She Runs IL 2022! — Jenn Ladisch Douglass, candidate for IL House of Representatives, District 45
She Votes Illinois is pleased to feature Jenn Ladisch Douglass, candidate, running for IL House of Representatives, District 45. Follow our series, She Runs Illinois 2022!, leading up to election day as we showcase and uplift the voices of Illinois women running for public office in the upcoming election, November 8, 2022.
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from eastern Pennsylvania, have lived in Illinois since 2004, and have lived in Elmhurst since 2016. I have a dual BA in anthropology and classical civilization and have been a lawyer for 23 years. My legal practice has included everything from probate and commercial litigation to real estate transactions, and I have had my own firm since 2011. As a type 1 diabetic and cancer survivor, I have become a strong advocate for accessible, equitable, and affordable healthcare and have helped write and pass lifesaving insulin copay cap legislation in Illinois. I am a member of the Health Committee with the DuPage County Branch of the NAACP and am the new Chair of the Housing Committee. I became a Community Health Worker in 2021 through the Illinois Pandemic Health Navigator program, have been a Chapter Leader and Legislative Lead with Illinois #insulin4all and I advocate for more affordable insulin and healthcare as a volunteer advocate with JDRF, the American Diabetes Association, and the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition. I am a member of the Triage Cancer Legal Advisory Council, Elmhurst 100+ Women Who Care, am a volunteer with DuPage County Animal Services, and have provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal assistance across Chicagoland over the last 18 years.
What led you into politics and to run for office?
The primary reason for my entry into politics is healthcare and the need for better access, equity, and affordability in our healthcare system.
What are the priorities that you intend to focus on in office?
Healthcare accessibility, equity, and affordability (this includes, but is not limited, to working on improving access to mental health care, abortion, birth control, gender-affirming care for the trans community), public school funding, and support for our teachers and children, state fiscal responsibility, job growth in Illinois, and human rights.
The crisis of domestic violence is closely linked to the widespread and growing use of guns by abusers. What solutions do you advocate to reduce gender-based gun violence in Illinois?
I am a gun sense candidate and will work to close loopholes that are currently allowing dangerous individuals to have access to guns, will advocate for and support universal background checks, will support fair and equitable pay so that survivors can leave abusive relationships and still provide for their families, and will work with law enforcement to find ways to make earlier reporting of domestic violence less traumatic and more accessible for victims.
Considering a person’s different identities (race, class, gender, etc.), what more needs to be done in Illinois to protect people’s rights and access to reproductive services?
In order to protect people’s rights and access to reproductive services, we need to fund Medicaid and its expansion, support local health centers that provide services to low-income individuals, keep laws in place that will protect a pregnant person’s right to choose, and greatly improve health care accessibility for the LGBTQIA+ community. We also need to work with pharmacies to stop them from locking up the morning-after pill in store aisles and make it easier to access, perhaps through a vending machine instead. We also need to keep laws in place that currently protect reproductive rights and services and work to keep birth control as covered medications under state and federally regulated health plans.
Racially motivated violence against Asian Americans is a longstanding issue in the U.S., but incidents have been on the rise. How will you plan to understand impacted communities’ fears and needs in order to work towards ensuring their safety?
In order to work toward understanding the Asian American community and their fears and needs as related to racially motivated violence, I will go to communities to ask them what they need and work to meet those needs. I will work to support communities where people may not have enough support with translation, mental health services, legal services, and food assistance in order to help provide supports that can help stave off violence. I will speak out against violence and work to respond to it by interrupting and questioning hate and will work to educate people in order to reduce violence.
In 2019, I was part of a team of advocates who helped pass the insulin copay cap in Illinois, and we were the second state to achieve this win. Now, there are over 20 states with an insulin copay cap and in August, the federal government passed an insulin copay cap for Medicare plans. These changes to our laws and the enshrining of the right of people to have lifesaving medication at a more affordable price are the culmination of years of work that shows how powerful we can be when we use our collective voices to make change for the people. In the legislature, I will continue this kind of work using my 23 years of negotiation experience, advocacy experience, facts, and the needs of the people to help make change that will lift our diverse population in an equitable and inclusive way so that we all have a great public education, good paying jobs, affordable healthcare and safe communities in Illinois.
If you would like to learn more about Jenn Ladisch Douglass and her platform or volunteer for her campaign, please check out her website at votejld.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Reach out today and help make a difference in the upcoming 2022 election.
(The information contained in this post is provided only as general information and does not imply an endorsement by She Votes Illinois.)