By Steve Robinson | April 27, 2019 - 10:45 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – Three members of Normal-based Unit 5 School Board who were appointed to their seats to replace three members who had left the community took their oaths of office to begin the Board’s regularly-scheduled session on April 24. Alan Kalitzky, Amy Roser, and Dr. Kelly Pyle recited their oaths to begin the session, although Pyle did so from home via phone due to being ill. State law allows for Board members to participate remotely provided prior approval is granted by the district.

Following the swearing-in, officer elections took place, with Barry Hitchins being elected Board President. He had been vice president when Jim Hayek, Jr. resigned from the Board last year due his employer, State Farm, transferring him to Phoenix, Ariz. last spring. Roser was elected Board vice president, and Kalitzky was elected Board secretary. All three were elected by acclamation. All three will serve four year terms.

Roser assumed a seat on the Board last July filling a seat following Hayek’s exit. Roser works in the office of Illinois State University’s University College division. Kalitzky assumed a seat on the Board replacing David W. Fortner resigned last spring to take a job in Chicago. Pyle assumed a seat on the Board last August, filling a vacancy left by Joe Cleary, who departed for a new job in California last summer.

Two other Board members, Meta Mickens-Baker and Mike Trask, were sworn in to serve two-year terms. Mickens-Baker has been a Board member since being appointed to the Board in 2004 and winning election in 2005. Trask has been a Board member since winning election in 2011. Board Member Taunia Leffler in the midst of a four-year term which began in 2017.

Lunch Price Increases Approved: Using an unanimous vote concerning an omnibus agenda item, Board members approved increases in lunch prices beginning this next school year. Elementary and middle school breakfast and lunches will cost a nickel more, going up to $2.20 at the elementary schools and $2.25 at the middle schools. High School breakfast and lunches will go from $2.20 to $2.25. Adult lunches at the schools will all go up a nickel, too at the schools, to $2.70 at the elementary school, $2.75 at the middle school, and ranging between $2.75 and $3.40 at the high schools.

Board Receives Updates On Infinite Campus And Tyler Visions: Board members received updates on how the district’s new district-wide student information system, known as Infinite Campus, and new financial, human resources, payroll, and reporting system, Tyler Visions, were working out since the district began using them. Michelle Lamboley, executive director for special services for the district, and Marty Hickman, business manager and treasurer for the district presented the brief overview.

Lamboley said training for teachers began on Infinite Campus just before spring break in March. She said the online registration components of the program are being worked on currently so they will be ready for online registration which takes place in July. She said parents will be receiving information in May with details on how they will be able to log into the system.

Lamboley added certified staff were trained by the District coaches on basic navigation, attendance, and grade books. She said more training from coaches will occur at the end of May. Training for special education teachers and district administrators will take place in May and June.

“I think we have seen from both companies that heavily invested in their product,” Hickman said. “It’s in their best interest for us to be successful.”

Heather Rogers Named Assistant Principal At Cedar Ridge Elementary: Heather Rogers was introduced as the new assistant principal at Cedar Ridge Elementary School by Dr. Ray Epperson, deputy district superintendent. She started her career with the district as a 2nd grade teacher at Cedar Ridge in 2012. At the end of the spring semester, she will earn her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Illinois State University. Rogers has served as interim assistant principal at the school this semester.

Melinda Miethe Named Associate Principal At EJHS: Epperson also introduced Board members to Melinda Miethe, who will become associate principal at George L. Evans Junior High School where she had been serving in that post on an interim basis.

Public Hearing Held: Board members held a public hearing to determine the need to undertake repairs to the bus lane and parking lot at Hudson Elementary School. No members of the public addressed the hearing.

Energy Efficiency Project For Kingsley Jr. High Approved: Board members unanimously approved awarding a contract to Urbana-based A & R Mechanical for work to be done on an energy efficiency project at Kingsley Junior High School. A & R Mechanical was one of three companies which bid to do the project, and submitted a winning bid of $792,000.

Video Highlighting Technology Lab Shown: For his comments section of the meeting, Dr. Mark Daniel, district superintendent, showed a video produced by Sean Mullins, technology coach at Normal Community West High School, highlighting uses of the school’s video technology lab.

