Bill Foster has a PhD in physics from Harvard University and had a 25 year career in high-energy particle physics at Fermi Lab.
Foster is also a businessman. At 19-years-old and with $500 from their parents, Foster and his brother started a company in their basement called Electronic Lighting Methods. It manufactures about 70% of theater lighting equipment in the U.S.
Foster’s political career started late in life. His father was also scientist but he too completely switched careers and became a civil rights lawyer who wrote much of the enforcement language of the Civil Rights act of 1964. And while reading his father’s papers a few years ago after he died, he realized he too had a calling for public service.
“It comes from the spirit inside you rather than anything objective you can point to,” he says.
Foster is a congressman from the 11 District. It’s a new district. Many say it is mapped out for a Democrat. It is comprised of parts of Will, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Cook counties and includes three of Illinois’ largest cities; Aurora, Naperville and Joliet.
Foster is running against Republican Darlene Senger.
Foster votes mainly along party lines. On immigration, he would like to see house speaker John Boehner bring up the senate bill for a vote when congress reconvenes after the November 4th election.
He favors raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Congressman Foster also supports a proposal in congress now that would allow college students to refinance their loans.
The news headlines may change daily but Foster says in people’s everyday lives, financial issues are the most important. It’s all about jobs and the economy.
While congressional gridlock is the most frustrating for Foster, helping his constituents day to day keeps him going.
The election is Nov 4th.