Why does it take an elected official to make State government work the way it should?
Why can’t citizens who make a reasonable request be provided the service State law says they should be able to get?
My former legislative assistant had a name for it:
Bureaucratic withholding power
It’s probably not unique to Illinois, but it certainly is on display in State governmental agencies.
Having not been a State Representative for sixteen years, I’m pretty much out of the constituent service business.
But when a neighbor told me of the trouble her daughter with a middle school age child (and no child support and unable to find a job for fourteen months) was having trouble getting what used to be called Food Stamps, I knew what to do.
I suggested getting in touch with State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, who represents the third of Crystal Lake where the daughter lives.
Let me share the following which is based on part of the email I received after Skillicorn made a phone call:
Your email to Alan’s office worked a miracle.
The next morning after you had emailed Alan Skillecorn, Julie from Alan’s office called our daughter.
Julie asked her to fax to her the agency’s letter denying her application.
Later, just before 5 PM, our daughter received a voicemail from someone at the agency.
The message was to have her parents call him.
The next morning the mother called the person who worked at the agency, who turned out to be a social worker.
The agency had requested letters from the parents three times, so he wanted to talk to the parents.
Very nice, apologized several times.
The social worker said he wanted to assure us that he had approved their duaghter’s application.
An hour later he called back to say he had decided to expedite her request and she could pick up the LINK card.
Again he apologized.
You emailed Alan’s office on Tuesday at dinner time and Thursday morning our daughter was approved for a LINK card.
After weeks of getting nowhere, it was settled.
Friday morning when I took my daughter to pick up the LINK card, the same rude woman was at the desk my daughter had seen previously told her she was not approved and was not even in the system!
I informed her the social worker had approved it.
She told my daughter to sit down as she would have to wait and meet with a social worker.
Fifteen minutes later (no, my daughter did not meet anyone), all of a sudden my daughter was in the computer and approved.
This was my first experience dealing with the “system” and it was very frustrating.
How does someone who is “ditzy” or very ill ever get through the process?
My daughter had to wait just a few days for the money to be loaded onto her card.
She and her daughter then went to Aldi’s and bought $100 in groceries.
She was thrilled and we were relieved.
What an indictment of State government.
So, some final advice to those having poblems with State government: