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Congressman Eric Sorensen was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois.
He served communities across Central and Northwestern Illinois as a local TV meteorologist for over two decades, communicating live-saving information that impacted Illinoisans’ jobs, schools, farms, and safety. To Eric, being a meteorologist was about building trust and protecting his community.
In Congress, Sorensen still values being a trusted neighbor to the residents of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District. He is focused on lowering costs for working families, creating sustainable jobs in Central and Northwestern Illinois, and supporting the family farms and rural communities that keep our economy moving forward.
Sorensen proudly represents Illinois farmers on the House Agriculture Committee and uses his background in science to contribute to his role on the Science, Space, & Technology Committee. On the Science, Space and Technology Committee, Sorensen serves as Ranking Member on the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee.
He currently resides in Moline with his partner Shawn and his dogs Petey and Oliver.
Addressing Rising Costs:
Eric believes that this is the most important issue facing our communities today. It’s a deeply personal issue; it impacts you, your neighbors, and your family – just like it does for Eric too.
This cannot be a political football being thrown back and forth: we need real, bipartisan efforts to address rising food prices, health care costs, prescription drug costs, and gas prices.
There’s no silver bullet to immediately bring down costs, but we need our federal government taking steps to lowering costs, like year-round E15 and allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies.
Securing Reproductive Rights:
Eric is a strong supporter of women’s reproductive rights and disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. Everyone should have access to high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.
We should be lowering barriers to health care, not raising them, and yes reproductive care is health care. Eric believes that reproductive care decisions should be made between a woman and her health care professional – not partisan politicians.
Creating Sustainable Jobs:
Eric is committed to making sure that we’re creating good-paying, sustainable jobs in Central and Northwest Illinois. Eric feels fortunate to have had the chance to live and work in his hometown of Rockford, and wants others to have that opportunity as well.
Eric believes it is our responsibility to support future generations of Illinoisans by creating economic opportunities in our communities.
Strengthening Our Health Care:
Eric believes that everyone should have access to quality and affordable health care.
Several years ago, Eric received a medical procedure that saved his life. When the bill came, he let it sit on the counter for days out of fear of what was inside. When he opened the envelope, he was shocked. His health insurance made the care affordable. Eric knew he was fortunate to have health care coverage that kept treatment expenses manageable, and he knows far too many in our community don’t have that privilege.
Eric supports protecting and improving the Affordable Care Act to ensure health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. He supports allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices to lower costs and the creation of a public option to expand access to coverage.
Health care is an equity issue for Eric. Students can’t focus in school and people can’t focus on making a living when they don’t feel well, either physically or mentally In addition, Eric will work to fight any discrimination in health care that members of the LGBTQ community face. We need to be setting people up for success, and quality, affordable health care is essential to providing opportunity for all.
Eric believes that everyone has the right to be well, and that means receiving care that doesn’t cause financial jeopardy.
Addressing Climate Change:
Early in his career, Eric started discussing climate change with his viewers when it was not a popular thing to do. To him, it isn’t political; his job as a meteorologist is to speak the truth. In Central and Northwest Illinois, we know that climate change is real – whether it was the 2021 summer drought or, the August 2020 derecho with 100 miles per hour winds, or the record-high Mississippi River flood of 2019. And as the water was rising, it was people coming together from all walks of life to fill sandbags that protected our small businesses. Climate change is not a partisan issue.
There is not a single climate communicator in Congress who matches the communication and climate science backgrounds of Eric.
Eric’s job was to communicate climate to help YOU in your day-to-day life. Climate change is real and serious. Now is the time to act, and we need an experienced climate communicator to lead.
Investing in Our Schools:
When Eric speaks with students about climate and severe weather, he asks who’s going to be the one to find a cure for cancer or the one who’s going to develop technology that will help evacuate a town before a tornado comes. More often than not, the students point at him, to which he responds that it will actually be one of them. Our students are our future and they will be the ones to discover tomorrow’s innovations.
Eric believes that we need to make sure schools and teachers have the resources they need to provide a fair, accessible, and quality education for the next generation.
Preventing the Next Pandemic:
With the COVID-19 global pandemic directly impacting our health and economy, Eric believes it is more important than ever to take steps to prepare for the pandemics of the future. Rather than focus just on response measures, we have the opportunity to take a proactive approach to get ahead of the next pandemic. And that means investing in technology and biosecurity measures today.
Just like forecasting a storm, planning for pandemics is about focusing on the details and making sure we have all tools ready at our disposal. It also means making sure that those responsible for keeping us safe have the resources (including runway time) to keep our communities ahead of threats.
Eric believes that we cannot sit back and wait for the next pandemic (or variant) to be upon us. He believes that the federal government should take an active role in investing in preparation measures, including technical, medical, and community responses. That is how we can best keep our communities healthy and working.