Why I'm running for State Senate
My name is Eamon Kelly, and I am running for the State Senate because I believe that despite our current troubles, Illinois still has a great future. Our problems, and the tremendous threats we face from Trump, Rauner and the Springfield political system, are not bigger than our children’s potential.
To be sure, Bruce Rauner is running down our state. Illinois is dead last in state funding for public education. Students cannot afford college. Critical services for seniors and at risk youth are being cut. Domestic violence and drug prevention programs are closing, in addition to a woman's right to choose being threatened. All the while Springfield’s political leaders are making backroom deals, pressing Band-Aid solutions and enriching themselves.
But this is not who we are and what we value. We are better than that. We can come together and save ourselves from the Trump-Rauner, right wing agenda that is destroying families and the fabric of our communities.
I am ready to serve our community as part of a new generation of progressive leadership in Springfield.
For me, this step is a continuation of my life's path. I was born, raised and still live in Evanston. My education about serving the public started at home. My mom has been a teacher for more than 20 years and is still teaching 4th grade at Washington Elementary School in Evanston.
I followed her calling by serving as chief of staff at the State Board of Education, where I worked to expand preschool to 40,000 children, helped Illinois become the first state to offer free preschool for every three year old and raised graduation standards.
Recently, I helped organize a grassroots group of hundreds of Evanston and Skokie residents of all ages to support a referendum for District 65. My wife and I have three kids, and our oldest is heading into 2nd grade. Everything we treasure about our public schools was threatened when District 65 faced a massive budget shortfall. We could not be the generation that let our public schools crumble, and we knew that our community had to come to its own rescue.
We had hundreds of volunteers who knocked on more than 20,000 doors, put up 2,000 yard signs, and made and sent thousands of phone calls and emails. The referendum passed with 80% voting YES.
The referendum reinforced the lesson I learned firsthand when campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008 in Iowa that the improbable is possible when we are all united. He taught us “yes we can” achieve transformative change. With your support, that is the lesson I'm going to take with me to Springfield.