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Pritzker sets the tone for a new beginning

Democrat Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker greeted Chicagoans at the Roosevelt Red Line stop Wednesday morning after his win against incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Lt. Gov.-elect Juliana Stratton joined him in thanking citizens and answering questions. Pritzker said he’s currently putting together the beginning of a transition team and will release the names of these new cabinet members over the coming weeks.

Pritzker’s first goal is to build a balanced budget focusing on affordable healthcare, higher education, improved wages for workers and prison reform.

“We will be establishing a new office of criminal justice reform and economic opportunity,” Stratton said. “We know that so many people end up in the criminal justice system because of a lack of economic opportunity and they cycle through the system when they don’t have access to economic opportunity.”

Pritzker said he does not yet have a plan to reach out to President Trump and the White House directly but intends to do so over the next couple weeks.

“It’s very important for Illinois to have a strong connection with the federal government,” Pritzker said.

He said he and Republicans discussed how they aim to pull together to build solid communications with one another during his time in office.

“My intention is to be the governor of all of the people of Illinois,” Pritzker said. “I think that good ideas can come from anywhere; they don’t just come from Democrats, they come from Republicans and Independents, too.”

Many commuters were shocked to see Pritzker and Stratton as they passed by on their way to and from the L station. Onlookers stopped to ask questions and shake hands with the electors.

Glaycer J. Minnis, a Columbia College cinema and television major and volunteer for Pritzker’s campaign, attended the event in support of Pritzker and Stratton.

“Even though he owns a chain of high-end hotels [and] he’s a billionaire, I don’t think [he won] because he has money,” Minnis said. “It’s because you can see what he’s physically doing and he crosses the lines of diversity.”

Suzanne Williams, 31, was on her way to Trader Joe’s when she saw Pritzker shaking hands with Chicagoans.

“It was shocking,” Williams said. “I wasn’t expecting [Pritzker at the Red Line].”

Despite excitement from onlookers, some Chicagoans are uncertain whether the governor elect will follow through on his promises. Williams said she supports Pritzker, but waits to see if he will keep his word.

Darnell Gibson, 23, of the West Side said Pritzker was humble for thanking voters and “showing the community some love” in a diverse community.

“Hopefully, he’ll really stick to his word and follow through with it,” Gibson said.

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