Ann believes that Legislators need to work together to understand the root causes for the complex problems facing the State of Illinois. Solving the serious issues our state faces, cannot be done through sound bites. Instead, Legislators must explore solutions like fair taxation, equitable funding for education, affordable higher education and job training, access to affordable health care, a fair criminal justice system, and science-based solutions for the environment. They need to come together to solve these issues with open minds, evidence-based research, and a cooperative spirit. Finding and developing solutions requires collaborative discussion and decision making strategies. Ann has used these strategies in business for years. Her entire career has prepared her for this job. Ann is ready and wants to do the work that’s needed to help the hard working people of D27.

Quality Public Education Invests in Our Future

Quality public education is the cornerstone of making Illinois competitive in the global economy. It is also the cornerstone of our democracy. Recent research shows that every dollar invested in secondary and post-secondary public education will pay back $5 to the state.  When we underfund education, we cheat both our children and ourselves.

To be competitive, we must return our state’s public higher education system to its premier position in the world. For years, as the state struggled financially, funding for the schools and grants to attend them have gone down. As a result, enrollment has crashed while our youth have left for other states. We must return work to return our funding of these schools back to pre-2000 levels.

Assuring a quality public education for everyone requires assuring that funding is equitable across the state. The new, evidence-based funding formula for K-12 schools is the right first step.  But it must be fully funded quickly. This can be done by refocusing public dollars on public education, eliminating the so-called private school scholarship program and allowing school boards to refuse to certify charter schools. Other steps, such as vertical consolidation of school districts, will also increase funding for the classrooms.  Passage of a fair tax system will enable the state to keep its constitutional commitment to fund schools while reducing dependency on local property taxes.

Quality education means allowing and trusting our teachers to teach. They are not the cause of problems in our poorest district, inequitable funding is. Teachers and their unions, administrators, school board members and parents should collaborate to remove barriers to quality education.

Districts 211 and 214 have created high quality vocational education programs with the help of local businesses and unions, and extra funding from federal Perkins grants. Vocational Education, side-by-side with college preparatory, programs prepare students for a wide variety of career paths, leading to good paying jobs and the ability to join the middle class. Every student in the state should have access to similar programs customized to local student interests and business needs.

Infrastructure Investment Builds Business and Jobs

When Ann was the General Manager of a major mail order production facility in Mt. Prospect,  the company had a choice. The company could move the facility to Texas, where wage rates were less and the state offered considerable tax incentives. Or they could stay put in Mt. Prospect. As a person who runs the numbers, it became clear to her that staying put was the best choice. As the transportation hub of the nation, it gave the company the best access to all modes of transportation. Due to paying good wages, the facility had low employee turnover. And because there were three pharmacy schools and community colleges with pharmacy tech certification programs in the area, the plant had access to qualified staff. Ann learned that investing in people and infrastructure was the best incentive for business to stay and grow.

Unfortunately, under Gov. Rauner, the state is underfunding its infrastructure investment. The American Society for Civil Engineering gave the state a C minus rating on its last report card in 2014. Since then, the state has been hampered by two financial restraints. Due to the massive amount of state debt coupled with the recent budget crises, it has been too costly to sell bonds for infrastructure development. And a primary source of funds, the Motor Fuel Tax, has remained at $0.19 per gallon since 1993, while gasoline usage has declined and construction costs have increased.

The result is further deterioration of our infrastructure. In addition to the over 2,200 deficient bridges in the state, we are now looking at an outdated and dangerous lead pipe water system, fighting Asian Carp in waterways leading to Lake Michigan, and crumbling school buildings with inadequate technology.

To bring our state’s infrastructure into the 21st century Ann would give full consideration to environmental concerns. All infrastructure work should be environmentally sound. Materials should, whenever possible, be from recycled material or be materials that cause minimal damage to the environment. Planning should take into consideration the impact of global climate change. And the state should invest in green technologies such as solar and wind electrical power and electric and gas powered vehicles for its fleets.

