We won’t have Pat Quinn to kick around much longer. Will we? The governor, on his way out of office, says he doesn’t have anything lined up for his life as a private citizen, but he says he still wants to be involved in public affairs. “I believe in organizing, and I don’t have to be in office to do that. I believe in petition passing and I believe in referendums, and I think those are things that we need to have more of in Illinois, at the local level in particular,” he said.
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He says he’ll be interested in progressive causes that may not be popular but are the right thing to do, and he wants to work on behalf of veterans, especially those who suffered traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Quinn, 66, was involved in petition drives in the 1970s to make it easier for citizens to place referenda on the ballot (unsuccessfully), and in the 1980s with the Cutback Amendment, reducing the size of the Illinois House of Representatives, and establishing the Citizens Utility Board (successfully). In 2001, he walked 167 miles from Rock Island to Chicago to call for decent health care for all.
He was asked whether he’ll ever run for political office again, but he didn’t answer.