Dixon mayor says he wants to bring needed changes to Springfield
War veteran, mayor and businessman Liandro Arellano wants to bring change to Springfield and the whole state as a state senator from the 45th District.
“On the business side, my first management position was at age 19, when I started running a few shifts in the University of Michigan's food service department,” Arellano told NW Illinois News.
After being promoted to a managerial position, Arellano worked his way to a corporate job with Jimmy John's Franchise.
“I then left to open my own business at age 26," he said. "I now own or co-own four companies and have roughly 50 employees."
Arellano also prides himself on the same kind of dedication to his country. He enlisted in the Army after 2003 the September 11th terrorist attacks. By 2009, he was placed in a leadership position while serving in Iraq. He has been involved in two combat tours, in 2005 and 2009-2019, and has attended numerous training courses for military leadership, even maintaining his involvement in the Army Reserves to this day, through the 485th Engineer Company.
“The military made me a much stronger, more disciplined leader,” Arellano said. “The ability to stay focused on your mission while still taking care of others is important in government.”
"Service before self" is a mantra Arellano says has impacted him and that all politicians should heed. Though Arellano has been involved in local politics since 2015, when he was elected mayor of Dixon, he says he is now ready to take his political aspirations to a new level after bringing positive changes to Dixon.
“I have been a leading force behind a number of reforms and structural changes within the city, including many cost-saving measures,” Arellano said. “Dixon has undergone a historic level of changes since I was elected, and we are getting some very positive results, including new business growth.”
Arellano’s biggest areas of concern are the business climate, property taxes and spending reform, and he argues that tax increases won’t solve problems.
“One of the state's biggest expenses is pensions, so continued pension reform is critical if we are going to truly balance annual budgets,” Arellano said. “I am well aware of many issues that need attention. These include property tax rates -- often caused by mandates to local governments -- high costs for worker's compensation insurance, and high costs for new construction in regions that do not have state enterprise zone designations.”
Arellano says the generations before and after him have prompted his run.
“My two biggest inspirations are the memory of my grandfather, who was a Mexican immigrant with a massive work ethic, and my children, who deserve better than to inherit massive government debt,” Arellano said. “In politics, my inspiration is the many active citizens who volunteer their time on local projects: hosting festivals, organizing community initiatives, etc. They make communities so much better, and they deserve hard-working officials who will support their efforts."