Soon families and college-aged students will prepare for the annual exodus to warmer climates, vacation rentals, and hotels situated along cascading currents of water.  Chlorinated and otherwise. 

Spring also ushers in the every two-year trek of new Illinois General Assembly members.  As well as the exodus of experienced legislators.

This year’s trek will be led by Representative Theresa Mah who claimed the second House district.  Mah who was on faculty at the University of Chicago will represent the Pilsen, Chinatown, Bridgeport, McKinley Park, Brighton Park and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.  Mah’s service record includes rallying the Chinese American community to push for a single district in 2012.  In Springfield, she’ll continue her work for working families, education, job growth, and immigration reform.  Mah was endorsed by Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia among others.

Mah will be joined by Representative Juliana Stratton.  Stratton trounced former State Representative Ken Dunkin last spring.  During the Primary Election, Stratton focused her rhetoric on the lack of a state budget, state services, and school funding.  However, critics contend that the race was truly a showdown between House Speaker Mike Madigan and Governor Bruce Rauner.  Prior to the election, Dunkin sided with Rauner on several important votes.  Stratton’s district includes portions of the Near North Side, Near South Side, South Loop, Washington Park, West Woodlawn, and Grand Crossing. Stratton was supported by former U.S. President Barack Obama who went as far as cutting ads for her.  Obama rarely engaged in state politics during his tenure as POTUS.

Stratton will be joined by Representative Justin Slaughter who was appointed to replace former State Representative Monique Davis who retired suddenly in January.  Slaughter has held multiple roles since receiving his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Chicago and Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.  Slaughter’s work history includes roles with Cook County government, State Senator Kwame Raoul, and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore.  Slaughter’s district includes parts of Beverly, Chatham, Morgan Park, Roseland, Washington Heights, and West Pullman as well as Alsip, Blue Island, Crestwood, Orland Park, Palos Heights, and Robbins in the South suburbs.  Slaughter a 2015 New Leadership Council Chicago Fellow filed to run against Davis but withdrew before the March Primary.

In the Senate, Illinois Senator Cristina Castro was elected to fill the seat vacated by former Senator Michael Noland from Elgin.  Castro was elected to the Kane County board in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 to a four-year term.  Castro is a lifelong Elgin resident with a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Northern Illinois University.  Noland ran an unsuccessful race for Congress.

As Senators and Representatives take office, Farm Bureau will continue its efforts to engage legislators and expand their knowledge and awareness of the organization and farming issues.