Investing in our infrastructure will require getting our fiscal house in order to make bonds affordable. It will also require restructuring or looking for alternatives to the Motor Fuel Tax to fund our move into the 21st Century.


Ann’s personal and professional life have revolved around healthcare. Her mother was the first full-time staff nurse at Lutheran General Hospital and Ann worked part-time as a unit clerk there to earn money for college. She experienced first-hand what a health tragedy can do to families when an accident left her father with life-altering injuries when she was just a child.

After receiving her law degree, Ann landed a job as in-house counsel to a non-profit staff model HMO owned by Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago – Rush formed the HMO with their . She then spent some time working in the health care practice of a large Chicago law firm after which she took her expertise from law into the business world, working as a consultant in managed health care where she navigated insurance companies, employers, hospitals and physician practices. She completed her career as the Vice President and General Manager at the CVS mail order pharmacy production facility in Mt. Prospect. Her experience makes her uniquely qualified to address healthcare issues in the State Senate.

From her experience, Ann knows that the state needs to maintain an effective and financially viable healthcare program, especially in light of the current attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Access is the key:

  • Access to comprehensive and affordable health care for all, including mental health and addiction services. Ann supports adding a public option that would allow residents who can’t afford or are rejected by private insurance to buy into the state’s Medicaid system. Those needing access to health care would pay the full cost (at no additional cost to taxpayers) or use Affordable Care Act credits toward premiums if they qualify.
  • Access to full range of reproductive healthcare for women. Ann supports funding Planned Parenthood and other clinic options that provide scientifically sound solutions. Clinics that only provide adoption services or require patients to view sonograms and other actions that undermine a women’s reproductive health care choices should not receive state funding.
  • Access to affordable, quality care in rural areas. Assuring access in rural communities where hospitals are having financial difficulties and provider networks are overlooking doctors in smaller towns is a priority to ensure all residents of Illinois have access to health care.
  • Access to needed medical services addictions. Ann supports providing all appropriate care to treat persons with addictions, including opioid addictions.  . Opioid prescriptions should be tracked in existing databases so that providers and corporations responsible for excess use are identified, regulated, and where appropriate, prosecuted.

Solving Illinois’ Fiscal Crises

Illinois is not broken. As of 2016, we had the 5th highest gross domestic product of any state in the union and the largest percentage growth in real gross domestic product of any of our bordering states. What is broken is our unfair tax system. Because we have failed to effectively invest in our state, we are left with too few resources to effectively serve the taxpayers. We need a fair tax system that works in the 21st century.

The majority of our citizens feel that taxes are too high. And for most of them they are. That is because the tax burden (the cost of state and local income taxes as a percent of a person’s income) can be as much as twice as high for working class taxpayers as for those with incomes over $1.5 million. As the state has struggled under a structural deficit (the difference between the cost of providing core services and the available revenue), it has placed more of the responsibility for critical services, such as schools, on local communities. This has caused local real estate taxes to become some of the highest in the nation. We will never be able to invest in our people and infrastructure as long as this situation continues.

Ann supports fixing the problem with a fair tax system that makes effective use of the growing resources of our state.  That means reversing the current system that heavily burdens working class wage earners while relieving wealthy investors of from paying their fair share. That means a system in which the state picks up its share of public services, allowing a reductions in local taxes.  Fixing the problem  requires finding ways to graduate the income tax system. It also requires bringing revenue in from growing sections of our economy such as services through redesigning the sales tax. And it means tapping potentially new sources of revenue such as legalized marijuana.

Let’s Pass Responsible Gun Regulation

America has a real problem with gun violence. Illinois has fairly restrictive gun laws, which is why our state received a B+ grade on the 2016 Gun Law State Scorecard from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Unfortunately, existing laws are not stopping the flow of illegal guns into Illinois and we must consider additional legislative and enforcement steps to address this problem.

A recent gun trace report compiled by the Chicago Police showed the primary source of illegal guns in the city are coming from gun dealers in Illinois and more specifically, from dealers in the Cook County suburbs that border Chicago. The remaining dealers within the top ten are located in northwest Indiana. Passage of the statewide Gun Dealer Licensing Act would provide a critical tool to help deter straw purchasing, implement anti-theft measures, and aid local law enforcement in firearm trafficking investigations.

