By Kathryn Menue


State Representative candidate for the 69th District, Angelique Bodine, is continuing her campaign throughout the community by hosting town hall meetings to talk with community members and get feedback on issues people would like to see rectified at the state level.

Bodine started her campaign in her home of Boone County with a town hall meeting at Ned’s Family Restaurant on Thursday, July 7 from 10 a.m. to noon, at Ida Public Library on Friday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and at The Brick Café on Friday, July 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Bodine plans town hall meetings at different locations and times to reach each fraction of the community.

Bodine has lived in Poplar Grove for 18 years as a single mother, who worked as a school bus driver while putting herself through school. Now, she has two bachelor’s degrees: one in applied psychology and another in sociology, and she is working on her master’s degree.

Plus, she has studied international law and conflict negotiations while living in The Netherlands and studying at the University of Amsterdam after her son graduated from high school.

Although she does not have much of a political background, Bodine assures voters that she is qualified for the state representative position.

“This is my first venture into politics, but I’m a hardworking, taxpaying citizen who’s had it and wants to make state government work for us,” Bodine said. “What we are doing now isn’t working.”

The first step in changing the way Illinois’ state politics work is to have more accessibility to the people, which is why Bodine will continue to host town hall meetings and knock on people’s doors, so they know they are being heard.

If elected, Bodine promises to continue face-to-face communication by holding monthly town hall meetings.

Topics at town hall meetings can encompass property taxes, jobs and the economy, public safety, education, health care, senior citizen programs, and the state budget.

Issues like the state budget are of high importance to Bodine.

Bodine said, if elected, she would like to change the state budget from cutting vital programs, such as Meals on Wheels, and create a fair tax system that would benefit the average citizen.

According to Bodine, most of the state budget issues now stem from too much emphasis on property taxes, improperly funding schools, and disproportionate application of taxes.

However, the fair tax system would lower taxation for the middle and lower classes and increase taxes for the upper class.

“What I want to do is make it fair,” Bodine said. “No one who works 40 hours a week should have to live off public aid.”

According to Bodine, Illinois currently is moving in the opposite direction.

Right now, legislation is working on the Right to Work agenda, which Bodine said is “wrong for anybody.”

Bodine studied other states that have the Right to Work program and it lowers benefits and salaries for the average citizen.

“It leaves the average citizen worse off,” Bodine said. The program also hurts small businesses and communities while strengthening bigger corporations.

Bodine thinks there is a better option out there.

“Doing things that are good for big business and communities does not have to be mutually exclusive,” Bodine said.

Bodine believes the best way to implement the needed changes to Illinois government is to have parties work together.

“Our biggest problem is bipartisan politics,” Bodine said. She said that we need to reshape Illinois’ government to incorporate people who aren’t afraid to cross party lines and back a good proposal even if it wasn’t their idea and even if it is from a different party. She said we need representatives who will look through a proposal, sit down with the other party, and discuss what they agree on and what they need to adjust to make the proposal work.

Bodine said this is something former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar’s administration accomplished.

Edgar said he would get people to cooperate by forming friendships with members of both parties.

Bodine wants to bring this mindset back into the House. She believes this will be easier to do after the November election because people see the issues surrounding the Illinois government, and they want to change it.

“A lot of people are realizing how hurtful Rauner’s agenda is,” Bodine said. “People are getting sick and tired of it.”

According to Bodine, a good way to start implementing change is to get rid of corruption, which is why she is trying to get the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act on the ballot for the November election.

Apparently, the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act has already passed in numerous counties, including Winnebago and DeKalb.

According to a memorandum from McHenry County Chapter member Scott Gessert, “The Winnebago County Board and the DeKalb County Board last year provided constituents the opportunity to weigh in on this critical issue with the municipal election (April 7, 2015) ballot. The results of the advisory referendum in Illinois counties included six out of seven voters (86 percent) voting “YES”’ to the Illinois Anti-Corruption Act, which means they voted in favor of limiting corruption in Illinois government.

Bodine is fighting for Boone County to vote on the act as another step in eliminating corruption within each sector of Illinois.

The Illinois Anti-Corruption Act reads: “Do you support reducing the corrupting influence of money on our political system by prohibiting politicians from taking campaign money from the special interests they regulate; increasing transparency for campaign funding; empowering all voters through a tax rebate voucher to contribute to the candidates they support; prohibiting representatives and senior staff from lobbying activity for five years after they leave office; and placing limits on super PAC-campaign coordination?”

If Bodine is successful in adding this act to the ballot in November, citizens can vote yes to “reducing” corruption or they can vote no to the proposal.

“It’s something that is very important to me…get rid of corruption,” Bodine said. “My main motivating factor to get involved is that government needs to work for all the people, not just some of the people.”

Bodine thinks that by making these changes, it will pave a better way for the future. She has already started making changes by including younger and newer faces into the political work in her campaign.

She has enlisted the help of Rizal Ucok. He is a recent graduate of Belvidere High School who will move onto Iowa State University to pursue a double major in political science and history.

“It’s a great opportunity for him and for his education,” Bodine said.

Ucok will serve as Bodine’s treasurer, which will be highly important since Bodine is not being funded by the Democratic Party. She is funding her own campaign, along with the help of donations.

To learn more about Angelique Bodine and her policies, attend one of her upcoming town hall meetings, such as her next meeting that will be held on Friday, July 22 at Ida Public Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information on Bodine, visit, Like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.




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