Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x6 - Lake County Democratic Women, Northwest/North NOW, McHenry NOW, Resistor SisterHood, Democratic Women of McDonough County, Illinois Handmaids, Peoria NOW, Indivisible Oak Park, Friends Who March, Indivisible Illinois, Chicago NOW, Women’s March Chicago, Illinois NOW join call *** Women’s groups urge vote for woman as new House Speaker - All 19 MJM opponents say they are still together
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*** UPDATED x6 - Lake County Democratic Women, Northwest/North NOW, McHenry NOW, Resistor SisterHood, Democratic Women of McDonough County, Illinois Handmaids, Peoria NOW, Indivisible Oak Park, Friends Who March, Indivisible Illinois, Chicago NOW, Women’s March Chicago, Illinois NOW join call *** Women’s groups urge vote for woman as new House Speaker - All 19 MJM opponents say they are still together

Sunday, Jan 10, 2021

* Illinois Democratic Women, We Will, Vote Mama and She Votes…

Open Letter to the House Democratic Caucus

We are writing today to strongly encourage the House Democratic Caucus to choose a woman as their new leader when they convene to vote for the Speaker of the House of the 102nd General Assembly. As statewide women’s organizations, we’ve watched with pride and gratification as the declared candidates to the current Speaker, Michael Madigan, have all come from the House Democratic Women’s Caucus, which in the past several years has taken the lead on legislation important to us such as the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Equal Rights Amendment Ratification, and Reproductive Health Act, as well as initiatives on minimum wage, education, and mental health.

While we appreciate the leadership the current Speaker has provided, we believe it is time for a change, and choosing a strong female leader is the change that is needed. We’ve also watched with some concern arguments that are being made that Speaker Madigan is the only one running who can hold the caucus together, pass important legislation, and help re-elect his members. This suggests that the female candidates that have announced do not share these same qualities. We do not believe that to be true. Further, we find that sexist school of thought to be one that has permeated the legislature in Springfield for decades. Changing that culture is another reason why it is important that a woman should be chosen to lead.

All the female candidates that have declared their intention to run for Speaker of the House have done so in an environment that has been hostile to a change in leadership; this alone gives credence to their courage and fortitude. Illinois is on the precipice of a great transition as we work to come out of a global pandemic and restore jobs to working families and revive an economy that has been ravaged by Covid-19. We recognize strong leadership is needed to meet these challenges and many pressing issues, especially the much-needed criminal justice reform being championed by the House Black Caucus. We believe that all the women who have announced their candidacy are up to this challenge and strongly urge the House Democratic caucus to elect one of them as their new Speaker.

* Meanwhile…

Today, 19 Illinois House Democrats in opposition to Michael Madigan’s re-election as Speaker of the House released the following statement:

“After meeting the past two days in Springfield, and having had the opportunity to participate in multiple candidate forums in the Speaker’s election, our position has not changed. We will not be supporting Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the Illinois House at any stage of the voting process. It is time for new Democratic leadership in the Illinois House.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** Illinois NOW has joined the call to elect a woman Speaker. Click here for the revised press release.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Women’s March Chicago has now signed the letter. Click here.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Indivisible Illinois and Chicago NOW have also joined the letter.

*** UPDATE 4 *** More signatories…

Illinois Handmaids
Peoria NOW
Indivisible Oak Park
Friends Who March

*** UPDATE 5 *** The Democratic Women of McDonough County has added its name to the list and released this statement…

The Democratic Women of McDonough County, a 501(c)4 non-profit, firmly supports the call for Illinois to have our First Woman Speaker named. It’s time for Democrats to show allyship to women and send a strong message of solidarity with womens rights and interests, which are the interests of all our communities. Representation matters.

*** UPDATE 6 *** More…

Lake County Democratic Women
Northwest/North NOW
McHenry NOW
Resistor SisterHood

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments »
  1. - DuPage Dave - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    I hope the 19 stick together and Illinois gets to move on from the Madigan era.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    === “After meeting the past two days in Springfield, and having had the opportunity to participate in multiple candidate forums in the Speaker’s election, our position has not changed. We will not be supporting Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the Illinois House at any stage of the voting process. It is time for new Democratic leadership in the Illinois House.”===

    Now, I grabbed this in its entirety for one purpose.

    There is no ambiguity. There is no wavering. This statement, it’s from the collective 19, all of them, united again, and this idea that as minutes, hours, days, even weeks pass, look at that above statement and come to terms that 19 Dems who are only united with one purpose, that purpose is still uniting all 19. This doesn’t strengthen the original letter, this statement on its own is the reminder it seems some need. Don’t question the resolve of the single purpose of these 19, doing disrespects the truth they are telling.

