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IDW HRC Award Recipient: Comptroller Susana Mendoza

IDW is pleased to announce that Comptroller Susana Mendoza will receive the 2017 Hillary Rodham Clinton Award at the 45th Annual Convention Dinner on September 16. The HRC Award honors a current state, county, or municipal office holder.

Susana A. Mendoza was elected Illinois Comptroller on November 8, 2016. She became the first Hispanic to ever run for and win a statewide office in Illinois as a Democrat.

Prior to her election as Illinois Comptroller, Susana was the first woman ever elected to the office of the Clerk of the City of Chicago. Before City Clerk, Susana proudly served six terms as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011 during which period she also spent time as the co-chairwoman of the bi-partisan group, Conference of Women Legislators. In 2010, Mendoza was selected by the National Conference of Women Legislators, at the behest of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to serve as one of only seven women representing the United States as an international observer of the Iraqi elections in Baghdad. In 2012, Ms. Mendoza was presented with the national “Katie’s Hero Award” for her efforts in passing HB3238 which requires DNA collection for felony arrests and works to keep rapists and violent criminals off the streets. She has been recognized for her leadership and legislation on social services, education, law enforcement, job creation and animal welfare.

In a field still often dominated by men, Susana Mendoza credits her tenacity to get things done to her time as the only girl soccer player on all-boys soccer teams during her youth. Her hard work and success serve as an example to women everywhere that anything is possible.

The award will be presented at the evening program, Saturday, September 16 at the Crowne Plaza, 3000 S Dirksen Parkway in Springfield. Author and activist Krystal Ball will be the keynote speaker. Doors will open at 6:00pm. To register for the convention, click here.

Krystal Ball to Keynote Annual Convention, September 16

Krystal Ball will be the Keynote Speaker at the 2017 IDW Annual Convention

Krystal Ball is an author, activist, and President of the People’s House Project. She recently published a book, “Reversing the Apocalypse: Hijacking the Democratic Party to Save the World.” In 2016, Krystal was central to Glamour magazine’s political coverage, where she continues to highlight political issues of particular importance to women. For the previous three years, Krystal co-hosted MSNBC’s topical news, politics and culture daily program, The Cycle. While at MSNBC, Krystal also developed and co-produced Krystal Clear (KC), a flagship feature of MSNBC’s all digital channel Shift, and anchored live stream coverage of special events like the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2015 State of the Union.

Krystal’s initial foray into politics came at 28 years old, when she ran for Congress in the 1st District of Virginia. Following her congressional campaign, Krystal was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Women in the Mid Term Elections.” The Week magazine rated her as one of the Top Eight Political Stars of 2010, along with Marco Rubio, Scott Brown and Chris Christie. Profiled all over the United States for her innovative use of Social Media in politics, Ball’s compelling political vision for her party was featured as far away as The South China Post
Krystal has provided commentary on programs as diverse as “The Ed Show,”, “The Today Show”,”Good Morning America,” “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” PBS:”To The Contrary,” “The Dylan Ratigan Show,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” and Megyn Kelly.

Her writing has appeared in publications such as US News and World Report, the Atlantic, the Huffington Post, and Politico; she has been a featured speaker at Columbia, Princeton, and George Washington University and Harvard; and a guest lecturer at the New School in New York City. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband Jonathan and three adorably willful children. She is on Twitter @krystalball.

Resources for Action

The 2018 Election Cycle is critical to Illinois and the nation. We need to engage Democrats across the state to ensure that we elect a Democratic Governor and legislature, as well as increasing the number of Democrats from Illinois in the U.S. Congress. Find new ways to connect with Democrats and take action to impact change locally and nationally. Meet new friends and invite them to join you at your township or county Democratic organization meetings and events.


Witness Slip Project (Illinois) – Impact legislation by filing witness slips on pending bills

Indivisible Groups – Find or create events in your area

Meetup – Find Democratic organizations and #Resist actions

5calls – Resources to make calls regarding national issues important to you

Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association –  Check out this site for events and training opportunities near you.

Illinois Women’s March on Springfield – Tuesday April 25

Illinois Women will March on Springfield for a progressive agenda and responsible budget for all. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, join more than 50 partner organizations in supporting an agenda including: Women’s Health, Responsible Budget, Labor & Economic Issues, Immigration, Criminal Justice Reform, LGBTQ, Civil & Disability Rights, the Environment, Education, Animal Rights, Gun Safety, Healthcare, the ERA, Homeless and more.

The LEGISLATION LIST and ADVOCACY TOOLS are on the website:

The Illinois Women March on Springfield coalition includes 90 partner organizations and a growing list of elected official endorsements.
See who is participating at these links:

This event is not sponsored by Illinois Democratic Women, but is provided as an informational service to our members and friends.

Chris King – Candidate for 6th Ward Alderman in Galesburg

CKChris King, a Galesburg native, grew up
appreciating her community for its spirit. She attended King Elementary School and Lombard Middle School and graduated from Galesburg High School in 2012. King is presently employed as a veterinarian technician with Animal Medical Center.

Her passion for animals led Chris to work with the City of Galesburg to improve its animal codes. Her commitment to civic engagement resulted in an appointment to the Galesburg Community Relations Commission in 2016.

At a young age, Chris learned the meaning of hard work and patience due to her mother’s physical disabilities. She learned to adjust and think of new ways to tackle hard issues.That attitude carried over into King’s adult life, and Chris now applies her skills in various ways throughout the community.

