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Deanne Marie Mazzochi, Illinois House 47th District Republican nominee profile

Her top priorities include addressing outdated commuter rail service, public corruption and 5G wireless.  

Deanne Marie Mazzochi, Illinois House 47th District Republican nominee and incumbent, 2020 election candidate questionnaire
Deanne Marie Mazzochi, Illinois House 47th District Republican nominee and incumbent.
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Candidate profile

Deanne Marie Mazzochi

Running for: Re-election for Illinois State Representative, District 47

Political party affiliation: Republican

Political/civic background: Trustee, College of DuPage Board (April 2015 – February 2019); Chairman, College of DuPage Board (December 2015 – January 2019).

Occupation: Life Sciences/Patent Litigation Attorney. Founding Partner, Rakoczy, Molino, Mazzochi, Siwik LLP (RMMS Legal), 6 W. Hubbard St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60654

Education: Boston University (B.A.) [x2] – Chemistry & Political Science. George Washington University (J.D. with honors)

Campaign website:

Facebook: Deanne Mazzochi for Illinois (@DeanneMazzochiForIllinois)

Twitter: @DeanneMazzochi

Instagram: @DeanneMazzochi47

The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees for the Illinois House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois and their districts. Deanne Marie Mazzochi submitted the following responses:

The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the finances of Illinois. The state is staring at a $6.2 billion budget shortfall in this fiscal year. What should be done? Please be specific.

Illinois’ irresponsible spending habits placed us on the road to ruin years before COVID-19. I have reiterated that government must live within its means.

In 2020, Priztker’s budget was unbalanced by roughly $6 billion. To pass it, he needed party-line votes; and faced bipartisan opposition. It irresponsibly holds school funding hostage to a ballot measure.

Compare this to 2019. Illinois’s 3.4% unemployment rate led to an extra billion in revenue without having to raise taxes one bit. And Springfield squandered it. Rather than pay down bill backlogs or jump-starting pensions, Springfield increased spending even more—and gave legislators a pay raise. I rejected a state pension; state health benefits; and donated these extra dollars to district charities that serve actual people in need.

Now that COVID-19 has ground economic activity to a halt, and swelled the unemployment rolls (20% or more in some sectors), next year’s debt hole will continue to rise. But praying for a federal bailout or class warfare is not the answer. Economic growth and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit is—and will naturally restore, and provide more, overall tax revenue as 2019 proved. Private sector investment is desperately needed. As a business owner, I know we’ll lose it if we continue with corrupt government, high property taxes, and don’t have safe streets. I voted to authorize capital funding—we must prioritize roads and transportation infrastructure to ensure people can get to where the jobs are. I sponsored bills incentivizing businesses in the essential food and medical supply chain, because this led to our people—and governments—paying overinflated prices for critical needs. That should never happen again. I also sponsored legislation to reduce the cost of a college degree path; and I support investing in workforce development.

What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic? Please explain. What, if anything, should he have done differently?

It started at “B,” because I assumed the Governor was working in good faith. Things went downhill, fast. On March 4, 2020, after speaking with members of his administration, I warned the House the Governor was not prepared if COVID went to community spread, including on PPE. The Democrats instead adjourned.

I am a scientist, an attorney, and worked in life sciences for decades. I asked the Governor for accurate scientific data, particularly on the models directing his decisions. I was repeatedly refused. But not getting COVID demographic data out there early—which showed the high risk to seniors—led to devastating effects as COVID swept through nursing homes.

COVID brought hard public policy decisions to the forefront. His choice to cling to his top-down decision process versus getting genuine input from all sides and respecting geographic diversity (choices he made that for Chicago were disastrous for the suburbs and downstate) has created a polarizing wreck of policy.

Without transparency for his executive order decision-making process, we see connected insiders and those who can afford lobbyists get special rules or exemptions; while the little guy gets the threat of criminal charges for non-compliance. If Governor Pritzker thinks state law is inadequate to handle a COVID issue effectively, identify what the law is; call us into a special session; propose the legislative change he wants; and we can all go on the record and be accountable on a plan for Illinois. He has refused to do this. While I continue to hope and wish for the best, he needs to stop being defensive about bipartisan feedback so we can have a more effective response that respects due process; does not embroil the state in more and more lawsuits; and that the state as a whole can get behind.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Should Illinois do the same? If so, what would that look like?