    This is like “37-down”, well past double down, well past that disrespect to the resolve some think is weak.

    === We will not be supporting Michael J. Madigan for Speaker of the Illinois House at any stage of the voting process.===

    If there is a word you might be confused on, Google it. It’s as plain as the math it’s reinforcing, Madigan does not have the votes, and thinking and of the minority party will support Madigan isn’t folly, it’s foolhardy.

    If you’re of the thinking these 19 are going to support one of the minority party, you really need to re-examine why the minority party members won’t support Madigan.

    Pack a lunch, pack a bunch of lunches, maybe freeze a few for the long term, someone needs 60, and the 19 clarified again, their ships are still burned ash.


  3. - Lincoln Lad - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    Vote for what’s right, not what may serve you personally. Vote against what’s wrong. That needs to work in Springfield, Illinois… and in Washington DC


  4. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:28 am:

    Pretty funny how some white guys are on here (several comments haven’t made it past the screens) complaining about their fee-fees.

    Men have held the House Speaker’s position since 1818.


  5. - AD - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:33 am:

    Madigan has been around for 50 years. It’s time for a change. Illinois finances are in the dump, we can’t take care of veterans, the legislature is filled with sexism and old boys club, Feds are investigating bribery, government is full of bureaucracy, and it goes on and on. It may not change with him gone, but it’s worth a shot since we know what we have with him and it ain’t been good for a while.


  6. - Perrid - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    Not sure if my comment was one of the ones you’re talking about Rich, but my comment about laughing at the accusations of sexism isn’t about hurt feeling. MJM is desperate to hold onto power and is talking himself up, as you’ve said making promises he almost certainly can’t keep. There’s no sexism there, just desperation and narcissism, and that is so incredibly obvious that accusations of sexism seem silly.


  7. - AD - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:37 am:

    Perrid, give me a break. There’s been a lot of sexism under his watch. Yeah, he got rid of some people, but it wasn’t too stop the sexism, it was to keep his hold of power.


  8. - Bored Chairman - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:43 am:

    Agree with the women’s organizations’ letter. Selecting a female Speaker and dumping a dinosaur is long overdue and will work to the short- and long-term benefit of the Democrats in Illinois. The black caucus backed the wrong horse, and their decision to do so just as they’re attempting to push through major legislation calls into question their political judgement.


  9. - Perrid - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:45 am:

    AD, I’m not arguing he’s not sexist, that’s not relevant to my comment. The statement makes a pretty specific accusation, one that doesn’t hold up under the lightest of scrutiny, and to me making such an obvious overreach undercuts their credibility and message.

    I have no horse in who becomes the next Speaker, it would be cool if it was a woman, but this doesn’t help. How hard is it to mock the Speakers claims that only he can save the Party without claiming it’s sexist?


  10. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    ===without claiming it’s sexist? ===

    Dude, MJM’s campaign arm has been twisting reality out of all recognition for decades. Stop whining.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    Agree, it’s time for a woman Speaker. It’s time DPI leadership reflects its constituency, and for this glass ceiling to be shattered. Passing the criminal justice reform bill and electing a female Speaker would be great accomplishments.


  12. - Lincoln Lad - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    I wonder if former Speaker staff are reading this blog today… hmmmm?


  13. - southsider - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    I am supportive of electing a female Speaker, but let’s not pretend that a woman in the Speaker’s seat will end sexism or the imbalance of power in the Capitol or politics. The sexism and imbalance around government isn’t only a product of the 177 people elected to the General Assembly or the person holding the gavel. It’s a product of the entire system. While changing one leg of the stool may help, you can’t pretend it will bring about lasting change without addressing the other legs too.

    You better pay attention to those non-elected that are most valuable to the process. Without Madigan controlling the pot of funds for the House Democrats, the individuals who control political funds become more powerful than ever before, and they are by and large men. Men control 99% of the lobbying contracts and nearly all of the PAC funds. The fact that the number of women lobbying is a fraction of the men, and that they manage a small number of the contracts, largely contributes to the imbalance of power and sexist attitudes in the Capitol. Most of these women will tell you their biggest obstacle to success is the men in the Capitol, many whom actively worked to keep them from getting business.

    A new Speaker will be a welcome change, but that change won’t necessarily result in the change or the win some claim it will. Let’s stop pretending one man controls the attitudes and reactions of everyone else in the Capitol.


  14. - Frumpy White Guy - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    How about a African American female speaker? African-American women are very under represented in Illinois elective office. This might be a wonderful time to restore some balance.


  15. - Birds on the Bat - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    some white guys

    Just curious how you know this. Are they identifying themselves?