By Steve Robinson | April 25, 2019 - 10:41 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

NORMAL – No community should ever forget that its sons and daughters go into the military. And as a result of a ceremony on Thursday in Uptown, the Normal Post Office located on North St. will have a permanent reminder of one local son who died doing his duty in the service of his country. The facility is being renamed in honor of Army Ranger Joshua Rodgers who was killed while serving in Afghanistan. A plague was unveiled in a ceremony in front of the facility.

Between 75-90 people attended the ceremony which was held in front of the facility, North St. blocked off between Fell Ave. and Broadway St. for the occasion. “Josh felt called to service at an early age, and it was his goal to serve at a high level,” explained U. S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-18th Dist.). He recalled for the gathering that Josh played football and ran track as a student at Normal Community High School, and enlisted in the U. S. Army upon graduation. He moved up the ranks to become a member of the Special Operations Force of the Army Rangers.

“Josh led an admirable and heroic life, always putting service before self, and was never afraid to lead at a young age,” LaHood said. April 26 marks two years since Rodgers’ death at age 22, during what was his third deployment. “He answered the call to serve to defend the liberties we have each and every day in this country.”

Those attending the ceremony also heard from Joshua’s parents, Kevin and Vonda Rodgers. “I can’t thank you enough for your surrounding us with your love,” Kevin Rodgers, Joshua’s father, said, directing his comments toward veterans in attendance. “I feel this service honors your dedication as well for you, also, are willing to risk your life.” He thanked LaHood for his pursuit of this dedication taking place.

The service, although solemn, had a father’s sense of humor at one point when Kevin Rodgers explained that he, his wife, and one of his daughters all attended Illinois State University, then added, “And well, Josh like Pub II right down the street.”

“The last two years have been an amazing journey,” Kevin Rodgers said. “You have helped us heal more than you could ever imagine. Thank you. Josh would certainly think that all this attention would be ridiculous. “

Kevin Rodgers struggled to maintain his composure after telling the audience his son “was a team player and never wanted to be singled out.”

“On the night he perished, his ranger brothers put themselves in great harm to bring Josh home, though they knew he had already perished,” Kevin recounted for the gathering. “They kept their promise, and I would like to think Josh would have done the same.” He reminded the Rangers fought their enemy in a three-hour battle.

Vonda Rodgers, Joshua’s mother, told the gathering, “Our tribe has grown considerably over the last few years despite losing one member, and our circle will be complete again one day, and I look forward to embracing Josh again that day.”

Nick Rohde, an NCHS classmate who met Joshua as freshmen together, told the gathering, “The older I get the more I realize life isn’t about the duration you live,” he said. “It’s not about the duration you live, it’s about the life that you lead. When I think of an impactful life, Josh’s is the first that comes to mind. He said Joshua was a “quiet but surprisingly swift athlete. He was always soft spoken, humble, and one of the best people I knew.

“Josh was always the underdog, the one who surprised us all.” Rohde continued. “He always showed up when it counted.” Rohde recounted how, as a freshman, and the Ironmen were losing to crosstown rival Normal Community West, the coaches opted to put reserves in the game. Joshua scored twice that night, Rohde recalled. He also recounted Joshua being the first of his classmates to be the first to be able to drive, usually with the top of his Jeep down, even in cold weather. He said usually when Josh did that, his friends would grumble about that. Rohde said Josh usually had the same reply, “Quit complaining.”

“After six or seven years of maturing, I finally figured out why he said that,” Rohde said. “It was because he was grateful. He had the means to get from point A to point B and he was mature enough to understand that.” Rohde said Joshua understood it was important to be grateful for what he had.”

Fellow Ranger Casey Van Pelt served with Joshua for a year and a half from 2015-17 in Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regimen. He recounted for the audience all of Joshua’s assignments in uniform: Completing Basic Training at Fort Benning, Ga.; Attending U.S. Army Airborne School learning to exit airplanes; Assigned to Army Ranger Assessment and Selection Program; and Assigned to Charlie Company in May 2014.

“Josh never wasted his words,” Van Pelt said. “You asked anyone who knew Josh, they would all agree. He said what he meant and meant what he said, leaving no doubt or room for interpretation.” As a young Ranger, Van Pelt admitted, he was a little afraid of Josh, but came to understand Josh was there “to help make my life better” while in that part of the service.

