In this Issue: Governor Pritzker and Statewide Elected Officials Sworn In ● Congratulations to all our Democratic Elected Officials ● Governor Pritzker Signs Assault Weapons Ban ● July 4th Was on My Mind as I Witnessed the Assault Weapons Ban Vote ● Maria Peterson Advocates for Gun Violence Protection in Springfield ● Volunteer Spotlight ● ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) ● Upcoming Events (Below)
Governor Pritzker and Statewide Elected Officials Sworn In
The Governor wore an orange ribbon in support of gun violence prevention for his inauguration speech.
On Monday January 9th, Governor JB Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Treasurer Michael Frerichs were cheered on by excited Democrats as they took their oaths of office. We are looking forward to many more accomplishments as Democrats continue to show the state and the nation what good government looks like.
And the Inaugural Ball was fun too! Lake County Dems were in the house (and Senate 😉) and celebrated throughout the evening as Bruno Mars headlined the event.
Did you know that the Inaugural Ball is not funded by taxpayer dollars at all? The Inaugural Ball is actually a fundraiser, with proceeds from all contributions and ticket sales going to The Jesse White Foundation and Central Illinois Food Pantry.
Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim and Waukegan Park District Commissioner Anton Mathews celebrate at the Inaugural Ball.
Congratulations to All our Democratic Elected Officials
Members of the Illinois House of Representatives are pictured during their inauguration ceremony in Springfield. Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias presided over the ceremony and Lake County’s own Elizabeth Rochford, now an Illinois Supreme Court Justice, administered the Oath of Office.
Governor JB Pritzker presided as Illinois State Senators were sworn in by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy V. Cunningham Wednesday afternoon at the Old State Capitol.
Congratulations to all of our newly elected and re-elected Democratic legislators who were sworn in on Wednesday. And to our Senators and Members of Congress, County Board Members, Judges, and Countywide officials who recently took their oaths of office for 2023.
Representing Lake County are:
State Senator Adriane Johnson
State Senator Mary Edly-Allen
State Representative Nabeela Syed
State Representative Jonathan Carroll
State Representative Dan Didech
State Representative Rita Mayfield
State Representative Joyce Mason
State Representative Laura Faver Dias
Democrats from Lake County celebrate at a dinner hosted by State Senator Mary-Edly Allen and State Representative Laura Faver Dias. (Photo by North Chicago Alderman Kenneth Smith)
Lauren Beth Gash, Lake County Democrats Chair and former State Representative, joins Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch at his Inauguration After Party.
Governor Pritzker Signs Assault Weapons Ban
We did it, Lake County! Thank you to State Representative Bob Morgan, to State Senator Julie Morrison, to Governor Pritzker, and all of our Democratic legislators for making the assault weapons ban a reality in Illinois.
July 4th Was on My Mind as I Witnessed the Assault Weapons Ban Vote
by Lauren Beth Gash, Lake County Democrats Chair
I was thrilled to be invited to sit on the Illinois House floor, as a former State Representative, during the debate and vote on the assault weapons ban.
As House members were voting, I remembered that awful day last summer when a gunman opened fire with an assault weapon during the Highland Park Fourth of July parade. I was there, as were so many other Lake County Democrats, including my own State Representative Bob Morgan. Here is what I posted that day.
The driving force behind this legislation, Bob led the debate on the house floor. State Senator Julie Morrison led the charge in the Senate and Governor Pritzker championed the passage of this law. Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s efforts were also critical. Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering’s advocacy and testimony, along with that of gun violence victims and families throughout Illinois, were instrumental in getting this bill over the finish line.
Random and mass shootings can (and do) happen anywhere and in some places are a regular fact of life. But this vote in the Illinois legislature will make a difference and is something to celebrate. Undoubtedly, it will save lives.
The Protect Illinois Communities Act (HB5471) makes it illegal to possess, deliver, sell, or purchase assault weapons or high-capacity magazines in Illinois (with exceptions for law enforcement, military and previous owners who register their weapons with the state police). The Act defines “Assault Weapon” through a comprehensive list of more than 50 models and classifications of pistols, rifles, and guns. Prohibited high-capacity magazines are defined as more than 10 rounds for a long gun and more than 15 rounds for handguns.
Illinois is a great state to live in if you care about reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, our environment, civil rights, and so much more. Illinois is a model for our nation. We put in the hard work to elect Democrats who share our values, and we are seeing the fruits of our labor.
Maria Peterson Advocates for Gun Violence Prevention in Springfield
by Maria Peterson
Ahead of the vote, Maria Peterson was in Springfield with Moms Demand Action on January 6th to advocate for passage of the Protect Illinois Communities Act. She shares her experience with us in the following article.
I’m especially excited to tell you about my day!
I went to Springfield with Moms Demand Action to lobby and as you will see from the photos, one of the people I lobbied was my former opponent Senator Dan McConchie himself – yep, I walked right up, stuck my hand out to shake his and noted that I HOPED he planned to vote for the Protect Illinois Communities Act which passed the Illinois House last night. (He didn’t.)
If it wasn’t clear before, Dan now knows that I, Moms Demand Action and the 26th State Senate District are following through on all the issues that we were able to bring to light with his record of representation during the campaign.
Keep watching for more action in 2023!
The Protect Illinois Communities Act will ban the sale, manufacture, delivery, and purchase of assault weapons across the state if passed.
Illinoisans already in possession of a legally purchased assault weapon would be allowed to keep their firearm by registering the gun with the Illinois State Police within 300 days of the law taking effect.
Lake Dems is grateful for our many active volunteers.
This week we’d like to highlight long-time volunteer Cathy Murray and thank her for working so hard to help us refresh the look of our newsletter with her fabulous graphic design for our masthead. We made many requests for small changes and tweaks and every reply to our emails was, “I can do that,” even during the holidays. Not only is she a Vernon Township Precinct Committeeperson, she regularly volunteers for Democrats and played a significant role in the election in November of now-County Board Member Sara Knizhnik. We are so grateful to her for lending her time and talents in support of Lake County Democrats.
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
MONDAY, JAN. 16
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 21st Annual Virtual Dreamers’ Event. 10am, online. More.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18
Indivisible Western Lake County (IWLC) January Meeting. 7pm, Lindenhurst. More.
How Do I Join Lake County Democrats?
Lake County Democrats is made up of people like you, people who are passionate about building better communities and a better world. We’re a grassroots political organization, working with Democrats in all parts of Lake County – from Antioch to Highland Park, Libertyville to Waukegan, Barrington to Zion. Become a member online now or send a check payable to Lake County Democrats to P.O. Box 671, Lake Zurich, IL 60047. Questions? Contact email@example.com.