On Wednesday, March 7, Illinois Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss (not be confused with Illinois Tech’s own Political Science Professor Daniel Bliss) was invited to speak at the MTCC auditorium. Biss was invited by student organization Tech Student Action (TSA), and he was introduced by executive board members George Kim and Esau Chavez from the organization. The two painted Biss as a true progressive who supports the mission of TSA, along with some of their main goals. In addition to TSA, Biss has also been promoted by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Biss began the event by thanking Kim and Chavez and the rest of TSA for sharing their stories and inviting him to speak at the university. He then went on to briefly introduce himself and his platform, and then stated that he wanted the event to mainly be about those in attendance having their questions about him answered. The event was much different than the typical political rally in that the bulk of it was audience interaction with Senator Biss.
Students and staff alike were given the floor and pressed Biss with matters such as immigration, education, energy policy, and net neutrality. Some of Biss’s core issues that he stressed included free higher education, granting the state of Illinois sanctuary status for undocumented immigrants, transitioning to greener energy alternatives, fighting for justice for LGBTQ+ youth in schools, and amending the current tax system which he says gives an unfair advantage to the wealthy. His answers to such questions all seemed to align his platform mostly with the Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Socialist wing of the Democratic Party, while not labeling himself as a democratic socialist.
Daniel Biss has been serving on the Illinois State Senate from the ninth district since 2013. He is running for mayor of Illinois under the Democratic Party and will be facing off against the likes of Chris Kennedy and Jay Robert (J.B.) Pritzker in the primaries taking place the week of March 19. Biss prides himself in being a “progressive champion” and the middle class candidate in the race, who will fight for the interests of the people and not billionaires.