George Floyd’s death was tragic, and those responsible should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. By seeking justice for Mr. Floyd through the criminal justice and civil system, other police officers who choose to act outside of the law will get the message that such behavior will not be tolerated and will result in dire consequences for their careers and lives.

In terms of reforms in Illinois, there is always room for improvement, and we must continue to re-examine law enforcement and the criminal justice system with the unceasing goal of creating a more perfect system. When I was at the College of DuPage, I was a strong supporter of our Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, because if you want quality law enforcement, quality training is essential. We in the 47th District are blessed to have some of the top law enforcement agencies in the nation, state, and county protecting us. But the biggest mistake we could make at a time like this would be to turn our back on law enforcement and public safety. Calls to defund or diminish the abilities of our first responders to protect us are misguided. Looking to the lawlessness currently sweeping Chicago, where shootings are an everyday occurrence leaving the young, old, and everyone in between indiscriminately killed, the people of the district should take heed. We need to continue to work proactively with law enforcement to improve outcomes and maintain the safe schools and streets that led many of us to move to the western suburbs. But we also must look hard at individuals who wear the badge and then abuse that power; when that abuse happens, they shouldn’t be shuffled around and covered up; they should leave the force.

Should the Legislature pass a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras? Why or why not?

It depends on whether the Legislature also wants to fund them. If not, this has to be a local decision beyond the Illinois State Police. That said, body cameras are the way of the future and will help deter false allegations against both citizens and law enforcement officers.

I strongly support body cameras but also recognize the need for legislation to be crafted that will protect the privacy interests of both the citizens captured on such recordings and the law enforcement officers equipped with the cameras. I further believe that once someone is in custody, any “confessions” should likewise be recorded on camera and not just left to a written report. I know that a balance can and must be struck in regard to those interests, and that the result will be a deterrent against bad behavior on both the parts of citizens and police.

Federal prosecutors have revealed a comprehensive scheme of bribery, ghost jobs and favoritism in subcontracting by ComEd to influence the actions of House Speaker Michael Madigan. Who’s to blame? What ethics reforms should follow? Should Madigan resign?

Mike Madigan must immediately resign from the General Assembly. Whether you want to say his knowledge was express or implied, he is to blame for the culture of corruption, malfeasance, and decay that has rotted Springfield from the inside out for decades. But not only is Madigan responsible, so too is every Democrat legislator and candidate who sits by silently and says nothing as Madigan, his cronies and connected political insiders enrich themselves at the expense of everyday Illinois families.

Even worse than their silence is their acceptance of the dirty money that he has filled his campaign coffers with for years through strong arm tactics like those exposed in the deferred prosecution agreement with ComEd.

Many of these Democrats claim to support ethics reform, yet they have taken between tens of thousands to millions of dollars from Madigan-controlled political organizations like the Democratic Party of Illinois, Democratic Majority Fund, Friends of Michael J Madigan, or the 13th Ward Democratic Organization. My opponent claims to be an agent of reform, but she failed her first good-judgment test. You can’t fix Springfield when you take major campaign money from and directed by the fixer-in-chief himself. And given what we now know from the ComEd deferred prosecution agreement, all of his money is tainted by corruption. Ethics reform should not only ban current and former legislators from lobbying in Springfield, but such reform must include term limits, of legislators and leaders alike, to prevent the entrenchment of political dynasties like the Madigans. I have proposed many bills designed to end the pay-to-play culture and bring real reform to Illinois politics.

Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or work you have done in other ways to improve your community.

I have spent time all over the district for the last two years trying to improve our communities and bring people closer together.

Personally, I have been proud to support local food pantries in the district through both monetary and in-kind donations. I have donated the full amount of the General Assembly’s recent pay-raise, which I forcefully opposed and voted against, to local charities, such as the People’s Resource Center in Westmont. My office has organized multiple document shredding and waste disposal events to help residents safely dispose of sensitive information or potentially hazardous waste in an environmentally friendly way. We have sponsored book clubs for kids, and done countless town halls for our district residents, on topics ranging from social media and mental health to transportation to health insurance. I have been glad to work with the DuPage Railroad Safety Council on transportation issues in Springfield.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic I am proud to say that we recently hosted a blood drive to replenish Illinois blood banks that were facing dangerous shortages in light of the crisis. We arranged for meals for our hospital workers and first responders. We found a local manufacturer who could donate face shields to facilities supporting kids with disabilities; and worked with another local resident who repurposed a facility to start manufacturing hand sanitizer, and secured donations to food pantries and other social services agencies in need.