Van Pelt recalled details of what was Josh final mission for the crowd who listened intently to every detail.

Capt. Michael Broussard aided in treating Josh after he was wounded, and spoke to the gathering about the parallels between Josh and himself as they entered into being Army Rangers. “I certainly think of every one of my Rangers as brothers,” he told the gathering. “They chose this life with me.”

Broussard recounted for the gathering that Josh “died with distinct courage leaning forward into the fight.” He called the battle in which Josh perished “the fiercest and most contentious I had ever experienced. That being said, I want you to know that Josh didn’t give his life in some mundane, forgettable mission.”

Broussard said had Joshua survived, “he would have continued to do bigger and better things in the Special Operations community, and he would have done bigger and better things in his own community here with you.”

“Anyone who spent any time with Josh would tell you he was a quiet, calm, stoic leader, one that firmly displayed firmness and maturity beyond his years,” Broussard added.

State Rep. Dan Brady (R-105th) told the gathering he thanked LaHood for his diligence in seeing the Post Office’s renaming becoming a reality. President Donald J. Trump signed a measure last December approving the change to be authorized. LaHood said after the ceremony it took about a year and a half to go from considering the idea to holding the ceremony.

Brady also thanked local leaders, including the Town of Normal and Normal Postmaster Jennifer Kanta for their assistance in making the dedication a reality. He also quoted Korean War Commander Douglas MacArthur by saying, “Duty..Honor…Country. Those three words summed up the service of Army Ranger Josh Rodgers.” In addition to having the honor at the Normal Post Office, a section of Airport Rd. in Bloomington was named in Rodgers’ during a ceremony Friday.

“Many of you will return to this building and think of it in a whole new way, thanks to Josh,” Brady told the gathering. Brady, who has an office in the next block up from the Post Office, said the walk will be different now because “Each trip, I will think of Josh. In my own way, I will think of and remember Josh.”

A moment of silence was followed by a 21-gun salute before the plaque honoring Josh was unveiled with approving applause from the audience.

Among the dignitaries at this event were: Normal Mayor Chris Koos, Normal Town Council Members Kathleen Lorenz and Kevin McCarthy, City Manager Pam Reece, Unit 5 School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel, and NCHS Principal Trevor Chapman.

The event was attended by Joshua’s siblings, sisters Emily and Hannah, and brother, Ashton, as well as his grandparents.

Following the ceremony, LaHood explained, “After the unfortunate death of Sgt. Rodgers, we tried to figure out what was the best way to honor him locally.” Following discussions with Koos, Brady, and the Rodgers, “we were going to try to pass legislation to rename the post office.” He said that process began roughly two months after Rodgers’ death. With going through committee and running through both houses of Congress for approval through to President Trump signing the bill making it possible, LaHood said it took a little over a year.

By Steve Robinson | April 20, 2019 - 10:52 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

NORMAL – At last year’s “Evening With The Stars” event to benefit Heartland Red Cross, the audience was treated to hear about life as quarterback of the Green Bay Packers thanks to Aaron Rodgers’ appearance. But this year, at the 26th annual event to benefit the Heartland Red Cross, the 1,100 guests heard from the man currently leading “The Monsters Of The Midway” who was named National Football League’s Coach Of The Year for 2018 having gotten his team in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy responded to questions put to him by WJBC Radio play-by-play man Dick Luedke during a wide ranging conversation which lasted nearly an hour.

Nagy’s appearance scored with the local American Red Cross chapter, as the benefit generated $275,000-$300,000 for the organization.

In the ballroom of the Carol A. Reitan Conference Center at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel, Nagy touched on his childhood, his playing career in Arena Football, and how he went into coaching. Nagy, the product of divorced parents, told the gathering his mother’s telling him he should “’treat people with respect’ had the most impact on me.” It was an opening line that brought applause from those attending the gathering.

Not wanting to take anything away from his father, he explained, Nagy said his maternal grandfather had the most impact on him “because he believed in me the most. When someone believes in you, it’s amazing what can happen.”

From 2002-2008, Nagy played for four separate Arena Football League teams in New Jersey, North Carolina, Atlanta, Ga., and Columbus, Ohio, and tried out for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles winding up on their practice squad before hanging up his cleats and deciding he would like to enter the coaching ranks.

