Lombard, IL: The Democratic Party of DuPage County celebrated Presidents Day Gala on February 28th at “The Carlisle”, located at 435 E. Butterfield Road, Lombard, IL The event received overwhelming support with over 400 Democrats attending the Gala. Dignitaries who graced the occasion included Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, Congressman Bill Foster and Congressman Mike Quigley. State Legislators Senator Lou Lang, Senator Daniel Biss, Senator Tom Cullerton, Senator Michael Noland, Senator Dan Harmon, Rep Linda Chapa Lavia, Rep Stephanie Kifowit, Rep Kathleen Willis, and Rep Deb Conroy also participated in the celebration.
Biil Foster addressed the audience and reiterated his support for the President’s Executive order and to make Immigration Reform his top priority in Congress. He acknowledged the benefits of Affordable Care Act and the impact it has had on Americans who have enrolled for healthcare coverage.
Tammy Duckworth and Mike Quigley emphasized their ongoing efforts to pass the immigration reform bill and to secure federal funding to improve transportation infrastructure in Dupage County. A special group of young men representing the “Lost Boys of Sudan” joined the gala and gave the powerful message of hope and faith which has helped them rebuild their lives. These young men fled Sudan during the civil war of 1987 and close to four thousand Lost Boys came to the United States seeking peace, freedom and education. The International Rescue Committee helped hundreds of them to start new lives in cities across the country. The Lost Boys faced enormous challenges in adjusting to American culture and modern society. IRC case workers worked closely with the boys in orienting them to their new communities, making sure that they were as comfortable as possible, and offering guidance on such issues as personal safety, social customs, public transportation, shopping, cooking, nutrition and hygiene. Many of them went on to earn college degrees and attain US Citizenship in their new homeland. The President of this group addressed the audience and assured DPDC their full support.
Deputy Director of AFSCME, Mike Newman explained the recent move by Governor Rauner to weaken the Unions by passing an executive order forbidding state agencies from collecting fair-share payments from state employees. AFSCME has strongly opposed his budget proposal which will make billions in cuts to vital public service programs. He noted the serious impact of the budget shortfall on all IL working families, vulnerable seniors, children and the disabled.
The Glenbard East High School Acapella group gave an impressive performance showing casing their superior vocal talent. These young girls received great appreciation from the audience.
Awards were presented to Dan Bailey, who was the recepient of Kathryn “Tinker” Harvey Pioneer Award. Judith Easton received Bill Redmond Precinct Committeeman of the year award.
The arrival of Former IL Governor Pat Quinn, created great excitement among the guests and they applauded his presence. Former Governor urged supporters to keep DuPage Blue and celebrate diversity in our Nation. His message of protecting the unions and collecting fair wages was heard loud and clear. He criticized Governor Rauner for proposing a reduction of 600 million dollars to local Governments in the 2016 budget and increasing the minimum wages by only 25 cents each year, which would put many Illinoisans below the federal poverty level. He asked Democrats to support President Obama in Washington and help pass the Immigration Reform bill. His commitment towards the hard working families of IL and the most vulnerable population was evident in his address.
Raffle tickets were sold and prizes were given to winners.
The Democratic Party of DuPage County officers:
Bob Peickert (Chair), Rose Fitzpatrick (1st Vice Chair), Nasir Jahangir (2nd Vice Chair), Paul Fessenbacker (Vice Chair), Judy Pitts (Recording Secretary), Doug Cole (Corresponding Secretary) and Bob Jeffers (Treasurer), Amy Rohrer ( Executive Director) and Tony Fuscone (Sgt. at Arms).
Gala Committee members are Dawn Basaraba, Laurie Driscoll, Rose Fitzpatrick, Barbara McDonald, Karen Hoffman, Janice Rinehart, Mike Braun, Nasr Nasman, Sarbani Chowdhury, Edith Makra, Dave Kusnierz, Amy Rohrer, Steve Schenk, Larry Pitts and Bob Peickert.
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