Cook County commissioner candidate denounces soda tax, big money in politics


(Source: Bushra Amiwala)

Bushra Amiwala.

Jake Holland, Assistant City Editor

Bushra Amiwala, candidate for Cook County commissioner of the 13th District, released a video Monday denouncing the Cook County soda tax and big money in politics.

Amiwala, a DePaul University sophomore, said last week a political action committee offered her “more than double” the amount of money she needed. However, upon learning that some of the PAC’s biggest donors were soda corporations, she said no to the offer.

“Although they share my review in regards to the soda tax, I am not in favor of large corporations getting involved in politics for their own personal economic gain,” Amiwala said in the video. “Elections should be determined by the interests of citizens like you, not by how much money candidates can get from private corporations.”

In the past, Amiwala has expressed her dislike of the tax — which taxes soda at one penny per ounce — saying it unfairly affects low-income residents.

She also said she first entered the race for Cook County commissioner because politicians need to “stop using enormous budgets” and money from special interest groups to get elected.

“This campaign is for all of us who are tired of the rich hijacking politics,” Amiwala said. “It’s for all of you who need a politician to actually stand by you. I’m here to listen and to represent.”

Amiwala announced her decision to run in March, entering the race against incumbent Larry Suffredin, who has held the position since 2002. She told The Daily in April that she wants to keep the county fiscally responsible and encourage reform of the county’s criminal justice system.

If elected, Amiwala would be one of 17 officials to sit on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The board provides funding for county operations and manages county affairs.

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