“I knew football had to be part of my life,” Nagy, 40, told the gathering. But at the time, after having graduated from University of Delaware, he found himself selling real estate. But a phone call from Andy Reid, then head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, led to an offer to be an intern on Reid’s staff in 2008-2009. From there, he was named an assistant coach on Reid’s staff for the next three seasons in Philadelphia. When Reid was fired by the Eagles after the 2012 season and became head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Reid tabbed Nagy to join him as the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach. By 2016 with the Chiefs, Reid promoted Nagy to be Offensive Coordinator.

The Bears’ first season under Nagy ended due to a wild card round game field goal, losing to Philadelphia, 16-15. With regard to his first season with Chicago, Nagy told the gathering he recently held a meeting with the team showing tape of highs and lows the team had experienced.

“When that video stopped, you could hear a pin drop, considering the feeling we had, and that’s okay,” Nagy said, adding, “I want to take any losses we’ve had and turn them into a positive. That’s the only way we’re looking at this year.” That was another applause line for the coach from the fans present.

Nagy admitted “Taking chances is in my DNA. I believe in aggressiveness, and I believe in dictating the pace both offensively and defensively. I’m not looking back with any regrets. That’s our motto and that’s who I am. I wish I could tell you a better answer, but that’s just where I am.” It was another line which generated applause from the audience. Taking such chances may have helped Nagy earn NFL’s Coach of the Year honor at the end of last season.

Nagy said receiving that honor “talks about who our players are,” adding he has no intention of putting the physical award that the honor comes with in his Halas Hall office. Without mentioning the Super Bowl championship Vince Lombardi Trophy by name, he added, “There is a better award that I want, and we all know what that is.” It was another applause line the fans responded to.

Nagy said building trust with his players was the hardest part going into the first year. Explaining building trust takes time when dealing with players, Nagy said he accomplished that “by being honest with them, by caring, but you also let them know that you can be tough, too.” He said he reads books on leadership to help him wax up and learn from other leaders.

Luedke tried to get Nagy to provide a clue as to what choices the Bears would make in the upcoming NFL Draft, but Nagy remained tight lipped on the subject. The coach also had praise for his new incoming defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano, the former Indianapolis Colts head coach. “We were super lucky to get him in here. The sky’s the limit with what he can teach our guys.”

Nagy, a married father of four boys, closed out the night by telling the audience, “he’s learning on the run” as far as handling the experience was concerned. As to parenting, Nagy recalled being told by a Philadelphia assistant coach that parenting “isn’t about the presents you give your kids, but it’s about your presence.” It was another applause line for the coach as he heads into his second year.

By Steve Robinson | April 19, 2019 - 10:44 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – April 15 marked the last Normal Town Council meeting for two of the governing body’s members – one who wrapped up serving a third term for a second time before deciding not to run for re-election, and one who was looking to continuing on the Council beginning his second term.

For Jeff Fritzen, a number of factors came into play for him to make his decision last fall to not seek another term. At 66, Fritzen has served Normal Town Council as a member in two separate but lengthy stints. He first ran and won in 1983. He ran for re-election three times before opting for a break prior to the next election in 1999. His hiatus from local politics lasted one election cycle and he returned to the Council after winning election again in 2003. Since then, he has run in and won re-election three more times.

For 45-year-old R. C. McBride, his venture as general manager of WGLT FM 89.1, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by Illinois State University will get a little busier as it was recently announced WGLT will begin taking over operation of Bradley University’s NPR affiliate, WCBU FM 88.9.

But when the ballots were counted, newcomer Stan Nord led the race garnering 2,928 votes, or 19.60 percent of the vote, leading all competitors. And he wasn’t the only newcomer now with a seat on the dais in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station.

Karyn Smith finished third in the race which had two incumbents, six declared challengers, and a write-in candidate. Smith had 2,092 votes, or 14.01 percent of the vote. Incumbent Kathleen Lorenz placed second in the results with 2,165, or 14.50 percent of the vote. McBride placed fourth in his quest for a second term on the Council, receiving 1,913 votes, or 12.81 percent of the vote. Challengers Dave Shields, Pat Turner, Joel Studebaker, and ISU student Alex Campbell placed fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectfully, in the final tally. Write-in candidate Karl Sila placed ninth.