I have also tried to attend as many events sponsored by our local groups as possible; as well as arrange for zoom calls on issue-specific topics for our local businesses.

Please list three concerns that are specific to your district, such as a project that should be undertaken or a state policy related to an important local issue that should be revised.

Commuter rail. Our district depends heavily on Metra for transportation to and from Chicago. Our train stations are outdated; have accessibility issues; and require more parking in the surrounding areas for commuters. These priorities were critical for me when it came to capital funding programs.

Public corruption associated with Chicago/Cook County and Springfield. Our residents live here because they want safe streets and good schools; the failure to enforce the criminal laws in Chicago and Cook County has spillover effect into our neighborhoods. Corruption created red light cameras in our district that local residents hate. The public corruption makes them despair of a good future in Illinois; and many residents have fled for lower-tax jurisdictions (Florida is the number one destination for residents fleeing DuPage County).

5G wireless. Deployment of small cell wireless under SB 1451 (before I took office) has started wreaking havoc in areas of our district, which are pilot sites for installation. SB 1451 stripped away critical local control over issues; we need that local decisionmaking restored, and I have filed two pieces of legislation, HB 4653 and HB 5818 to do just that.

What are your other top legislative priorities?

Ending public corruption; economic recovery and growth; ethics reform; sound fiscal policy. Illinois is full of so many people who work hard, and care deeply about their families, friends and communities. Illinois, with all of its natural advantages, should be a beacon of the Midwest. It is instead a laughingstock, and the key thing that is holding back more innovation and growth is bad governance. If we could at least get serious about showing we are getting back on the right track, more people would be willing to invest their futures here.

What is your position on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax? Please explain.

I strongly oppose this amendment and voted against it because:

● For 50+ years, when Springfield raises taxes, it creates more wasteful spending, and our debts and liabilities and burdens continue to grow.

● Under Governor Pritzker falsely promised most people would not see their taxes increase; under that scheme his tax was proposed to raise $1.4 billion (and that is assuming people would not restructure for lower-tax jurisdictions). That won’t fill his $6 billion dollar spending hole.

● The tax rates are not fixed; are subject to immediate change; and several elected officials have openly commented on the need to change rates after passage. So the Democrats will play class warfare, and raise rates on “the rich” first, increasing them to 6%, 8%, 13%. But then you’ll see the con—the rates for the middle class; and then everyone else, will then creep up further—because that is where the real tax base is. Democrats will pretend you are getting a “bargain” by paying a smaller 7% rate relative to the “rich” at 9%, but under the rates the Democrats proposed, everyone will be above the 5% rate increase enacted within the last 10 years.

● It is also yet another new way to have “pay to play” in Springfield—only this time it will be insiders cutting deals on deductions and tax rates. The flat tax makes that impossible now.

● The super-wealthy won’t pay this tax increase. Pritzker is a billionaire, had 56 million lying around to put into a PAC to pass his “fair” tax, yet he reported only $6.2 million in income and paid $216,000 in Illinois taxes in one of the most recent tax reports. How is that fair? Tell us the loopholes he avoids taxes with, and legislate the end of those.

Illinois continues to struggle financially, with a backlog of unpaid bills. In addition to a progressive state income tax — or in lieu of such a tax — what should the state do to pay its bills, meet its pension obligations and fund core services such as higher education?

The state’s financial struggles shouldn’t be projected onto Illinois families who are already experiencing their own hardships. The premise of this question features the words, “in addition to a progressive state income tax…” and inherently admits the flawed thinking behind that proposal and any like it. Bottom line: we aren’t going to be able to tax our way out of this mess. And trying to do so will only bankrupt this state more quickly; as residents flee from Illinois to surrounding states at an alarming rate – 1 resident moves out every 5 minutes. Over the last ten years we have lost almost 1 million residents to other states (850,000 to be exact). This is the largest total population loss for any state in the country and is telling about public confidence in our leadership to right the ship.

