Election 2024 Questionnaire: Qasim Rashid, 11th Congressional District

Election 2024
Qasim Rashid participates in a forum on Thursday Feb. 24, 2024, held at Batavia’s City Hall.

Qasim Rashid a Democratic candidate for the 11th Congressional District in the March primary election, answered these questions from the Shaw Local News Network.

Full Name: Qasim Rashid

What office are you seeking?: US Congress in Illinois’ 11th District.

What public offices, if any, have you previously held?: I am an appointed PC for the Lisle Township Democrats

City: Naperville, Illinois

Occupation: Human rights lawyer at Lorium Law PLLC

Campaign website: qasimrashid.com

In light of the increasing influx of migrants to Illinois, how do you propose the federal government should address the challenges?

As an immigrant myself, arriving from Pakistan in 1987 and settling in DuPage County in 1988 at the age of five, I intimately understand the systemic flaws and discriminatory practices within our immigration system. I firmly believe that immigrants are the backbone of our nation, inspiring my lifelong commitment as a human rights lawyer to advocate for a compassionate and just immigration policy. Throughout my career, I have relentlessly fought against inhumane treatment, irrespective of the administration in power, emphasizing that human rights are non-negotiable.

My comprehensive approach includes fully funding USCIS to meet the demand for safe and efficient immigration processes, supporting immigration lawyers and judges at the Southern Border for the fair treatment of asylum seekers, and ending policies like Title 42 and family detention that have disproportionately impacted migrants. Additionally, I am dedicated to repealing 287-G, preventing collaboration between ICE and local police, delivering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and supporting DACA and DAPA recipients.

What are the top issues facing your district and what would you like to do to address those issues?

In our expansive district, we face 3 equally urgent challenges: the escalating climate crisis, the glaring inadequacy of transportation infrastructure in rural communities, and the lack of economic opportunities and healthcare access.

Combatting the climate crisis requires immediate action. I pledge to hold corporations accountable for their environmental impact by advocating for stringent regulations that promote responsible practices and prioritize sustainability. Additionally, I will champion policies aimed at transitioning our district towards renewable energy sources, igniting green innovation, and investing in climate-resilient infrastructure.

Addressing the transportation disparities in rural areas is essential to advance connectivity and equitable access to opportunities. I will advocate for increased funding and innovative solutions to enhance public transportation options, including expanded bus routes, subsidized ride-sharing programs, and investments in green transportation technologies. By improving mobility, we can bridge the gap between urban and rural communities, unlocking economic potential and fostering social cohesion.

Tackling the lack of economic opportunities and healthcare access requires a proactive approach. I will work tirelessly to attract businesses to our district by offering incentives for sustainable and inclusive practices to stimulate job growth and incentivize entrepreneurship. I will advocate for debt-free college and trade schools, equipping our youth with the skills and resources they need to thrive. Likewise, I will push urgently for guaranteed universal healthcare because it is more affordable, provides total access regardless of socio-economic class, and significantly decreases burdens on small businesses—thereby again elevating economic opportunities for working people.

Overall, my vision for IL-11 is rooted in the principles of justice, equity, and opportunity. By prioritizing climate action, investing in transportation infrastructure, and promoting economic empowerment and healthcare access, I am committed to building a resilient, thriving district that offers opportunities for all its residents, both now and for generations to come.

What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the district?

My priority is to work with local and state electeds and best understand where the greatest need is based on accessibility to work, school, and food. This may be Washington Street in downtown Naperville, wastewater facility reconstruction in Batavia, or intersection improvements and pavement widening on Coral and Union roads in McHenry County. Each is a critical infrastructure project and I am dedicated to ensuring each of them is completed efficiently to best serve local communities.

What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?

To address economic inequality, I propose significant changes to our federal tax system, including closing loopholes that benefit the wealthy and ensuring corporations pay their fair share. Additionally, I advocate for investing in career building and small businesses, fighting for debt-free college and trade schools to provide accessible education and training opportunities.

Breaking up monopolies and anti-competitive industries is crucial to spur competition, innovation, and lower prices, benefiting working families. Protecting workers’ rights is paramount, and I support initiatives like the PRO Act to strengthen the rights of workers to unionize, advocating for fair wages, benefits, and federally mandated paid sick and parental leave. I also emphasize the need to crack down on union-busting practices that undermine workers’ collective bargaining power. Holding billion-dollar corporations accountable involves getting corporate money out of politics, penalizing companies paying poverty wages, and stopping stock buybacks to ensure investments in workers and infrastructure. My commitment is to create an economic system that provides a strong foundation for all, fostering fairness, equality, and opportunities for working families.

What are the top two threats to our national security?

Climate change and economic injustice. Climate change has been identified by our military as a major national security threat. It’s why I am adamant, and the only candidate in this race, who rejects Exxon money, rejects anti-science practices like fracking, carbon capture, and drilling, and endorses pro-science policies like the Earth Bill, transition to green energy, and federal investment in green technologies.

Wealth and income inequality is worse today than it was 30 years ago. As someone who grew up in a low-income Section 8 apartment, I know the struggle the residents of IL-11 have to pay for gas, buy groceries, or make rent every month. It’s why I am the only candidate who is 100% people-funded, so they know that I am accountable to them, not to the exploitative corporations preventing meaningful legislation from passing. I am the only candidate calling for a $17 minimum living wage, a cancellation of all student loans and cessation of exploitative tuition practices, and proper regulation of banks so they can stop crashing our economy. Without economic justice, we cannot count on a successful future, so my top priority is ensuring economic justice by combatting wealth and income inequality.

