For Immediate Release:
Wednesday July 23, 2019
Toby Trimmer, Communications Director
(217) 622-7547 |
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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association today announced the organization’s final three 2019 Party Builder Award honorees: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Illinois Congressman Glenn Poshard, and Illinois House Deputy Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth.

“The IDCCA Party Builder Award is reserved for those who’ve influenced and activated grassroots Democrats in meaningful ways,” said IDCCA President Kristina Zahorik. “These honorees are reflective of the important work that is being done on the ground in every corner of our state.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who will be the special guest at the 2019 IDCCA Chairs’ Brunch on August 14th, will be the highest-serving elected official to ever receive the award. Pelosi has served in congress since 1987 and has served in the House Democratic leadership since 2003. She is the first woman to be elected as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and has advanced historic middle-class priorities including the Affordable Care Act. Last week, Pelosi and House Democrats passed a plan to incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

While he’s known all over Illinois as a fierce fighter for organized labor and worker fairness, former Congressman Glenn Poshard is a legend throughout Southern Illinois. A lifelong Illinoisan, Poshard began his public service career immediately out of college – first as a teacher, then as an Illinois State Senator (1984-1988). In 1989, Poshard was elected to represent a wide swath of Southern Illinois in congress. Congressman Poshard built a record of boosting rural health care access and advanced initiatives addressing abuse, neglect and abandonment of children. The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, led by Congressman Poshard and his wife Jo, have been recognized throughout the state for their efforts to improve the lives of abused and neglected children.

In 2006, Poshard took on the role as President of the Southern Illinois University system. Upon his 2014 retirement he returned to the campaign trail, traversing the state advocating for the importance of electing Democrats. In 2016 & 2018, Poshard was an instrumental part of the IDCCA Get Out The Vote efforts traveling to over 60 counties to rally Democrats.

Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) has a knack for making history. When she won her first election to the statehouse in 2008, Gordon-Booth was the first African American woman elected from central Illinois. In January, Gordon-Booth was appointed to leadership, becoming the youngest woman to become Deputy Majority Leader in Illinois state history.

Leader Gordon-Booth is known for tackling big issues in Springfield. She has made economic and social justice the cornerstone of her service. In 2018, she led the passage of the Neighborhood Safety Act, the most comprehensive criminal justice reform package in state history. In 2019, she was instrumental in passing several pieces of progressive legislation including the legalization of marijuana.

In total, there are six 2019 Party Builder honorees. In February, the IDCCA presented awards to Lucy Moog, Democratic Committeeperson for Chicago’s 43rd Ward; Ron Powell, longtime labor activist and former Local 881 UFCW President, and; posthumously honored, Public Relations trailblazer Desiree Tate, who was a longtime community organizer and public relations advisor for scores of elected Democrats, including Chicago mayors and President Barack Obama. Tate passed away unexpectedly in May 2018.

Pelosi, Poshard and Gordon-Booth will be honored at the 2019 IDCCA Chairs’ Brunch, held at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. The brunch is expected to have the largest attendance in IDCCA history, surpassing the more than 3,000 who attended in 2018.

For information or tickets to the IDCCA’s Chairs’ Brunch, go to  Social media – and are using the hashtag #ILDemDay.

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 The Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA) is a statewide, grassroots Democratic Party organization comprised of the elected Democratic County Chairs in all 102 counties in Illinois. The mission of the IDCCA is to help elect Democrats in every county and region of Illinois while continuing to grow the Democratic Party throughout the state. McHenry County Chair Kristina Zahorik is the elected President of the IDCCA.