Update from D.C. Trip

On June 14, 2010, in General, by edwardpan

I just landed in New York City to begin a short visit out east to meet some natives of the Quad Cities and other parts of Illinois who have invited me out to offer their support and encouragement.  I’m going down to Washington DC Tuesday–to meet with more Quad Cities and Illinois people, the Illinois Republican Delegation, and a host of people in our nation’s capitol who have been so encouraging in our race thus far.

When our group got together–at a nice hamburger joint near Grand Central Station– the small talk was exactly what it would be if we were back in Illinois–excitement about the Blackhawks, frustration with the Cubs, as well as some speculation about the upcoming football season in the Western Big Six.  In one sense it was very gratifying: here are a group of people from our communities who are quite successful in very competitive fields who still feel a close attachment to our state. It just goes to show that we do have a great community that evokes a sense of pride–even amongst those who live hundreds of miles away.

What a shame that they don’t still live in our state. These people left their towns for greater opportunities than we could offer them, and it is our loss. We can’t continue to export the majority of our most talented young people if we want our economy to keep pace and create jobs. Every Congressional district but the 17th increased in population in the last 10 years–actually out of 435 districts, the 17th ranks 25th for exodus.

Communities all over the United States want to be the next Silicon Valley or Biotech Corridor for whatever the next new thing is–whether it be alternative energy or transport or something we’ve not yet thought about. I’d like for our area to be the next hot area for great jobs too–but I know enough to say that I cannot predict what that will be and that merely by throwing a few subsidies around we’re not going to create it. But if we can work to keep our best students from leaving the state–and make our district a place where smart, ambitious young men and women want to live–we’re going to have an economy that creates jobs for everyone.

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