Ann endorses establishing criminal penalties for private sellers who fail to confirm if a buyer has a valid FOID card before transferring a firearm. Illinois law today merely provides what amounts to a weak incentive for private sellers to do this (granting civil immunity) rather than any criminal penalty.

Tighter regulation of firearm transfers and sales is needed.  Intermediaries play a significant role in placing firearms into the illegal market and the absence of effective transfer monitoring make it all but impossible to trace guns back to criminals.  Stronger requirements for sellers to track transfers of guns coupled with meaningful criminal penalties – including loss of FOID card – are needed to enable law enforcement personnel to address gun proliferation and violence.  In addition, the law should be changed to presume knowledge of a firearm’s loss or theft after a reasonable period of time from when firearm goes missing.

Addressing the Root Causes of Crime

In 1991, the incarceration rate in Illinois was 250 inmates per 1,000 population. Since then the crime rate has gone down 40% for property crimes and 30% for violent crimes. Yet the prison population has increased to 400 inmates per 1,000 population. Something is not working in the state’s criminal justice system. The good news is that there is bipartisan support to reform the system. The challenge for reformers is to figure out how to reduce the prison population without endangering the safety of the general population.

Research from around the country suggests that to succeed, any reform needs to be systemic, addressing a number of issues. These issues include juvenile incarceration in adult populations, pre-trial diversion, indigent defense, sentencing, parole, rehabilitation and asset forfeiture. In addition to these, reform should address the core causes of criminal activity that have resulted from divestment in our low income communities ranging from lack of affordable housing, quality education, and access to healthcare and social services, to a lack of jobs and business opportunities.

Ann supports comprehensive criminal justice reform. “The increase in incarceration developed as we reduced our investment in the social safety net over the past 30 years,” says Ann. “So our first task has to be investing in our communities. Then we can work in a bipartisan way to identify best practices that are developing in other states and change our laws to incorporate those practices in Illinois.”

One idea being practiced elsewhere that Ann sees as particularly promising is to provide access for inmates to vocational education programs, similar to those she is proposing for high schools. “If we are going to return inmates to productive lives in our society, we have to start by providing then with the skills necessary to reintegrate into the society while they are still incarcerated.”

Protecting Our Environment For Our Children

Illinois lags behind other states in protecting our environment. For instance, according to a Chicago Tribune article published on Jan. 10, 2018, the state has, for the past four decades, “failed to adopt federally mandated ethics rules intended to prevent states from appointing environmental regulators with conflicts of interest involving the Clean Air Act.” The situation hasn’t improved under Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has taken virtually no steps to make sure the rules apply to his top officials at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. “It’s little wonder that various studies have ranked Illinois as one of the worst states when it comes to industrial air pollution,” Ann said. “We need a government in Illinois that is serious about protecting our environment for future generations. Because the Trump administration is eliminating regulation on the federal level, it falls upon states to step up and comply with the Paris Accords.”

The extraction of carbon-based fuels poses a major threat to the environment, and under Rauner, the situation has become more problematic. The governor has sought to reduce restrictions on the state’s coal plants while also embracing fracking.

We need to invest heavily in renewable energy. It is a win-win proposition. Not only will it protect the environment, but it also will be a boon for the state’s economy. Illinois ranks high in wind and energy-efficiency jobs. Furthermore, the solar industry is gaining momentum in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, the state added 3,718 solar jobs in 2016, an increase of 6.7 percent from the previous year.

Another pressing environmental issue is contaminated drinking water. A report released in 2017 by the National Resources Defense Council placed Illinois among the states with the most lead and copper violations regarding drinking water. Phosphorous runoff from agriculture practices (plant food, manure) is also impacting the quality of our water and fostering the growth of invasive species such as Asian Carp.   And brownfields, which are contaminated abandoned commercial sites, dot every part of the state and present a risk to both human health and the environment. “Environmental problems are mounting in the current political climate, and the people have to make their voices heard loud and clear,” Ann said. “The will of the people plays a major role in reversing bad policy. That’s why supporting organizations such as the Sierra Club is so important. Citizens must demonstrate that they won’t allow their governmental representatives to pillage the environment.”

