Dear Editor: 

Turning around this State’s challenges – a budget crisis, political gridlock, entrenched interests – means that Illinois’ 18th District must be represented in Springfield by someone who can go both broad and deep on the issues, someone whose understanding of our community comes from a lifetime of involvement and activism, and someone who commands the human and political sensibilities to be an effective legislator.  That person is Jeff Smith. 

This area has witnessed Jeff Smith’s good work and insightful leadership in many contexts over many years.  As the president of the Central Street Neighbors Association, Jeff deployed his considerable community organizing skills and land use expertise to build an organization that contributes in a very positive way to community planning and development in Evanston.  We’ve seen Jeff as the diplomat, deftly facilitating contentious deliberations and debate.  And I’ve sat on the opposite side of the table from Jeff and found him to be a formidable and effective advocate.  My lesson, as a citizen and elected official:  get Jeff Smith on your team.  

We need Jeff Smith working for Evanston and its neighbors in Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe and Chicago, bringing his expertise to the issues of election and campaign finance reform. We need Jeff Smith in Springfield, with his innovative thinking on matters of the environment, infrastructure, and transportation.  For a state representative with a full toolbox of skills and deep experience, for concerns ranging from civil rights to education funding reform, we need Jeff Smith. 

Jane Grover