatic channels available to us to forge strong coalitions that amplify both our soft and hard power options in promoting peace and stability. This is especially important when thinking about conflicts in the Middle East that have gone on for decades or emerging issues like the conflict between Taiwan and China.

Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?

Yes. We are at a critical juncture where we have a limited amount of time to act and reverse the very real and threatening effects of climate change. We need to make significant new investments in building out electric vehicle charging stations nationally, invest in an improved electrical grid powered by renewable energy, and we must incentivize as many clean forms of energy as we can. These measures will help us reach aggressive goals to cut emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050 as a nation, all while creating good paying clean energy jobs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.

Despite major gains made under the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, too many Americans still aren't covered, & too many of those who are can't afford the coverage they have.

I support creating a public health insurance option for all Americans, so everyone has the ability to buy affordable health insurance if they want. By doing so, we can achieve universal health care coverage while providing more options to families across the country & bring down costs through greater competition in the insurance marketplace.

I also support legislation like the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Americans by allowing the government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices under Medicare, just like the VA. The savings we get from negotiating can establish & expand vision and dental care under Medicaid. And we should further invest in FQHCs, which provide great health coverage to millions of Americans while saving states & taxpayers.

What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?

We need to pass legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. For too long, these Americans have been forced to live with the day-to-day uncertainty over their future -- all while continuing to pay taxes and work essential jobs on the front lines of a global pandemic.

We have a special responsibility to Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. without any choice in the matter and have only known a life in the United States.

These policies will benefit my district and everyone surrounding, as citizens fully integrated into society will improve the economic picture and provide strong, long-lasting bonds that have been proven to improve communities.

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