Candidate for State Representative Jasimone Ward talks with The Southland Journal (Chicago, IL)- Jasimone Ward is a candidate for Illinois State Representative of the 27th District. She wants to change broken systems that disadvantage people.
A Wealth of Experience
Ward’s first name comes from her parent’s love of jazz and Nina Simone. Over the years, Ward’s experiences have taught her how to interact thoughtfully with people. She was an emergency medical technician, community organizer, peer mentor, and currently, a mental health recovery coach.
Ward believes that you do not have to do grand things to make a difference, just consistent ones. Through caring for patients, practicing restorative justice at schools, and advocating for others, she knows she has made a difference in the lives of others.
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Fixing The System
Ward’s participation in systems made her feel as a co-conspirator in the problems. In addressing the issues of the system, Ward used an analogy of a clock. If a clock breaks, it is never just one component that needs to be fixed.
In comparison, Ward feels leadership often tackles one issue and ignore all the others, which is problematic. She advocates for looking at the root causes of these issues, such as addressing trauma.
“At the end of the day the clock isn’t going to run unless we address all the issues. That’s with community, family, and that’s with society as a whole,” said Ward.
Adequate Healthcare Should be a Birthright
If elected Ward wants to have real conversations, especially around health care disparities such as access to adequate health care. She views this as a social injustice and a socioeconomic issue.
Healthcare access is an issue that Ward personally experienced. In 2019, she was diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a cancer that affects the liver. For two years, she was misdiagnosed, leading to a 11.5-centimeter inoperable tumor. After advocating for herself and switching providers, her cancer went into remission.
Ward acknowledged everyone does not have that same benefit.
“People shouldn’t die because they are not medical professionals. And I shouldn’t get to live because I was one. Adequate healthcare should be a birth right, not a luxury,” said Ward.
Another issue Ward sees is access to quality education. She advocates for classes that prepare students for life, such as parenting and financial literacy. She also wants students to have options outside of just college, such as trade school.
“As long as we continue to not equip our kids, they will continue to fail us and we will continue to fail them,” said Ward.
Though her legacy is in progress, Ward wants to keep the promises she made her grandmother. She wants others to know that she put God first, community second, and herself third.
“I want someone to say they are better because I existed,” says Ward.
Candidate for State Representative Jasimone Ward talks with The Southland Journal