Tuesday, September 15, 2015 09:54 AM
SPRINGFIELD – After nine years representing the good people of the 28th District, I'll be stepping down from my position as state senator on October 5th to pursue another, exciting avenue of public service. I am grateful to the residents of our community for the chance to serve and make a meaningful difference.
I have accepted an offer to be the President and CEO of ChildServ, a nonprofit organization with a 121-year history that helps 3,100 at-risk children and families lead better lives. I am honored to take the helm of this respected organization and look forward to ensuring that ChildServ be a catalyst for change as it makes even more of a difference in the lives of children.
It has been an honor and a dream come true to be an elected official in our state. Since entering the Illinois Senate in 2007, I have made it my mission to represent my constituents by stopping the waste, mismanagement and corruption that stood in the way of solving problems that matter most to working families. During my service, my goal was to do all I could to end that culture and improve the quality of life for people in our state.
I’m very proud of my record in affecting that change. Working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, I passed bills that were signed into law that heightened transparency, accountability and reform of government spending. In particular, I am proud of my laws that eliminated outdated and costly mandates, that compelled much-needed scrutiny of billions in grant dollars and that required funding of state programs to be based, for the first time ever, on their performance.
These laws were designed to fix a broken system and restore faith in your government. Their passage gave me the opportunity to pass other bills that became law that increased investment in education; that promoted safety in our schools and neighborhoods; and that supported economic development for small businesses. All of these actions taken together have enabled me to be a strong and independent voice for those who work hard, play by the rules and do their best to make a better life for their children and families.
As rewarding as this work has been, there are many paths to choose in confronting our state's challenges, and I have a new opportunity to serve people in a very direct and meaningful way. Whether it’s as a state senator or the leader of a nonprofit, I can, as President Harry Truman once said, "...help the human family achieve the decent, satisfying life that is the right of all people."
I want to thank Senate President Cullerton for his leadership and his trust in my ability to help lead the budget process in the Senate. I will miss him and the rest of my colleagues greatly.
I also want to thank my district and Springfield office, and the Senate budget, policy and communications staff for their tireless efforts, dedication and competence in helping me serve the people of the 28th District and working families throughout Illinois.
Most important, I want to recognize my incredible family: my parents, siblings and, especially, my wife Anne and our two boys, Nate and Cooper. Without their love, support and belief, being a state senator would not have been possible and certainly not worth it.
Again, my heartfelt gratitude to the residents of the 28th District and to anyone – friend, family or neighbor – who ever worked with or volunteered for me. I will always walk tall with my head held high because of your trust, confidence and faith in me.
I look forward to seeing and working with you in my new role. Together, we will continue to make a difference.
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