She Runs Illinois 2020! — Michelle Fadeley, running for IL House of Representatives, District 37
She Votes Illinois is pleased to feature Michelle Fadeley, running for IL House of Representatives, District 37. Follow our series, She Runs Illinois 2020!, leading up to election day as we showcase and uplift the voices of Illinois women running for public office in the upcoming election.
Tell us about yourself
I have been a long-time community advocate for over 15 years, including almost ten years as president of the Illinois state chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). I also co-founded ERA Illinois in 2016, helping to lead Illinois to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment in 2018.
I am currently the Global Marketing Manager for an international employee-owned company in the personal and professional development industry.
I’ve lived in the 37th State House District for almost ten years with my husband, two dogs, and cat. I’m running for public office in the 37th because I believe in creating the world I want to live in, not sitting back and hoping it will happen. I believe government needs to be for the people, not private or corporate interests, and I’m committed to ensuring that I’m working with and for the people of the 37th District when I’m elected.
Tell us about the women in your life
I’m extremely fortunate to have had such a strong female role model in my mother. I would not be who I am today without her being the shero she is. She became active with the National Organization for Women over 40 years ago because she wanted to see the Equal Rights Amendment passed. She likes to say one of my first protests was when she was pregnant with me, marching for the ERA in the Quad Cities. My mom advocated for women most of her adult life, ultimately becoming president of Indiana NOW and serving on the National NOW Board. She inspired me to get involved then, and she continues to inspire me to keep working to make a difference. Nothing could have illustrated more clearly how important representation is than the influence my mother had on my life. Women leading and being at the table is important to have everywhere; we have made so much progress since my mom was growing up, but we still have many barriers to break.
What led you into politics? Why are you running for THIS office?
My decades-long community advocacy experience taught me a lot about how to work in coalitions with a wide variety of community leaders, organizations, and legislators on both sides of the aisle in Springfield. With this experience, I decided to run for this office to make a bigger impact in elevating people’s lives by representing them with transparency and integrity at the legislative table.
If you were currently in office, how would you use your office to address the economic harm from COVID19 in your community?
I would work to find ways to bring additional grants and low-rate loans for small businesses that continue to be impacted by COVID19, as well as work on legislation that will help people be able to return to work more easily, such as accessible and affordable child care and health care, and paid family and sick leave.
Have you participated in any BLM protests? What influenced your decision?
Yes, I participated in three in my district. As a community advocate, I felt it was important to listen to and stand with my community in their efforts to make their voices heard.
How will you ensure that women and femmes sitting at intersections of oppression are prioritized for policy that will help their quality of life?
Regardless of the issue, I am committed to having all stakeholders at the table, and bringing the voices of those impacted by the policy or legislation to the forefront. This means women of all identities, ethnicities, and backgrounds being not only represented, but heard, in any conversation that impacts them.
What do you wish you had known before you decided to run for office?
When I was asked to run for public office, all of the numerous components of running a campaign, while working a full-time job, seemed insurmountable and intimidating. I was given great advice a few months later into my campaign: when you are about to climb a mountain, you don’t stand on the ground and look up to the top of the mountain and ponder how you are going to make it up there. You just focus on the next step, and then the next, until you have finally reached the top. Whenever I think about the magnitude of challenges in front of me, I think of this advice, and just keep taking the next step.
The number one issue I hear from people in my district as an issue that really matters to them is health care. I am committed to making health care accessible and affordable for everyone, including emergency services, prescription drugs, mental health care, drug addiction treatment, disability services, child care, and senior care. Additionally, I want to ensure education is fully and equitably funded, including early learning and our state colleges and universities.
As a middle-class worker, I personally know how critical these issues are to the survival and success of middle-class families. When I’m elected as State Representative, the lives of the people in my district and across the state will be what drives me every day in fighting for progress in Illinois.
If you would like to learn more about Michelle Fadeley and her platform or volunteer for her campaign, please check out her website at michelleforillinois.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook at @michelleforillinois. Reach out today and help make a difference in the upcoming 2020 election.
(The information contained in this post is provided only as general information and does not imply an endorsement by She Votes Illinois.)