Chris is an active member of Galesburg on Track, a community revitalization project supported by the City of Galesburg and the Galesburg Community Foundation. She is committed to empowering residents so they can voice their concerns and work toward positive, city-wide change.

Prior to public engagement,Chris was involved in the Galesburg arts scene. She worked for the Prairie Players Community Theater and served as board treasurer for the Galesburg Community Chorus. Chris also mentored children at The Performing Arts Academy and contributed her artistic talents behind the scenes. Currently, Chris sings at First Lutheran Church and sits on the Inclusive Faith Committee, which created Safe Space – a social outreach group for young adults.

King hopes the various roles she has embraced since her teen years will encourage other young community members to step up and assume leadership positions. Chris believes that community drive and passion will help shape a better future for Galesburg.

Jackie Traynere – Candidate for Mayor of Bolingbrook

2017 – Candidate Highlight  – Jackie Traynere – Candidate for Mayor of Bolingbrook

Visit her website at:

JTJackie Traynere is a proud, lifelong resident of Bolingbrook who has dedicated herself to keeping her community a great place to live and raise a family. This commitment is rooted in Jackie’s own experience of growing up in Bolingbrook attending Bolingbrook High, and that’s why she raised her children right here in her hometown – in the very house Jackie grew up in.

As a child at Northview elementary school, Jackie experienced firsthand the positive influence local leaders can have on the community when her 4th grade class successfully lobbied the Governor to get crosswalk and crossing guard put in place over route 53 so her classmates could safety walk to school. As an adult, this early experience inspired Jackie to volunteer and then later run for local office.

Today, Jackie is serving her third term on the Will County Board where she’s successfully held the line on local property taxes while improving public safety, easing traffic congestion, and protecting our parks and green spaces. Jackie prides herself on being accessible and keeping her office open and transparent; that’s why she’s the only Board member to proactively send regular updates and useful County information to the people she proudly represents.

Jackie’s commitment to helping people extends to her professional life as well, where she works as an organizer for American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

In addition to working with AFGE members for the past 22 years, Jackie started her own small business, The Cleaning Authority. Together with her husband Joe, they’ve grown the company each year and now employ over 30 people.

Now Jackie is running for Mayor of Bolingbrook, leading the Bolingbrook United Ticket, because the Village needs an inclusive leader who reflects the community’s values. Jackie is committed to embracing our great diversity, encouraging growth and opportunity for every family, business, and neighborhood, and responsibly managing the Village’s finances to address the $316,000,000 debt plaguing the community – with a commitment to transparency and accountability to the residents of Bolingbrook, not the special interests or party machines.

Linda Chapa LaVia – Candidate for Mayor of Aurora

2017 – Candidate Highlight – Linda Chapa LaVia – Candidate for Mayor of Aurora

Visit her website at

ChapaLinda Chapa LaVia is a candidate for Mayor of Aurora, Illinois’ second largest city.
She was born and raised in Aurora, graduating from East Aurora High School. She became the first in her family to graduate college, beginning at community college then earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While at UIC, she was an ROTC cadet preparing to become an Army officer.

Linda was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, where she served for five years. She retired as a Second Lieutenant and remained in the National Guard for an additional five years.

As her family grew, Linda and her husband owned and operated multiple small businesses. She understands the challenges of being an entrepreneur and a working mom. In 2001, she decided that politicians should listen to and look like the people they represent, and ran for office.

As a leader in the statehouse, Linda has worked on issues that help families right here in our community and fought hard on behalf of consumers, students and teachers, and our veterans. She has chaired multiple committees, including Elementary Education, Veterans Affairs, and Energy.

Linda has dedicated her life to making life better for middle class families and serving as an advocate for the entire community. She recognizes the opportunities her community, her state, and her country provided to her, and she wants to make sure that those opportunities exist for everyone else.

As mayor, Linda plans to address a series of serious issues facing the city of Aurora. She wants to get tough on Gangs and Violence by working with local law enforcement officials and the park district to find innovative ways to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble. She wants to continue to lead by supporting Aurora schools. Part of keeping kids out of trouble starts with making sure we have the best possible schools at every level, starting with early learning. And she will work to create jobs. She’ll work with local small and big businesses to support growth and opportunity. I want to grow our local businesses and attract new business to Aurora to expand the city’s tax base.

Telling Your Story

Jackie Traynere, President Illinois Democratic Women of Will County

Have you ever wondered how to move people to action? Maybe you just want to build trust or inspire hope. IDWOW members had the opportunity last year to learn how stories can help us communicate who we are and why others should trust us. We learned that you can tell a story to illustrate what is at stake and why we need to act together.

IDWOW was fortunate enough to have an organizer from Organizing For Action train its members on how to tell an great story. We learned how to connect our story with the stories of others to create common ground. It was amazing how similar our stories were when we started working in pairs and sharing with the larger group.

Effective organizing starts from our own interests and values, this program helped us to learn how to shape our personal stories. It was amazing toward the end when we saw themes and values in common even though most of us didn’t know each other or our backgrounds. It was great to spend time actually practicing what we were learning. Watching the women’s stories and experiences come to life in story telling was an amazing process and we were truly blessed to have Chelsey Wininger (OFA Org. deputy directory) guide us through the process. Her training was of great value to the women that attended. A big shout out to Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership for sponsoring this great experience for all.