September 15, 2014

CHICAGO (Sept. 15)—The SMART-TD Illinois Legislative Board has issued its endorsements for candidates running in the November 4 General Election, with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn heading its list of because of their service on behalf of working families.

“SMART-TD has a very short and simple set of criteria it follows in endorsing candidates for public office,” said Illinois Legislative Director Robert W. Guy. “We approve, endorse and financially support those candidates who consistently vote for legislation than protects the health, safety and economic security of our members and of all working people and their families.”

Guy said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn both deserve the union’s support because they have always furthered that legislative agenda.

“Whether we were fighting for safe walkways in railroad yards, or modern, sanitary crew facilities, or prompt medical treatment for injured workers, or safer vehicles and drivers of contract crew vans, Dick Durbin and Pat Quinn were always there for us,” Guy said.

“And they remain with us as they continue to secure funding for the expansion of high-speed passenger-train service and infrastructure improvements on the Midwestern freight-rail network,” he said. “Chicago’s CREATE program, including the long-awaited Englewood Flyover that will open this fall, is directly attributable to the efforts of Sen. Durbin and Gov. Quinn. Now we have a chance to express our gratitude by reelecting them to office.”

Guy said Gov. Quinn’s recent approval of $102 million in state funds that will double-track the Union Pacific for 12 miles between Elwood and Mazonia and build a second bridge across the Kankakee River at Wilmington is a perfect example of why SMART-TD endorsed him.

“The project, which is funded by the Illinois Jobs Now program, will create several hundred jobs during the construction phase and when finished will enable Amtrak to operate its trains at 110-mph over 80 per cent of the Chicago-St. Louis route,” he said. “The faster passenger trains and the additional UP intermodal trains will make Illinois a more attractive business location and generate even more permanent jobs long after construction of the new rail assets is finished.”

Guy said Sen. Durbin has faithfully stood with SMART-TD in its fight for a safe working environment on the nation’s railroad system and for Railroad Retirement, Social Security, Medicare and other programs essential to working families.

“Both of Dick’s parents worked on the railroad and so did he before he went to law school,” Guy said. “You don’t have to explain railroad issues to him, and you don’t have to convince him on subjects like workplace safety or the economics of being a railroad employee. He gets it. Now let’s give him our votes.”

A complete list of SMART-TD endorsements can be found at