  16. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    === let’s not pretend that a woman in the Speaker’s seat will end sexism===

    I hate this tactic: The proposed reform will definitely not solve all of our problems!

    C’mon.


  17. - Anon - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Madigan is fighting a three front war.


  18. - Really - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:48 pm:

    It’s nice to sit back and watch the Democratic party argue with itself. Is it no wonder that the state of Illinois government is as just a big a mess as the federal government?


  19. - @misterjayem - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:50 pm:

    “The proposed reform will definitely not solve all of our problems!”

    And no one, absolutely no one, has claimed that it would.

    – MrJM


  20. - @misterjayem - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    “It’s nice to sit back and watch the Democratic party argue with itself. Is it no wonder that the state of Illinois government is as just a big a mess as the federal government?”

    On Wednesday, the Republican head of one branch of the federal government sent an violent mob to stop another branch of the federal government and the Republican vice-president from recognizing the results of a free and fair election.

    Get some perspective.

    – MrJM


  21. - Centennial - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 12:58 pm:

    Of course a female Speaker will not end sexism in Springfield, but I do agree with SS’ overall point. The Old Boys Club, inside and outside the Statehouse, is kept very comfortable by the status quo. It will be interesting to hear what they do behind the scenes over the next few days.


  22. - Ok - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    To think, if any legislator of color would have stepped out and put their name forward by now, you could have had all kinds of organizations talking about the need for a person of color to be speaker.


  23. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===you could have had all kinds of organizations talking about===

    This ain’t over yet.


  24. - SpiDem - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    Wondering where Rita Mayfield lands in all of this….


  25. - Precinct Captain - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    - Ok - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    The (White) Woman’s Caucus wouldn’t stand for that.


  26. - DuPage Saint - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    Be nice to have a change but if there is a change I hope it is someone that is a reformer and believed in transparency and even in democracy. I don’t want someone grabbing spot and thinking “now I have a job for 50 years”. If that is thinking might as well stick with Madigan he has that down pat


  27. - Lincoln Lad - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:51 pm:

    I’m sure the Speaker has a plan for a compromise candidate that he feels he could control if he can’t get elected himself. That compromise candidate would be African American (if it comes to that).


  28. - Anon - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    Madigan will promise this is his last term and want to go out on top. Dems will vote him in. Especially with JB’s downward numbers and potential of a one term Gov. They wont take a chance of having a “R” potentially run the state without their top dog in power.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    === Dems will vote him in.===

    Unless you can name 7 of the 19 that will flip…

    … you can’t.


  30. - Amalia - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    three women stepped up and said they would not vote for him and they would like the job. no one else has done that. others held meetings and supported a problematic leader. to those with the snark, the three women are not the problem. the problematic leader is. and I hope the 3 come to an agreement on which of them to move forward. I would urge Ann Williams as the choice, and I’ve never even met her but have heard of her good work. back the wrong horse, you cannot complain when others organize for much needed change.


  31. - AD - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    === … you can’t.===

    I’m with OW. They’re in it for the long haul. Too many written double downs to turn back now.


  32. - Mister E - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 2:31 pm:

    Been wondering when the outside pressure would start to amp up against a vote for MJM. Interesting is how the self described progressive organizations (i.e. United Working Families) who argue for change are now strangely silent.


  33. - WH Mess - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 3:12 pm:

    I found this to be the most interesting clause: “ to elect one of them”, meaning one of those who have already announced. An interesting message to any of the women - especially members of the black caucus - who have not (yet) announced.

    It’s going to be a very long month. E


  34. - Just Me 2 - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    Can I ask a stupid question? Can the Speaker agree to not run again but remain a State Representative, and then he can give advice/counsel in a Speaker Emeritus type position? I know it’s not usual, but so is this entire mess.


  35. - SSL - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    I thought when the Speaker managed to hang on by the skin of his teeth during his metoo crisis that it would never come to this. Turns out metoo begat Comed and it really may be the final curtain being lowered. What a tangled web it was. His reluctance to leave gracefully makes one wonder what else there is to uncover. He seems desperate and in denial.


  36. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===I know it’s not usual===

    Pate Philip and Lee Daniels both stuck around as members for a while after they left (Pate) or were forced out (Lee) of leadership.


  37. - Ferris Wheeler - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 6:41 pm:

    Who are the Democratic women in the Illinois House that are of the stature of Christine Rdogno?


  38. - Shytown - Sunday, Jan 10, 21 @ 8:20 pm:

    === Been wondering when the outside pressure would start to amp up against a vote for MJM. Interesting is how the self described progressive organizations (i.e. United Working Families) who argue for change are now strangely silent.===

    Many are beholden to the CTU


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