By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
As a small business owner, millennial and resident of the Woodlawn area, Angelique Collins, a candidate for State Representative of the 25th District, said she is looking forward to running in the 2018 March Primary.
If elected, Collins is committed to connecting the resources in the 25th District to work toward elevating all of her constituents.
With politics in her bloodline, she believes it’s important to embrace the voice of the people and help small business owners throughout her campaign.
“My mother former State Representative of the 10th District and former Senator of the 5th District Annazette Collins, has been a great asset to me and been very helpful in the process,” Collins said.
Collins said growing up, she observed her mother fight for the people of Illinois as a State Representative and Senator.
As a graduate of Howard University Class of 2009, Collins said she came home to no job and felt completely let down by her city. She said this led her to immerse herself in issues facing her community and she developed a need to fight for local small business owners, a balanced state budget and quality education for students in her campaign.
Collins said she wanted to understand why lack of jobs and loans for small businesses were not attainable in her community and also how to create and preserve opportunities in underprivileged areas.
Collins said in the past, she has lobbied in Springfield, sat in on countless committee hearings, and coordinated numerous political fundraisers.
She has served as Vice President and Historian of two international community service organizations, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Howard University Alumni Club of Chicago, and a member of the Chicago Coalition for Mayor, a group formerly made up of elected officials, community leaders, and activist to help elect the next Mayor of Chicago during the year Rahm Emanuel was elected.
Collins said with her experience, she has developed a deep appreciation for the 25th District.
Earning her MBA from Roosevelt University in 2014, Collins worked as a Community Liaison for Chicago Area Project and partnered with various youth programs across the city including Teen Reach and After School Matters in three Chicago Public Schools.
She explained that her work with both organizations has aided in teaching young girls and boys about entrepreneurship, resume building, and job interviewing skills.
As a S.O.A.R., or Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Income, Outreach, Access, and Recovery, specialist at the Family Guidance Center, Collins helped recovering drug addicts maintain a positive re-entry into society and retrieve gainful employment, as well as assisting the disabled with
SSI applications and appeals.
In 2014, Collins became a small business owner. She owned Studio 27 Beauty Supply, a modern day beauty boutique, and supply store on Chicago’s west side. She explained during her time as a business owner, she was very proud to serve her neighbors and friends as one of the first African American owned beauty stores in the area. Due to lack of capital and financial support from the community, she decided to close her business in November.
“The first legislative priority is to make sure we get a budget,” Collins said in a past issue of the Herald. “The second thing is to hold the Department of Commerce Economic Opportunity accountable for bringing small businesses into the community. I’m a small business, a struggling small business owner, it’s very important to see the community own small businesses.”
Collins said if elected she will brings her past experiences, relatable struggles, business acumen and understanding of Illinois’ political process to the role of State Representative, Collins said she is eager and excited to share her ideas and learn what matters most to the individuals who live and work in the 25th District.
When it comes to her campaign finances, Collins said that her goal is to raise between $50,000 to $75,000 dollars or more.
“We raised up to $15,000 dollars as of Jan. 24,” Collins said.
Collins said her campaign team has already sent out their first mailers. To help let voters know who they are in the district.
Collins said she is in favor of a progressive tax and is interested in seeing the long-term effects that it has overall in the future.
Collins believes she is a millennial candidate, and that voters are excited to see a millennial that is progressive, civic-oriented and a willingness to stand up and speak out for the 25th District.
Collins said she is in favor of an elected school board and believes that good quality public schools should be available and accessible to all students. She said that she doesn’t have a problem with charter schools and believes that when it comes to attending both institutions, it should be “whatever the best fit for the student.”
The 25th House District includes Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn, South Shore, South Chicago and East Side.