(Update at 7:20 p.m.) While sharing one of the proudest days of his life with family members and friends from the North Shore and beyond, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) did not lose sight of the reason he became a member of Congress today.
“I am truly humbled to be able to serve the people of the 10th District and while today is a special day, families and small businesses across the country are still struggling,” Schneider said. “Congress must begin working for them again.”
The Deerfield Congressman plans to use his experience in the business world to help his constituents. “For more than 20 years, I've helped businesses, large and small, succeed, and I'm looking forward to drawing on this experience to help spur economic growth, promote creation of quality, well-paying jobs and strengthen the middle class," he said.
More than 40 people traveled to Washington to share the experience with Schneider and over 200 persons stopped by an office reception after today’s the opening session, according to Spokesperson Staci McCabe.
One of those people was David Golder of Glencoe who chaired Schneider’s finance committee during the fall campaign. It was the first time Golder attended a Congressional swearing in ceremony.
“At first it was surrealistic, like it was not really happening. Then I felt incredible pride for Brad and what he accomplished and what he represents,” Golder said. “We loved doing this for what he (Schneider) is and what we were able to accomplish,” he added referring to the recent campaign.
(Earlier at 12:51 p.m.) Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) made history today as the first citizen of the Village to become a member of Congress when he was sworn into office shortly after 11 a.m. on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.
Just after that, Schneider rose to answer his first roll call. He called out his vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to be speaker of the house. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was chosen. The Republicans have a majority in the House.
Earlier: Kirk Climbs 237 Steps Returning to Senate
Schneider was joined on the floor of the House for the his first session by his wife, Julie Dann, and his sons, Dartmouth College sophomore Adam Schneider and Deerfield High School senior Daniel Schneider.
“It’s an incredible honor to represent and serve the people of the 10th Congressional District and help create meaningful change for Illinois families,” Schneider said. “Today, the real work begins, and I look forward to addressing the challenges before us."
Just before going into the House Chamber, Schneider joined the rest of the Illinois Congressional Delegation to welcome Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) back to Congress nearly a year after the senator suffered a stroke.
Schneider will open his District office at 111 Barclay Blvd., Suite 200, in Lincolnshire in the next few days, according to spokesperson Staci McCabe. Constituents needing his services now can call his Washington office (202-225-4835), according to McCabe.
Schneider is the first Democrat to represent the Cook County portion of the 10th Congressional District in over 30 years and the first to speak for the Lake County section ever, according to remarks Schneider made in his victory speech Nov. 6.
Patch will update this story later today with comments from some of the people from the North Shore who accompanied Schneider to Washington to share his first day in office.