The two most humbling experiences - and greatest honors - of my life were putting on the uniform of our nation's Navy and being elected by my friends and neighbors to be their voice at the state capitol. You have put your trust in me and that is something I do not take lightly.
I know how jobs are created, and I know how and why they leave. I see and feel the terrible consequences that out of control real estate taxes, a stagnant economy, job-killing regulations, and autocratic leadership have on families. I see the frustration of my friends in law enforcement as they battle an explosion in crime -- often times without the support and resources they need and deserve. I recognize the moral decay that occurs as elected officials try to replace parents with government. I recognize in Springfield when special interests are prioritized over hardworking Illinoisans. I see the issues impacting Southern Illinois families and communities every day. That's why I fight for our families, our communities, our livelihoods, and our values in Springfield. It's a duty I do not take lightly. I know Illinois can do better and I'm dedicated to making sure it happens. I will use my experience to help protect our communities, defend our values, and deliver results that can improve the life of every Illinoisan.
My name is Jason Plummer. I'm a family man and businessman. I care deeply about making sure people have opportunity and the dignity of taking care of their families. I also care about what we are leaving future generations. I've proudly represented you in the Illinois Senate as a strong, independent, and conservative voice for the people of Southern Illinois who have been forgotten by too many career politicians in Springfield.
My family is from here, I was raised here, and we have built our businesses here. This is home. In 1977, my parents used what savings they had from their work as teachers and took a risk, buying an old, abandoned lumber yard in Staunton. That was the start of our family business. Today, our business is still family owned and has grown to provide jobs for over 2,000 families across multiple industries in multiple states. I am very proud of my work in the private sector and the opportunity I have had to share in my family's vision and hard work. It's the real world, where performance, budgets, mistakes, and results matter. Springfield could use a stronger dose of reality.
Through my experiences in business and my activity with civic groups, I have had the privilege to visit and partner with many communities and people around our great state. I've seen firsthand that the strong values embodied in the hard-working residents of Southern Illinois continue to make our small towns wonderful places to live and work. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed the devastation of our local economies caused by staggeringly high taxes, reckless government spending, debt, waste, and corruption. The blighted buildings, high unemployment, substance abuse, and crime are all symptoms of decay that started with the failure of career politicians to lead. I'm committed to correcting these failures and delivering results that matter to Illinoisans.
Most importantly, I want create opportunity for young people and leave our children better off. Right now, we are failing them. My wife, Shannon, and I live in Edwardsville with our daughter, Audrey, our boys, Henry and Jack, and our dog, Rambo. I am committed to leading by example, and showing my children that, when you are in the right, you never give up the fight. Illinois is tremendously blessed with abundant natural resources, a great geographic location, advantageous access to transportation networks and great industries, and one of the best workforces in the world. Yet our state has been wrecked by career politicians who have pushed public policies favored by special interests, not public policy that helps the average citizen. If bad public policy is what led to this mess, then good public policy is all we need to fix it. I am committed to fighting for good public policy that will grow jobs, root out corrupt elected officials, strengthen our communities, and protect our children, offering them a future full of opportunity.
I was honored to be elected Assistant Republican Leader in the Illinois State Senate during my first term in office. I am the only State Senator from Southern Illinois - from either party - in Senate Leadership and one of the youngest senators ever elected to Senate Leadership. I understand the tremendous responsibility that brings and I am proud to be a strong common-sense voice at the table for Southern Illinois and the Metro East. I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and to be your voice at our state's capitol. I commit to you that I will always speak directly to you, my door will always be open, and that I will always be open, honest, transparent, and accountable. When I vote, I will vote with my conscience. I will work hard for you, do my job, and then get back to my family and business. I won't abandon these convictions and holding public office will never be my career. Thank you for your trust and for the privilege to represent our families and communities at our Illinois State Capitol. God Bless.