“Now it’s time for our state government to get with the program,” Ann said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be happening. We need new blood in Springfield. We need politicians who understand the importance of protecting the environment and the benefits of moving aggressively toward renewable energy.”

Making Elections Fair

Protecting our democracy from gerrymandering requires us to move the responsibility for redistricting from the state legislature to an independent state commission.

Gerrymandering discourages competitive elections. The number of uncontested races continues to climb, bringing with it career politicians and government deadlock. Politicians who have drawn legislative boundaries to their own political advantage have nothing to fear on Election Day; there are no consequences for their actions. Worst of all, limited competition means limited debate on issues important to voters and leads to a disengaged electorate as voters feel their input no longer matters.

I support redistricting led by an independent commission following a process that is transparent, impartial and fair. This will encourage competition and require legislators to be more responsive to their constituents.

Strong Unions and a Living Wage Build the Middle Class

Ann grew up in a family that, due to a medical crisis, fell from the middle class and became dependent upon the social safety net built by Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson. When she became a successful lawyer and business leader, she never forgot her roots and let her actions speak truth to power.

  • When Wisconsin’s Governor Walker moved to kill workers’ rights, she helped take over the capitol in protest.
  • When Arlington Heights and its surrounding communities moved to opt-out of the county’s new minimum wage and sick leave ordinance, she lead the community attempting to thwart these efforts.
  • When the Arlington Heights Library shut down an immigration workshop out of fear for the participants, she was one of the leaders of the protest supporting the Library’s efforts to educate immigrants.
  • When the support staff of Palatine School District 15 went on strike for a livable wage, she joined the picket line.

Ann firmly believes in the importance of unions for guaranteeing the livable wages that produce a strong economy for everyone. “Unions are integral to closing the wealth gap and improving the financial well-being for working families”, she said. “Unions are important protectors of and advocates for working families. We have seen an unprecedented widening of the wealth gap in recent years, and this coincides with a coordinated attack on unions by Republicans and their allies. When it comes to building our state’s economy, livable wages for workers are just as important as a strong business community,” she said.

You might even say that Ann’s union sensibilities are in her family’s blood. Ann’s son Kevin, 27, is a lead organizer with SEIU Local 1 and her sister continued as Wisconsin public employee union member after Gov. Walker acted to limit union membership.

Ann can be counted on to support efforts to strengthen unions in Illinois in response to the current administration’s anti-union activities.

Retirement Security for our Civil Servants

Our state’s pension rewards employees for their long term commitment of service to our citizens.  The state must keep its promise to its employees by fixing the pension system without reducing the retirement security of state employees and teachers. Unlike private sector employees, state employees  are not covered by Social Security — the state pension is their sole retirement benefit.  We must fund the pension system to keep employees whole, including both the portion that would have been paid by social security and benefits comparable to employees in other states.

Funding of the teachers and college pension systems should not be transferred to school districts and our universities. Such an approach does not eliminate the cost to taxpayers, it just employs the local board as the new tax collector. Ann recognizes that placing individual school districts in the role of primary payer would mean school boards choosing between raising property taxes or cutting programs.  The result would be either reducing the quality of education, or increasing increasing the burden on homeowners and small businesses.  The state must step up and make good on their obligations.

Ann endorses a simple fix to  fund the pension liability by amortizing the liability over a fifty year period at a set rate. This is like refinancing your mortgage to achieve a lower rate. While slightly more costly at first, it would save the state millions of dollars in the long run.

Investing in Long Life for our Seniors

Ann supports a long-term commitment to meeting the needs of senior citizens, who will make up an increasingly large segment of the state’s population in the coming years. “Seniors are some of the most vulnerable among us,” Ann said, “and one of the primary functions of government is to ensure that the vulnerable are protected. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have come before us, those who have paved the way for the next generation to pursue its dreams. It’s our duty to repay the elderly by doing everything possible so that they can live healthily, productively, and with dignity.”

