League of Women Voters of Elmhurst
Voters Guide for the General Primary Election: March 20, 2018

Democratic Candidate for the 5th Congressional District — Benjamin Wolf

Opening Statement

My name is Benjamin Thomas Wolf.

I have spent my entire adult life in public service. My parents were both public school teachers. They raised us, here, in the Midwest and they always talked about the importance of education and hard work. 

During my final year of college, I was recruited to work for FBI. After the training academy in Quantico, I was assigned to the National Security squad where I worked on the highest level intelligence and terrorisms cases..  I was also one of the first responders to the Pentagon on Sept 11. 

I later became a United States Diplomat.  I spent years living and working in developing nations throughout Africa and the Middle East, while promoting security, democracy and human rights.  

I have served three presidents and four secretaries of state.  I have served in conflict zones and deployed multiple times to Iraq.  My experiences and sacrifices make me a better father, teacher and citizen.  It has always been my calling and my duty to protect and defend others. 

I’m running for the United States congress so that I may continue to serve my country and my community.  I speak as a part of the working class and for all those that are concerned about the direction in which this country is moving. 

I will fight for universal healthcare, free college education and the legalization of marijuana. I support public schools and strong unions.   I am a Chicago homeowner, small business owner and the president of a non-profit.

I have a modern and multicultural family.  At home we use words like honor, peace, and equality. We raised our children in Africa and continue to teach them to think collectively and maintain a worldview.

As your congressman, I will proudly represent the people and families of Chicago, Cook and DuPage counties. 

Please vote Wolf.

1. What can be done to help improve civic discourse and reduce the level of rancor and partisan bickering in national politics?

I have served three Presidents and four Secretaries of State, both Democrat and Republican. Throughout my career, I have made it a priority to maintain positive relationships with those that have different political views or perspectives. My main priority will always be the people of the 5th District, but I recognize that compromise is an inherent part of politics. Finding a balance and establishing positive working relationships in Washington D.C. will be my priority as a freshman Congressman. Even with a Republican majority, I will aggressively draft and sponsor progressive legislation that aligns with the 5th Districts Democratic and progressive ideals.

2. Where do you stand on gun control legislation?

As a federal agent, I carried a gun for over two decades and as a current gun owner, I know the importance of protecting the Second Amendment right to owning a firearm. I strongly believe in the right to protect homes, families and property. My father grew up hunting for his family’s food, so rifles and shotguns are basic tools in rural areas.

As a society, we must ban assault weapons for civilian use. Assault weapons are not collectibles but rather mass killing machines. The gun violence in our nation is completely preventable with proper background checks and the strict banning of any and all assault weapons.

3. Immigration detention centers have a reputation for insensitive and inhumane treatment of those being detained, such as keeping families separated for an extended period of time. How could you or would you seek to improve these conditions at detention centers?

It is imperative that the American immigrations system is realistic and reasonable. Having worked in the immigration system and federal law enforcement for two decades I understand the complexities and difficulties of our current system. By simplifying the current law and regulations we can develop a system that is simpler and allows immigrants and workers alike, the opportunities that they have earned and deserved. Any refugees, asylees, immigrants, or DACA recipients should never be asked to leave their new home. America must continue forward with a new worldview and embrace new cultures, idea, and people.

I worked in the immigration system for two decades as a diplomat and federal agent. I issued passports and visas and assisted immigrants coming to America. I worked in embassies and consulates while serving overseas. I later worked with Homeland Security and the State Department to arrest child and women traffickers. I know the system and understand the laws that are in place. We must make the law realistic and reasonable while ensuring a clear path to citizenship for hardworking immigrants.

4. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world, the Great Lakes. How would you work to help protect the Great Lakes Initiative?

Americans are fortunate to have nation with tremendous geography and the ability to harness wind, water, and sunlight, which are overly abundant. We have oceans, plains, mountains and deserts to absorb the energy of the earth and channel it into our homes and businesses. Clean energy must be observed as an economic opportunity rather than an obstacle. In a time of electric cars, robots and automation that will replace manpower, we must begin to find new job opportunities and economic endeavors.

One of my first pieces of legislation will be to ensure that there is no more dumping of chemicals into the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are the largest surface fresh water system on Earth and provide water for consumption, transportation, power, and recreation for over 30 million Mid-Westerners. Most importantly, the Great Lakes contain 18 percent of the world’s fresh water, and therefore, protecting them should be one of the single largest environmental priorities for the country. I will assist with the development of new economically driven power grids, power sources, and economic strength of which all Americans can be proud. Economics and environmental sustainability can be mutually symbiotic if done with proper forethought and legislation.

Closing Statement

I would like to use my closing statement to highlight the incumbents shortcomings as a representative for the 5th District.  The incumbent has never successfully sponsored nor passed a piece of legislation in his four terms as an elected official.  His responsibilities as a legislator s to work with other elected officials to produce and advance policy for the United States.  Unfortunately, he has failed us.

The 5th district of Illinois is one of the youngest and most progressive in the nation.

I want universal healthcare.
I want legalized cannabis.
I want free university tuition for our children and grandchildren.

I will strongly and boldly represent the people and communities of this district.  My previous public service experience with the FBI and as a US Diplomat with multiple voluntary postings in conflict and war zones, clearly exhibits my leadership skills, work ethic, and willingness to sacrifice.  I look forward to the challenges that await my team and I in Washington DC. Please vote Wolf. 

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, neither supports nor opposes any candidate.

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