Interview with Kody Czerwonka: ‘My only interest is with the people of District 110’


Gracie Speer, Distribution Manager and Archivist

Kody Czerwonka is running as an independent for the Illinois District 110 and is a Lake Land College alumni. This article includes why he’s running as an independent, the justice system, climate change and corruption.

When asked about Czerwonka’s qualifications to represent District 110 he stated. “As someone that was born here and raised here, I have seen and experienced first-hand things that need to be improved on, and frankly, things that have been ignored by prior district representatives who are concerned with fighting partisan battles instead of getting things done for the middle class. I am also someone that has worked in fast-food and retail management… I don’t feel like those people, and many other everyday professions, are being represented in Springfield, and I want to get to work for them. I also received my bachelor’s degree in accounting from EIU… As someone with some experience in governmental budgets and finances, I would say I’m qualified.”

When asked why he decided to run for office Czerwonka said. “I’ve been interested in politics since around 2015 leading up to the presidential election. I became interested at that time because there was finally a candidate that was speaking to everyday people in his own unfiltered language. It was refreshing to see that from someone running for the presidency! I realized from that point more people needed to get involved in politics that wanted to work for the 99 percent and not the wealthy or large, multi-million dollar corporations. Flash forward to June. I was curious who my choices were for state representative and was shocked that Chris [Miller] was running unopposed. I looked up his voting record and saw that he has voted against so many bills that help everyday people… At that point, I researched what I needed to do to get on the ballot as an independent candidate and have been on this journey since.”

When asked about his reasoning for running as an independent, Czerwonka stated. “I am running as an independent because I am tired of the two-party system that has put us in this divisive, hyper-political climate that we are in… Some of the issues I’m running on are not mainstream Democrat ideas, but they are issues that affect everybody, not only Democrats or Republicans. I don’t want to ostracize one political party just because of the party I would choose to run on. I also think we need more independent voices to bring some common sense to both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly.”

After asking about the subject of climate change Czerwonka said. “Climate change is important because if we don’t begin addressing it, scientists tell us we will face dire consequences in the near future. It won’t just be a coastal problem like we are seeing now with hurricanes and wildfires; it will be a problem throughout the U.S. and the world. I think Congress has the ultimate responsibility in leading the charge in tackling the climate crisis, but until they start, Illinois can lead the charge in transitioning away from fossil fuels.”

On the topic of criminal justice reform and our current justice system Czerwonka stated. “The justice system is absolutely flawed. It oftentimes works to protect the wealthy and privileged and treats people of color and the poor as guilty from the start. We can fix this by recognizing the current criminal justice system was never set up to be fair to ALL. Let me say, though, that police are meant to protect and serve us. And a majority of the time, they do just that. However, whenever a police officer steps out of bounds, we and other police must hold them accountable just like with any other occupation.”

Czerwonka, on facing Illinois’ reputation of corruption and solutions to fix the problem, declared. “Illinois is infamously known as one of the most corrupt states. To address this, we need to implement term limits on Illinois lawmakers in the General Assembly. I support a 10 term limit so that lawmakers can’t go to Springfield and continue to sit in the corruption… Imposing term limits will also allow for more ordinary representation to pop up in Springfield. Maybe we would see more teachers, nurses and other middle class people start to run for office. I think that is great for democracy because historically, those types of professions are left out-of-state governments.”

Czerwonka also commented on the income tax referendum that will be on the Illinois ballot this year. “The graduated tax amendment that we will all be voting on is a huge break for the poor, middle class and small business owners. In fact, the bottom 97 percent of Illinoisans will either see a tax cut or their taxes remain the same under this new tax plan. Only the top 3 percent will see an increase, and this gives a rare break to everyone else. We need to pass this amendment so that we can start taking care of our state’s budget and financial mess without it affecting the middle class.”

Czerwonka declared the most pressing issue facing constituents in District 110: “I think the most pressing issue the constituents of District 110 are facing is a loss of economic opportunity. Only one county in the district actually has a below average poverty rate. The remaining five counties all have an above average poverty rate. The one county that doesn’t, Crawford County, has a major factory and refinery with high paying jobs. I believe access to high-paying jobs is what’s missing in the remaining districts.”

When discussing citizens who don’t plan on voting Czerwonka stated. “I can understand wanting to abstain from a process that feels hopeless and that feels like your vote won’t really count… there are so many state and local elections that are important that need voter participation. In the last election, roughly 40 percent of eligible voters abstained from the political process… This isn’t democracy, and we need a high voter turnout to have a representation for the ordinary people in government… grassroots campaigns such as mine win when there is a high voter turnout. We’re all in this together, and we need everyone to participate in the democratic process for us to win this November.”

Kody Czerwonka is running to represent District 110 in the Illinois house of representatives. To find out more about his campaign, visit For information on how to vote, check out our Reporter Anna Gould’s article on that!

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