"That is so cool," were the words coming out of my 11-year old daughter's mouth.
I had just told her that if both Julie Morrison and Brad Schneider win their respective races in two weeks, Deerfield will have two current residents representing us in the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Very cool. This has never happened before.
The last time Deerfield had any state or federal representation goes back to two men and several decades: Karl Berning and Daniel Walker. Berning was in the Illinois State Senate from 1966-1983 and remained a Deerfield resident until he retired from the Senate in 1983. Daniel Walker was the Governor of Illinois from 1973-1977 and was also a Deerfield resident.
Julie Morrison is looking to take the State Senate seat of state Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest). Morrison has served Deerfield and its surrounding areas since 1997 as the West Deerfield Township Supervisor.
Morrison is familiar with the needs of the area and the key players. She has developed partnerships with various civic and corporate organizations and one identified area of focus for Morrison is small business development. This is key not only for Deerfield, but all the areas comprising the 29th State Senate District.
Another area that our Illinois government needs to improve upon is ethics. This is another area of focus for Morrison and one that with our legislative history over the past few years dearly needs addressing. A Democrat, she is running against Highland Park pediatrician Arie Friedeman.
Brad Schneider is seeking the 10th Congressional District Seat running against Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth). Schneider has experience in the private sector and is very active within the Jewish community. Schneider says he will work as a strong supporter of peace and security in Israel. Schneider also claims he is a supporter of small business and has experience helping businesses grow and develop.
So besides the "cool factor" are there any other real benefits to having a state senator and Congresman reside in our town? I think there could be.
1. Access. If both Morrison and Schneider win and are based locally, more local issues can be brought to their attention through visiting their local offices and local run-ins at the grocery store or library.
2. Local Knowledge. By continuing to reside in Deerfield, both Schneider and Morrison would have significant knowledge of local news, happenings and events as well as issues we may be facing. That information could end up benefitting our town.
3. Parade Factor. I have to think the Deerfield parade on the 4th of July would get first dibs on both Schneider and Morrison walking here.
4. Civic Pride. To have two government officials as Deerfield residents is certainly a source of civic pride. It is something we can only feel good about as our residents try to better our town, state and country.
Wishing both Julie Morrison and Brad Schneider the best of luck Nov. 6. I’ll be rooting for you.