First and foremost, that involves maintaining a safety net that has become frayed in the state’s current economic climate. Under Gov. Rauner, services for the elderly have eroded. A case in point is his administration’s Community Reinvestment Program, which all but guts in-home and community care for tens of thousands of Illinois seniors. Rauner has also demonstrated a willingness to slash Medicaid, something Ann strongly opposes. “Medicaid is a lifeline for many of our seniors,” Ann said. “There are ways to put the state on financially sound footing without eliminating essential programs and services for seniors, such as by rethinking our one-dimensional approach to taxation.”

Additionally, Ann believes more must be done to address the problem of hunger among seniors. Food insecurity among the elderly in the 27th District is much more prevalent than many residents know. In many of the district’s communities, at least 35 percent of seniors have used food stamps within the past year. Ann wants to shine a light on this issue, as well as many others relating to seniors, in order to keep the necessary programs and services fully funded. “Overall, we have a lot of work to do when it comes to seniors,” Ann said. “From nursing home quality to community support for seniors, Illinois ranks dishearteningly behind the leading states. Our seniors deserve better.”

Respect and Dignity for the LGBTQ Community

The Human Rights Campaign has given Illinois high marks for its efforts in working toward innovative equality. Illinois law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education. Illinois is progressive in other matters such as same-sex couples petitioning for adoption; facilitating gender marker changes on driver’s licenses and birth certificates; bans on insurance exclusion for transgender healthcare; and protections against hate or bias crimes. Ann’s first priority will be to work to maintain Illinois’ current support for the LGTBQ community and ensure progress is not eroded through administrative actions.

The LGBTQ population, however, is more vulnerable today due to changing policies at the federal level.  We need to offset those changes with state-level protections to ensure the LGBTQ community is treated fairly and with respect and dignity.  Ann supports social service initiatives that will prevent and treat the many challenges facing the vulnerable LGBTQ community, such as affordable access to comprehensive health care  (including HIV prevention and care, substance abuse and mental illness treatment), access to jobs and affordable housing, homeless assistance programs.

LGBTQ persons who are incarcerated are doubly impacted by the unsafe conditions found in many Illinois jails and prisons. So long as the purpose of incarceration is punishment, this problem will continue. Therefore, Ann will also work to pass laws which change the purpose to rehabilitation, provide save environments for LGBTQ prisoners, and create an effective transition program from imprisonment back into society and the workforce.

Serving Those Who Served

The fate of our veterans is not a Republican or Democrat issue—it’s something for which we all bear responsibility. “Our veterans risked their lives to protect us, and the very least we can do is protect their well-being after they’ve returned to civilian life,” Ann said. In Illinois, however, that has been easier said than done. Illinois ranks behind many states when it comes to veterans, including in key areas such as jobs and health. “Illinois has among the largest populations of veterans in the nation,” Ann said. “That only increases the importance of providing services that ensure their needs are met, from improving our VA hospitals to maintaining programs that give veterans the best possible chance to be a productive part of the civilian workforce.”


Research indicates that many veterans returning to the Chicago area are unprepared for civilian life. To make the transition smoother, Illinois needs a more balanced mix of community and social-service support. “The significance of the community in helping veterans adjust to civilian life can’t be underestimated,” Ann said. “Many veterans are reluctant to seek professional help, so members of their communities must play a vital role in steering them toward the necessary support systems. Among my goals in the senate will be to advocate for more community-awareness programs regarding veterans.”


Three of the most pressing problems facing veterans are suicide, homelessness and addiction. Unfortunately, many of the state’s programs that address these issues in a widespread way have been under attack by Rauner’s administration. In 2017, his administration proposed cuts that would take away $79 million from a number of social-service programs, including those that help the homeless and addicted. “It’s unforgivable for an administration to back away from programs designed to uplift our most vulnerable, including veterans who have found themselves in dire straits,” Ann said

Issues January 4, 2018