Illinois politics are driving people out of the state

| March 29, 2013 | Comments (1)

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.48.11 PMAnother friend told me her family is moving out of Illinois. They are just tired of the train wreck our state has become. She can’t stand turning on the news to see the corruption that permeates every level of our elected governments. She’s sick of hearing about how this innocent child’s murder will be the turning point in the war on gangs. She can’t even image what the Springfield politicians are going to have to do to our taxes to fix the state’s fiscal crisis.

She wants to live in a state where elected officials actually perform public service, rather than think of the elected office as a stepping stone for personal gain. She wants to live in a state where people mean what they say and do what they promise. She wants to live in a state where a public official getting indicted creates outrage rather than yawns. She knows that state will never be Illinois. A for sale sign will be in front of their house soon.

The sad part for me is she’s not the only one I know moving or thinking about it. In the past two years five families we know have left Illinois. There are the educate, hard-working middle class families politicians claim to support. Two moved over the border to Indiana because they could still commute to their Chicago jobs. The others moved to Tennessee and North Carolina. They really wanted to get away from the train wreck we call the great State of Illinois.

Can you blame them? I don’t.

I’ve thought a lot about moving. Every single time I watch another child’s funeral or another politician go to jail I wonder why I live here. Whenever I read the articles about the state budget crisis I wonder how much our daughters’ futures will be damaged by our spineless elected officials. They refuse to get take action so our daughters will suffer for it.

Believe me when I say I have done some virtual house hunting in other areas. I think about how much more our money would buy in a really good school district in a target state. We aren’t going anywhere though. I’d like to say it’s because I’m committed to working to helping make our state great again, but that’s not true. The reality is our lives are here. Our families are here. Our jobs are here. It takes a lot more than boxing up some stuff to move and we’re just not able to do it cleanly. We’re feeling more and more stuck every day.

I told my friend I was jealous that she could pick up and go. It’s the same thing I’ve told everyone who has moved. Given the current climate in Illinois, if you’re able to move cleanly and are not thinking about it, I’d be shocked. As more and more neighbors and friends talk about moving I hope politicians will take notice. I hope they will realize their inability to take action on our many pressing issues is literally driving people from our state.

As our friends and neighbors drive their moving vans away, no one looks back. They simply leave the stench that is Illinois politics behind as their drive to their new lives. In the two years I’ve watched this happen not one family has regretted leaving. I’d say this is sad, but I’m happy for them. Life is short. Why spend it in Illinois is you can go elsewhere?


Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun, about family-friendly events at Get Out and Have Fun Around Chicagoland and about raising readers at OMG (Oh My Books). Image courtesy of Stock Exchange.

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About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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  1. Christina says:

    As someone who spent a lot of time in Tennessee the bad schools here are similar to the good schools there. No one I knew thought thier kids were in a “good” school. Same thing I hear about Florida. Texas is removing critical thinking from the school curriculum. California and New Jersey are better in some ways but have far more expenses, way more taxes.

    It is easy to see what is wrong with Illinois. The corruption is absurd, and the murder rate for children in unconscionable, but we have some great schools, a reasonably clean environment and in Chicago we have expenses and taxes that are amazingly low for such a big city. We have to fix the problems, not run away.

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