Independent candidate, Lansing, Illinois
by Jennifer Yos
A Lansing resident for 10 years, Thomas currently works for a Chicago staffing agency that helps the unemployed find temporary work.
He graduated from Governor’s State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. As a licensed Restorative Justice Counselor, he spent four years helping youth at Cottage Grove Middle School (Ford Heights) and Bloom High School (Chicago Heights) to resolve conflict through dialogue.
His background in advocacy and activism includes work as a community liaison for the AFL-CIO and as an executive board member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 730. As a rally officer and organizer against the American Legislative Exchange Council, he spent three years advocating for Illinois workers’ rights under former Governor Quinn.
Thomas is a member of LACE (Lansing Association for Community Events) and the Lansing Lions Club because he believes everyone should give back to the community. He encourages younger Lansing residents and new business owners to join established Lansing organizations.
Thomas believes that Lansing is looking for “young blood, new ideas, and innovative thinking.” As a Trustee, he would like to involve Lansing leaders in Restorative Justice principles, believing that open dialogue is the best way to resolve conflict.
Thomas understands the influence that legislation has on all Lansing constituents, so if elected he intends to strengthen connections not only with the Lansing Police and Fire Departments, but also with School Boards and the Park District, two separate bodies. He’d like to involve Lansing youth in Lansing organizations and activities. And he has ideas for making greater use of the Lansing Municipal Airport, which he says represents untapped economic potential for Lansing. Thomas also proposes to donate his Trustee salary to Lansing veterans and seniors.
“I’m not interested in creating waves or in changing Lansing from what it is,” says Thomas. Rather, he wants to “enhance what we already have.”