From State Rep. Suzanne Ness:
Happy New Year! This new year comes with many changes.
To start, I am delighted to introduce the district to my new District Director, Katrina Harrington.
Katrina is a district resident and recent graduate from DePaul University.
You can read more about her background below.
She joins a great team and I am confident and comforted in knowing that if someone calls my office, they will be greeted with respect and care: a team here to serve.
Change is nothing new with this role.
My first term was defined by change: the pandemic, historic changes in leadership, and a redistricting process that resulted in a shortened campaign season in a district that is 40% new to me.
Even in all of that, I still passed 6 pieces of legislation, had action on other bills, and participated in 2 press conferences with the Governor as he signed 2 of those bills into laws.
I learned a lot about the process and I move into my 2nd term a little more “seasoned” and clear about how I can continue serving our district.
The highlight of my first term actually happened during the lame duck session a few weeks ago when I had the chance to vote yes for the assault rifle ban and ban on sales of high capacity rounds of ammunition.
Long before I thought I would be a State Representative, I watched each mass shooting with a growing sense of resignation and deep sadness that policy makers across the country seemed unable or unwilling to pass legislation that would reduce the general public’s access to military style weapons.
Even in a state like IL, it was still challenging, and we were able to get it done.
I want to give an acknowledgement first and foremost, to Speaker Welch, who was committed to getting this bill passed, as well as the house sponsor, Representative Bob Morgan.
Two of my first term colleagues, Denyse Stoneback and Maura Hirschauer came to the General Assembly running on this issue.
They’ve been tireless advocates and this bill is a result of their work. It is a true honor to serve alongside so many talented and dedicated leaders. (See my statement about passing the Protect Illinois Communities Act)
My priorities going forward into my 2nd term include:
- Expanding services to individuals with disabilities and their families
- Ensuring that quality care becomes the norm at every long-term residential facility in the State
- Promoting fiscal responsibility and economic prosperity, safeguarding the environment
- Bringing much needed resources and dollars to the district for infrastructure, economic development, and healthcare, especially mental health needs.
- Working with local stakeholders to create meaningful and impactful policy that addresses our child welfare system
My team and I are planning out a busy year of events, educational programs, and opportunities to be involved for everyone who wants to serve and be a part of making a positive difference in our communities.
I am also excited to invite constituents back to Springfield! If you are part of a group that will be visiting, or if you want to visit on your own, please contact my office so I can make arrangements to see you in Springfield and show you around! It’s truly a wonderful place to visit.
Lastly, if you know someone who lives in the District and does not get my newsletter, please forward them this link. It is one of my goals to send out regular communications about what is happening at the State level and ways you can become more involved.
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From the new assistant, Katrina Harrington:
“I was born in Colorado and grew up in Boulder, CO and moved to Illinois when I was in 8th grade. I graduated from Huntley High School and graduated from DePaul University with my bachelor’s in communication and Media Studies.
“In my spare time I love to spend time with my family, my husband Rob, my son Blake, and our puppy Winston. I like to spend time outdoors and enjoy snowboarding, hiking, and staying active and traveling. I also enjoy history and learning about cultures. I am a huge sports fan, but my favorite sport is Hockey.
“I am very excited to have started working for Suzanne Ness as her District Director. I am eager to learn more about politics and I am also excited about my new career and working with my team!”