In order to meet its bills, budget, and obligations, the leaders of Illinois in the House, Senate, and Governor’s mansion all need to sit down and have an honest discussion of what can and must be cut from our budget and from our regulatory books. We must not only reduce our spending but must also reduce the cost of living and doing business in Illinois so that the economy can grow, and our tax revenues can increase through an expansion of the tax base. Before those conversations can happen, people like Madigan and his cronies must step down from their positions and remove themselves from this process. They have perpetuated the system of reckless tax and spend policies over the last forty years, which has led to them achieving generational wealth at the expense of Illinois families. If we want to get serious on financial problems we must also get serious on corruption; they are two sides of the same coin.

Should Illinois consider taxing the retirement incomes of its very wealthiest residents, as most states do? And your argument is?

Illinois does not need to raise or institute new taxes, and taxing retirement income of Illinois residents is the wrong direction. The lack of a retirement income tax in this state is one of the few incentives that keeps people here. Upper-income seniors in Illinois spend millions if not billions of dollars every year supporting our local economy. This spending supports government through sales tax, use taxes, and other consumer driven-taxes and fees. If we begin taxing retirement income, many of these upper income seniors will simply change their tax status to Florida, Texas, Tennessee, or some other state where the cost of living is cheaper, there is no income tax, and the future of the state is not desperate. If they leave Illinois, say goodbye to all of the economic activity (and tax revenue) that came with them. Setting aside even the high earners, such a tax will decimate and stress middle- and lower-income seniors who have spent a lifetime saving and planning for their retirements without the fear or concern of having to pay taxes on those funds. Pulling a bait and switch and moving to tax their retirement income is unfair and unwise.

Futher, this doesn’t address the root causes of our budgetary issues – overspending and corruption - to meaningfully address the problem. Taxing retirement income is yet another attempt at band-aid or magic bullet fix that won’t really move the needle to where it needs to go.

What can Illinois do to improve its elementary and high schools?

As a public school teacher’s daughter; and proud graduate of Illinois public schools (Willowbrook), I am eternally grateful for the quality instruction provided when I was growing up. There are many amazing, dedicated teachers who want nothing but the best for their students; and for some students, a bond with a great teacher is the best way to put them on a lifelong pathway to a love of learning.

One thing that concerns me in Springfield is that when someone has a problem unique to a particular school district, that leads to new statewide mandates that are useless (or even counterproductive) in others. I filed HB 4143 to help local school boards get out from under oppressive mandates that don’t work for their district (especially when the state won’t fund them!). It will also help professional educators who know what they are doing in a classroom; and who chafe under state mandates that do not improve student welfare or educational outcomes; but do lead to dollars wasted on useless tests, compliance costs, and administrators.

I supported the minimum salary requirement for teachers, because we have to be able to attract high quality people to the field; and in many areas of the state, there are teacher shortages.

COVID has proven that we have an incredibly diverse state, student population, and student needs. We need to make more room for local-level innovation and instructional models, because what we have, for many parents and students, is not working. School districts should be empowered to choose their own curriculum and best practices and mode of instruction. The Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health have issued guidelines that are mutually conflicting and practically impossible to comply with for schools seeking to re-open during the pandemic.

Mass shootings and gun violence plague America. What can or should the Legislature do, if anything, to address this problem in Illinois?

The legislature must strengthen penalties for illegal gun possession and violent crimes committed with a firearm. Repeat offenders need to face lengthy prison sentences to make an example for any who would think of illegally possessing a firearm or using a firearm to commit any crime, and at the very least should not be set out on bond again, which is why I filed HB 4142.

Too often we see, read, and hear about the offenders from shootings being out on bond for other crimes and often those other crimes involved the possession of a weapon. This cannot be allowed. Lives would have been saved if some of these offenders were not right back out on the street the day after they were arrested for a serious offense. While cash bond reform has its merits for low level, non-violent offenders and those offenders with minimal criminal history or no indication of violence, it serves an important purpose for more serious offenses. Cash bonds incentivizes good behavior if a defendant posts the bond and also serves as a protective measure for the community when the bond is set high due to the seriousness of the offense. Chicago and Cook County have some of the strictest gun laws on the books in the nation, and that has done nothing to stop the city from becoming a warzone in some areas. Making it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms for sport or personal protection will not stem the tide of violence. The gun violence problem in Chicago is multi-layered and the best medicine for the problem would be to increase educational and economic opportunities.

Do you favor or oppose term limits for any elected official in Illinois? Please explain.

Favor. I believe in the citizen-legislator model of governance. This is why I rejected a state pension or health care benefits. We are supposed to be here to serve, not to demand that the public serve us.

I strongly support term limits as a necessary component of any real ethics reform legislation in Springfield. Governors should be limited to two terms (8 years); the remaining Constitutional officers limited to twelve years; and legislators in the General Assembly should be capped at 10 years for both the Illinois Senate and House. There is a learning curve for elected officials so we cannot make term limits so brief as to prohibit our leaders from being able to gain their footing and become effective policy makers. But as we have seed in the case of Speaker Michael J Madigan, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And the longer someone stays in office, the longer associated political machines become entrenched to insiders’ benefit, and can start corrupting the process.

Everybody says gerrymandering is bad, but the party in power in every state — Democrats in Illinois — resist doing anything about it. Or do we have that wrong? What should be done?

Regular people on both sides of the aisle despise gerrymandering because it reeks of insider privilege and protection. It also breeds inefficiency and ineptitude in government. I am grateful that my district is a competitive one, because it will not allow me to get complacent or relax into lazy thinking. Competitive districts help keep everyone more accountable, and generate better long-run decision-making. I co-sponsored the Fair Maps Amendment, and was deeply disappointed that Governor Pritzker did nothing to help it move despite pledging he would during his campaign. But, since Illinois history is littered with “top down” reform approaches that haven’t worked, I also filed an Amendment to give local communities more control over their map from the ground up. One common gerrymandering technique we’ve seen, especially in the suburbs, is that cities and towns are deliberately split into multiple legislative districts to dilute their voice. HJRCA 42 lets the impacted municipality petition to be included in one legislative district or another. The model that Iowa uses to draw its legislative districts also merits consideration.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago is investigating possible official corruption by state and local officials. This prompted the Legislature to pass an ethics reform measure to amend the Lobbyist Registration Act (SB 1639). It was signed into law in December. What’s your take on this and what more should be done?

I voted for SB 1639 because something is better than nothing, but it will have about the same long-term positive impact on ethics as washing dishes while your house burns down.

Governor Pritzker and Democratic legislators have said the allegations against Madigan are “not proven,” “implied,” or that something should be done “if” they are proven true. That ignores what ComEd expressly has admitted in federal court. When a publicly-traded company like ComEd feels compelled to use their CEO to help avoid their internal controls and enable patronage schemes to make Mike Madigan happy, that is shocking. It shows way too much unaccountable power and fear is concentrated in the hands of one man, whether knows it or pretends to not. That corruption culture trickles down from Springfield to the entire state. Its tentacles even leeched into my district, as we saw when former State Senator Sandoval entered his guilty plea. The red light camera installation in Oakbrook Terrace was specifically named. That camera is still there. IDOT is refusing to even meet to talk about it.

I have sponsored numerous bills that would bring real reform, like House Bill 361 (fines for legislators who engage in specified restricted activities and for violations of legislator rules of conduct) and House Bill 4484 (ending Aldermanic Privilege). Those bills languish because Speaker Madigan and the Democrats don’t want to end pay-to-play in any meaningful way. Illinois used to be one of the wealthiest and most productive states in the nation; we have done nothing but decline under Madigan rules. It’s time to end this kind of toxic politics and do what is right for the people of Illinois.

When people use the internet and wireless devices, companies collect data about us. Oftentimes, the information is sold to other companies, which can use it to track our movements or invade our privacy in other ways. When companies share this data, we also face a greater risk of identity theft. What should the Legislature do, if anything?

On personal privacy issues, this is an area where legislatures at the state level have been significantly hampered on the enforcement side by the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DCMA”).

One strategy I have proposed that is designed to not run afoul of DCMA but to give more enforcement teeth is to have Illinois establish as a matter of law that individuals have an intellectual property right to their own data. In a commercial setting, we have historically recognized that intangibles like customer lists, client files, brand associations, and consumer preference data has monetary value. Why should that be any different at the individual level when it comes to your friends and family lists; favorite books, brands and restaurants; and the rest of your most intimate personal information?

Right now Big Data has every incentive to invade our privacy not only out in public, but in our schools, in our homes, and everywhere in between; and vaccum up every scrap of information. Confirming in law an intellectual property right to your unique data profile gives you a right to exclude or control access to your data in a framework our intellectual property laws know how to enforce. It also is the right framework to justify enforcement rights when your data is mined; aggregated; and sold to third parties. Either secure consent; or pay royalties; and if you do so without that consent, my bill HB 4975 gives you a right to secure damages and prevent further dissemination. Once those incentive dynamics change, data privacy will start to have real meaning.

The number of Illinois public high school graduates who enroll in out-of-state universities continues to climb. What can Illinois do to make its state universities more attractive to Illinois high school students?

One of the biggest reasons our students leave Illinois for other states is cost.

When I served as Chairman of the Board at the College of DuPage, we spearheaded a Guided Pathways program that was designed to help students meet their goals quickly, efficiently, and at low cost. The data showed this approach meant students from all backgrounds were more likely to succeed and reach degree completion.

There is no reason why our public high schools, colleges and universities cannot create a universal degree pathway, especially one grounded in the traditional humanities that served as the foundational core of study in higher education for ages. This is why I proposed HB 4992. The goal is to design and pilot the program that will help our students secure a 4-year college degree that is capped at a total cost of $20,000. For lower income students, this would be a way to make college effectively “free” if one uses existing federal Pell grant and state MAP grant programs.

Building the degree pathway around these types of core courses will also reduce textbook costs, which also are daunting for many students, because you can make use of open-source materials that are readily available online or Massive Online Open Courses (“MOOCs”).

Of course, our state’s looming financial meltdown and culture of corruption certainly don’t encourage young people to lay down roots here either. I am concerned at the degree to which our public universities seem to be relying on foreign students to fill seats; our public universities were created to foster the intellectual growth of Illinois residents; that is what justifies their taxpayer funds. Ultimately, if we can lower the cost of high education, we will see our students stay home and begin their transition to young adulthood right here in Illinois.

What is your top legislative priority with respect to the environment?

I am proud to serve on the House’s Energy and Environment committee. My top priority with respect to the environment is to continue to ensure we have clean air and clean water for the people of the district and all of Illinois.

I have demonstrated my commitment to this mission on several occasions. The biggest highlight so far in terms of legislation passed was The Matt Haller Act on behalf of the residents of our district. A local company, Sterigenics, was polluting our communities with ethylene oxide emissions. The Matt Haller Act enacted the strictest restrictions in the nation on ethylene oxide emissions and facilities that use the chemical in production. Through advocacy, persistence, and coordination with local partners, we were able to stop the Sterigenics air pollution.

I have also sponsored several other bills, such as HB 5292. While we have taken steps to remove BPA from plastics used in consumer products, BPA is one of many endocrine disruptors that one ideally wants to avoid. HB 5292 looks to strengthen our water testing to ensure we do not unwittingly drink disruptive chemicals in the water coming into our homes.

I also look forward to supporting sensible legislation that ensures next-generation energy, including renewable energy sources, have access to our electrical grid. I also support expanding funds available for larger-scale solar installations, since that was one area that appears to have spurred new jobs and new growth and brought meaningful amounts of renewable energy into our system.

What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.

Abraham Lincoln deserves his place as a revered figure from Illinois. But if Abe is ff the table, let’s look to Jane Addams. She was both a woman of her time, yet also a woman of the ages. It is not surprising that her vision and tenacious efforts led to her being the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

What is admirable is that she was a woman who saw a problem; wanted to solve it; and was ultimately a woman of action. While words and feelings have their place, she insisted that action “indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” She believed in finding commonalities amongst diverse people and striving towards finding things that are universal about the human experience.

She was also a staunch believer in individual rights, and honoring the processes that preserve and protect them, recognizing that if “the meanest man in the republic is deprived of his rights, then every man in the republic is deprived of his rights.”

What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?

Anything that gets all of my family snuggled up on the couch at the same time, and where we can all enjoy being and laughing together. One of the current family favorites is Saved by the Barn.