Fritzen Sought What’s Best For The Town: “There’s always a degree of uncertainty when you remove yourself from something like this and your hope is the Council can continue to function as it has in the past for the benefit of the Town,” explained Fritzen, executive vice president at Bloomington Offset Process, Inc. “We had a transition recently with a new city manager and now a transition with a couple new Council people, so those things present challenges and they present opportunities.” Last spring, Deputy City Manager Pam Reece was named to succeed Mark Peterson as City Manager upon his retirement.

For himself, Fritzen said, “Personally, I think I have just reached a point where, for me, to be involved in something like the Council, your heart has to be in it 100 percent. It got to a point that I couldn’t guarantee that.” He said he will now encourage, support, and observe the actions of Council from the sidelines.

Fritzen’s decision came, he said, after “several weeks of what’s best for the Town, what’s best for me, for my family.” He said he also checked himself on how he gauged his level of commitment which being a Council member requires. He said that included reflecting on the level of involvement he had dedicated to the post in the past. “I think I came to that point to where it was time to step aside. I stepped aside because I didn’t feel I could bring the same level of commitment to the office” that had been put forth in the past.

Fritzen said he leaves local politics with no unfinished business still needing addressing. “I wasn’t one to bring my own personal agenda to the office,” he said. He added that the only times he had any kind of goal-setting related to seeking office was related to the proposed Uptown redevelopment plan, and in 2005 when he ran for mayor, squaring off against current incumbent Chris Koos.

McBride Eyeing Improvements To Benefit Normal Library: For R. C. McBride, general manager of ISU’s NPR affiliate, the location of Normal Public Library and suggestions as to where a potential future library could be located were items he had considered addressing were he to have won election to a second term. “The library’s programming has clearly outgrown its footprint,” McBride said. “Whether that means rebuilding or upgrading on the current site, or building something in what would be Normal 2.0, something’s going to have to be done.” Uptown 2.0 is the name given to what the Town hopes will become the second phase of its master plan for continued growth and updating for the community.

“Every time there has been a large investment like that, the Town has had a revenue stream for it,” McBride reminded. At this point in time, he said, “there was no clear cut revenue stream for it.”

Both Fritzen and McBride praised the Town’s administrative staff for the work they do to help bring basic services to the residents of the Town.

Advice From Outgoing Members To Nord, Smith: As they exit the local political stage, Fritzen and McBride each had some advice to pass along to Nord and Smith as they prepare to take the oath of office to start May 6’s Council session.

“I would tell them you are elected to represent and not to look back over your shoulder and ask permission to represent,” Fritzen said. “Once you’re elected, you have to have an open mind. You have to see how things really work from the inside to gain an understanding.” He recommended Nord and Smith gain an understanding of how the Town operates, and to respect the roles of those in the positions of city manager as being its Chief Operating Officer, and their roles as Council members.

“Remember you’re not going to make everyone happy no matter what you do,” McBride added. “That’s one of the reasons the job is difficult. Another piece of advice is: When people are unhappy, don’t take it personally. It’s not necessarily about you as an individual.” He also suggested Nord and Smith keep a sense of humor.

NORMAL – The first Illinois Governor to address Illinois News Broadcasters Association in 55 years told the gathering of news anchors, reporters, and writers they bring “sunlight to problems that desperately need to be fixed, and lift up the voices of those who haven’t been heard.”

On what was his 89th day in office as Governor of the State of Illinois on Saturday, J. B. Pritzker told a gathering of 120 guests in the Carol A. Reitan Convention Center at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott that public officials should be reminding the public “how important journalism is to a healthy democracy.”

“If we want a democracy to thrive, our democracy to thrive, we must have a First Amendment that thrives,” Pritzker said in beginning his remarks which lasted 12 minutes. The comment was met by applause from the assembled group.

Without naming President Donald Trump by name, Pritzker added, “You all know the media landscape is changing, newsrooms are shrinking, and the credibility of reporters is constantly being questioned by the highest elected leader in the land. The very definition of facts, reality, and news is under attack.”

“The free press should never be threatened for doing your jobs,” Pritzker said, without citing that journalists have been under threat at a number of campaign style rally events which Trump has held during his term in office. “The First Amendment must always be revered.”

