Thank-you so much to the people of the 19th House District for electing me as your representative. This was a long, hard road and it included courageous and hardworking opponents during the primary and the general. Running for office is hard. Governing and serving residents during multiple crises is hard. But it’s all an honor. Many of us are struggling right now and yet many of you bent over backwards and showed up day after day to make calls, text, send postcards and door knock to elect me, the first woman to ever hold this seat. Even during a pandemic, our volunteers went above and beyond in big and small ways to reach voters. As a new candidate, it meant the world to me to knock on a door only to hear that another neighbor had already spread the good word about me. From Michael who I met while door knocking on Laramie who most creatively displays his yard signs, to Jen who educated me on parent advocacy in public schools more than 15 months ago. And of course everyone in between. Your participation in all of this is exactly what democracy looks like.
We have so much work to do all year round – here in the neighborhoods of the far NW side, in Springfield, in the halls of Congress and at our late night community organizing meetings. So many of you already know that this is a year round team sport. Let’s keep working for affordable and accessible healthcare, including mental healthcare; meaningful ethics reform; strong public schools that truly support our heroic teachers; and a clean environment, among many other things. Let’s keep on building community, with empathy and humanity as we do it. As I write this on November 4th, 2020, I’m filled with gratitude, hope, and a stiff dose of anxiety as we wait for all the ballots to be counted across the country and here in Illinois because who we elect to office matters *so* much.