What is your position on climate change and what should be done about it?

The Climate Crisis is real. It is caused by human activity and fossil fuels. And it is the most pressing threat to the planet and all its residents. To address this I advocate for a comprehensive approach, aligning with the urgency outlined in the Green New Deal Resolution.

This resolution is a bold framework that mirrors my commitment to meaningful climate change solutions, green job creation, and environmental justice. Moreover, I fully support bills such as the Green New Deal for Public Schools and the Green New Deal for Public Housing, as they represent targeted initiatives essential for promoting sustainability and equity. I would enthusiastically cosponsor both bills and if called on the floor, I would vote in favor of their passage. These bills are crucial steps toward building a resilient and sustainable future, tackling environmental challenges head-on while fostering justice and inclusivity in our communities.

I also support implementing a tax on fossil fuel production, as well as ending all subsidies for fossil fuel companies. I firmly believe that addressing it requires immediate and substantial investments in climate change solutions and mitigation efforts. I am committed to leading by example, not accepting campaign funding from fossil fuel companies, and building on President Biden’s record investments in green energy. My commitment to climate and ecosystem resiliency includes measures to halt fracking, retire unused drilling permits, and invest in projects that strengthen infrastructure against future climate disasters.

What is your position on nuclear energy expansion?

I support maintaining our nuclear power plants because they generate clean energy. I also support utilizing nuclear energy as a bridge to transition away from fossil fuels and into green technologies. A new nuclear power plant typically takes 25-30 years to bring online. Climate scientists are warning that if we wait that long to eliminate fossil fuels, it will be too late. Therefore, I champion the continued use of nuclear energy technology and aggressively transitioning to green energy technologies while creating millions of new good-paying union jobs to do so.

Should America invest in other forms of renewable energy? Please explain.

Yes! We should invest heavily in transitions to solar farms, hydroelectric dams, hydrothermal infrastructures, wind generation technologies, and battery grid technologies. Each of these green energy strategies is advancing its energy output by massive orders of magnitude. With a committed investment into transitioning off of coal and oil, we can not only save our climate but also maintain our economic strength and advance a solid foundation for long-term climate and economic success.

Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?

Yes. Access to abortion and bodily autonomy is a human right, and I will fight to restore and expand protections for these rights nationally. Specifically, I will support the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023 to protect the right to access abortion care nationwide. Aside from supporting federal legislation to protect abortion rights, the single most important way I will fight to ensure all women can access reproductive care is by advocating for guaranteed universal healthcare. In our current for-profit system, which my opponent supports, 15 million are uninsured, preventing them from receiving reproductive care and therefore denying them the human right to bodily autonomy.

It is crucial that all Americans can access affordable healthcare, reproductive or otherwise, and I will fight to make this a reality. Another way I plan to strengthen reproductive rights is by fighting for federal data privacy legislation to prevent Big Tech from sharing private health information with law enforcement who seek to prevent people from crossing state lines to access reproductive healthcare. I will also sign the Right to Contraception Act to prevent states from banning certain forms of contraception and family planning.

Do you support the Illinois gun ban? Why or why not?

Yes. Gun violence and mass shootings are the number one cause of death for children and teens. As someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence, and as a father who wants to keep my children, and all children safe, this is a particularly personal issue for me. I will work with activists and academics to pass immediate and meaningful legislation to end our country’s gun violence epidemic. This includes implementing universal background checks and a seven-day waiting period for all gun purchases and banning and creating a buyback program for automatic firearms, military-style semi-automatic firearms, 3D printed “ghost” guns, bump stocks, and high-capacity magazines.

I will also fight to close the Charleston loophole to prevent the sale of firearms when a background check is not completed within three days, close the Boyfriend Loophole to keep guns away from domestic abusers, and support a seven-day waiting period for all gun purchases. Other gun safety policies I support include creating a national Red Flag Law to limit access to firearms for those deemed to be a threat to themselves or others, holding gun owners responsible for crimes committed with their stolen or missing firearms if they don’t report them to law enforcement within 72 hours, and building a nationwide framework for safe storage of firearms in the home when children are present.

How would you classify the state of public health in your district? Do you believe access to affordable healthcare is an issue? Why or why not? If you believe it’s an issue, what ideas do you have to remedy it?

I wholeheartedly support HR 1976, the Medicare for All Act of 2021, recognizing the imperative of guaranteeing accessible and affordable healthcare for every American. It is unacceptable that families face financial devastation due to illness, even with health insurance. Our current healthcare system, with its lack of guaranteed public healthcare and the tragic consequences of delayed or denied treatment, demands immediate and transformative action. By expanding Medicare to all who wish to join, preventing medical debt reporting, negotiating comprehensive care costs, eliminating enrollment barriers, capping medical debt interest rates, advocating for paid sick leave, and ensuring inclusive coverage, I am committed to creating a healthcare system that not only saves money but also improves health outcomes and addresses the diverse needs of individuals and families.

This comprehensive approach aligns with my vision of a fair, compassionate, and accessible healthcare system for all Americans. To control rising prescription drug prices we must increase transparency in the pharmaceutical industry, promote competition through the expedited approval of generic alternatives, and empower the government to negotiate drug prices directly. By leveraging the purchasing power of public healthcare programs like Medicare, we can secure better deals and lower prices for essential medications. Additionally, incentivizing research and development through grants or tax credits can encourage innovation without relying on high drug prices. Overall, this multifaceted approach aims to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 Presidential election?


Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?


Would you, as a member of Congress, ever vote against certifying presidential electoral votes submitted by states’ official voting authorities?