Lake Dems rallied a large group of dedicated and determined Democrats at our 2nd annual Democrats Defending Democracy reception on Flag Day. Attendees included legislators, current, former, and future candidates, financial contributors, volunteers, and Lake County residents who share Democratic values and morals, all fiercely working together to defend democracy.
The popular event, held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Mundelein, began with Justin Pedersen, Lake Dems Operations Director, welcoming the crowd. Marc Jones, Lake Dems Sergeant-at-Arms, spoke about what it means to defend democracy, including protecting the right to vote. “If a voter is eligible and able and can vote, they have a right to go into that box and cast that ballot.”
Next, Lauren Beth Gash, Lake Dems Chair, spoke about the accomplishments of the organization, “Ten of our thirteen state legislators are Democrats now.” She also remarked that Lake Dems raised over $150,000 this past year and spent the bulk of the funds on candidates and outreach programs.
Lauren then handed over the podium to many of our Lake County elected officials including Lake County Clerk Anthony Vega, Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek, Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court Erin Cartwright Weinstein, and Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.
Rinehart talked about diversity and the history of diversity in this country. “This party embraces everyone and that is critical to defend,” said Rinehart. He went on to discuss how our diversity and values are under attack from the Republican Party and from extremists.
Other defenders of democracy who spoke during the evening included Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Karner, Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim, Lake Dems First Vice Chair Nancy Shepherdson, Village of Barrington Trustee Brian Prigge, Althea and Alessandra Barbato on behalf of their mother, College of Lake County Board Trustee Allena Barbato, Farah Laman, Hawthorn Woods Trustee and Lake Dems Recording Secretary, State Representative (60th District) Rita Mayfield, State Representative (59th District) Dan Didech, and State Representative (58th District) Bob Morgan.
Morgan introduced our Keynoter, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch. Welch stated he was honored to join Lake Dems on this Flag Day, a day when we commemorate the symbol of our Democracy. “Because now more than ever we can’t just commemorate our flag, or even just honor the idea of our democracy, we must defend it.” He fired up the crowd when he concluded by saying “Democrats are winning across Lake County. And why are we winning? Because we do the work!”
Many Lake County Democrats left the event inspired to do just that.