On August 17, several members of Kane County Democratic Women traveled to Springfield to attend the Illinois Dem County Chairs’ Annual Brunch. (You didn’t have to be a county chair to attend.)
Activities began the evening of the 17th when we went to several restaurants/bars in downtown Springfield that were hosting a “meet the candidates” evening. It was noisy and fun, and we enjoyed drinks and music while we talked to candidates running for the Illinois Secretary of State position, which will be vacated when Jesse White retires. This was followed by a rooftop event back at the Crowne Plaza Hotel where we made new friends with Dems from other counties, including Dems from McHenry County. And we loved talking to the young group from Lake County with the blue cowboy hats. They inspired all of us to reach out to younger Dems and encourage them to run for office. The highlight of our evening was speaking to Lauren Underwood who is a strong advocate for her constituents in the 14th district.
The brunch the next morning, August 18, featured “Who’s Who in Illinois Politics,” including speeches form Dick Durbin, Bill Foster, Lauren Underwood, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and many of the candidates running for Secretary of State. They were followed by the keynote speaker: Senator John Ossoff from Georgia. He spoke about the horrifying attack on the Capitol on January 6 and how it was also the day that he learned that he won the U.S. Senate seat in GA, giving President Biden a majority in Congress with the vote of Vice President Harris. He had hope that day in spite of the madness that occurred. And Raphael Warnock also learned that day that he would be the first Black senator in Georgia.
Senator Ossoff talked about how hard everyone worked in the 2020 election, but he emphasized that we have to work even harder in the next election because of the restrictive laws being put into place in many states. We cannot be complacent. We need to vote “down the ticket” to keep all our Dems in office and to obtain more seats at the local and county level. Illinois can be a beacon of light to many states.
Following the brunch/rally, many of us attended the Illinois State Fair and celebrated Democrat Day there. We had lunch with fellow Dems and some of the new Dems we met the day before and listened to an outstanding band. Our road trip was filled with lots of activities, new friends and old friends, new memories, and inspiring speeches to motivate us to work even harder to keep the ground we have won.
If you didn’t join us on this trip, we hope you will join us for our monthly meetings and on our road trip to Springfield next August. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends and get to know old friends better.