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Nearly seventy Evanston residents and community leaders made the trek to Springfield last week to present the community’s issues to the members of the Illinois General Assembly, the Governor’s Office and state agency directors. 

Among the many who made the trip were Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Alderman Coleen Burrus, Alderman Jane Grover, Alderman Mark Tendam, Alderman Don Wilson, Alderman Melissa Wynne, Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson, ETHS Superintendent Dr. Eric Witherspoon, School District 65 Superintendent Dr. Hardy Murphy,  school board members, residents, members of the business community, community service providers and our friends from Northwestern University. 

Among other issues, the group urged pension fairness, opposition to the governor’s proposed cut to local government’s share of the state income tax, education funding, economic development and healthcare. 

The group started the day off with lunch at the Executive Mansion in Springfield where they received a budget and legislative update from Governor Patrick Quinn’s Chief of Staff Jerry Stermer. 

Later, the group had the opportunity to lobby several state legislators and officials, including State Senator Jeffrey Shoenberg, newly appointed State Representative Robyn Gabel, Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, Department of Healthcare and Family Services Secretary Julie Hamos, Department of Human Services Secretary Michelle Sadler, Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director of Policy Jeff Stauter, Assistant State Comptroller Rick Cornell, and officials in the offices of Secretary of State Jesse White. 

At the end of the day Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro hosted a reception for legislators and the Lobby Day participants at which many Northwestern University alumni serving in the Illinois General Assembly spoke to the crowd including State Representative Beth Coulson who represents parts of Evanston.