Candidly, Pritzker said, “Sometimes, you’re going to get it wrong. Me, too. We each have an obligation to strive to get it right. But those in political power must be extremely careful that when we disagree with what’s being said, we never the less, fight for your right to get the information out.” He added that actual facts should never be labeled as fake news, a phrase Trump often uses in his disagreement over how the media does its job.

He said there should be a mutual respect between political figures and the media. “We need you,” Pritzker said. “You do the important work of educating the public and holding those in power accountable. Democracy doesn’t work without both sides of that equation.”

Pritzker added he believes being in the position of having to answer tough questions from the media “has made me a better leader.” He said the media has caused him at times to see issues from differing perspectives and he hoped he had caused the press to do the same.

A number of those attending the dinner were college students who were learning their reporting craft, some of whom had been honored by INBA for their efforts. He encouraged them to consider seeking jobs in the profession and stay in Illinois as they do so. “There are downstate communities that need your work as much as big cities do,” he said in addressing them.

“As Governor, I’m working hard every day to make Illinois a place where working families can put down roots,” Pritzker told the gathering.

Plans For Tackling Debt, Gun Violence Coming: He said for a number of years, news concerning Illinois has centered on “instability, debt, gun violence, and lurching from crisis to crisis.” He said he is in the midst of working on plans he has formulated to tackle each of these issues. He said he was “straight forward about our need for revenue, and to balance the State budget without doing it on the backs of the middle class.”

Pritzker’s budget for fiscal year 2020 included $25 million more aimed toward K-12 education in the State, a figure which went higher than the $350 million new dollars added last year through the new evidence-based funding law. In addition, his plan set aside another $21 million in funding for special education grants, $5 million for much-needed career and technical education programs for high school students, and $2 million to help low-income students pay for Advanced Placement testing.

He called his plan “a bridge to solving our deficits permanently using a fair tax.” He said he is working with members of the General Assembly to get the budget passed during this session. Under his plan, Pritzker said, those affected would be those persons in the State who earn more than $250,000 annually. He said that’s 3 percent of the State’s total population of nearly 13 million people.

“People like me should pay more,” said the Governor, who has an estimated net worth is $3.26 billion. He called the State’s current flat tax “regressive and unfair to the middle class and working poor.” He added the Fair Tax he proposes “will put Illinois on firmer fiscal footing.”

He said the Fair Tax would lead to balanced budgets in the future for the State. ”It will create stability for businesses,” Pritzker added, “The Fair Tax would reduce our multi-billion dollar deficit, it would balance future budgets, and reduce pension liability.” He said he believes his plan will help businesses already here, and will encourage businesses to return to Illinois, and allow all those businesses to grow.

He told the gathering the State has a trio of options to try to solve the financial puzzle: Cut funds for K-12 education, public safety, infrastructure, and money State universities receive by 15 percent; Raise the State income tax on all State residents by 20 percent on middle class and working poor; Or pass the Fair Tax he recommends. “I choose fairness,” he said.

He said he respects State Republicans’ right to disagree with his plan, but encouraged State GOP members to present any plans they have regarding the budget so that a dialogue can get underway. So far, he told reporters, that hasn’t happened. He challenged reporters to ask Republican General Assembly members and Senators what plans they have to stabilize State finances.

Pritzker said State GOP members’ plan appears to him to be do nothing, “and you can’t do nothing. And that’s fundamentally, what Republicans are baiting us with. They’re just saying ‘no.’” While GOP lawmakers are taking that route, Pritzker said, Republicans haven’t proposed any solutions of their own to help solve the State’s financial matters. He said Illinois has $15 billion worth of unpaid bills to attempt to pay, adding that before his predecessor, Bruce Rauner, was elected Governor four years ago, that figure was $5 billion.

“Undocumented People Are Residents Of Our State”: In a question-and-answer session following his remarks, Pritzker addressed President Trump’s plan to move undocumented refugees to communities that consider themselves sanctuary cities and sanctuary states. Pritzker responded by labeling Trump a Xenophobe and a racist, and said Trump’s threat is based on that. “We have undocumented people in our State today,” he responded. “They ought to be welcomed. We ought to be taken care of. They are residents of our State.”