Lasonde offers socially moderate, fiscally conservative vision
With nearly a dozen endorsements under her belt, Joan McCarthy Lasonde, the Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Illinois’ 9th Congressional District, hopes to keep Independent candidate David Earl Williams III at bay and defeat Democratic incumbent Janice Schakowsky in the November general election.
The mother of three and co-founder of the Policy Circle, a women-run nonprofit organization focused on educating Americans on state and federal policy issues, has over 25 years of professional experience in marketing.
If elected, one of the areas Lasonde plans to focus on is the economy and jobs.
“Opportunity is the key to our inequality crisis and essential to improving the lives of our poor and middle class,” Lasonde told the North Cook News. “Restoring opportunity means restoring economic growth to rates we traditionally had in America -- 3 or 4 percent per year instead of 2 percent we’ve had since 2000. That means tax-code revisions focused on simplification and growth, and regulatory policy that measures cost, not just benefits. And expanded opportunity must be matched with an expectation of individual responsibility.”
Also sitting high on Lasonde’s priority list is homeland and national security.
“Terrorism is a direct threat to all of us," Lasonde said. "ISIS is not 'the JV team.' Our personal safety at home must be made paramount. That means our borders must be secured, and our own citizens’ welfare must come before expansion of our refugee quotas. But I support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to normalization for those already here. We will not round up and deport millions, breaking up families in the process.”
Lasonde said she is not inclined to intervene in other nations’ wars and will “oppose attempts at nation building, but a coherent, firm strategy to defeat ISIS must be found.” Such a strategy would include restoring the country’s friendship with Israel, which is the only reliable friend and democracy the U.S. has in the Middle East, Lasonde said.
As it pertains to the 9th District, Lasonde promises to work tirelessly for federal support for mass transportation, which is crucial to “making our area work.” Lasonde supports school choice (vouchers) and term limits, vowing to limit herself to eight years in the House.
“Like most people in our area, I’m a social moderate, but a fiscal realist," she said. "I’m pro-choice, support full equality for LGBTQ Americans and want stricter controls on the sale of assault weapons."
Most importantly, Lasonde said, she will work hard to support the next generation “because it’s through children's eyes that I test government’s success and failure.”
“My husband and I are (Department of Children and Family Services)-licensed parents to a foster daughter, as well as two of our own," she said. "I have seen firsthand the horrors of how our government and our society have failed those like my foster daughter, who were born into terrible circumstances not (of) their doing."
Lasonde grew up in Skokie as the daughter of two Chicago public school teachers. Upon completion of a degree from the University of Illinois, Lasonde pursued a career in marketing.
“I’ve devoted my work to many charitable and political causes," Lasonde said. "I’m on the board of directors of the Illinois State Crime Commission, fighting to control the epidemic of heroin and child trafficking plaguing the country. The 9th District needs new representation to help take America in a new direction. Toward that goal, I pledge every ounce of my energy and commitment.”