Herald endorses Adrienne Irmer for State Rep. (D-25)

Adrienne Irmer

Since the announcement by State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie that she plans to retire at the end of her current term in January 2019, the community has wondered with whom it could replace her.

And what we have found is a group of seven candidates whose names will appear on next Tuesday’s ballot.

And we are please to say that they are strong, energetic and thoughtful people. We believe that any one of the majority of them would be a credit to the district and a potential successor to carry on Barbara’s progressive agenda.

But we have to pick only one. That is what the Board of Elections says. We cannot send a delegation to Springfield.

The Herald has found that, on the issues, the candidates are very much in agreement: a progressive income tax, fully funding education, a schedule of increases in the minimum wage, gun control, health care for all, reforming the criminal justice system, etc.

There are some interesting differences like the elected school board that make for interesting discussion. One candidate suggests, electing the school board lets the mayor off the hook and a board is hard to blame for the mess.

And about the district itself, there is also general agreement on the problem areas, like the need for reasonable cost mass transit in the southern part of the district, which stretches out to Wolf Lake.

So, for The Herald, the choice is not on policy issues but comes down to the candidates, their experience, their education, their knowledge of Illinois government, their age and even their gender.

Gender? Wait – before you cancel your subscription – hear us out. The Illinois State 25th district has been a progressive factor on that issue. Think about 40 yeas ago, when Barbara went off to Springfield and now as she retires as the House Majority Leader.

With all the legal issues, local and national, of women’s health and control of their own decision-making and, at the other end, the harassment issue – is this the moment for us not to send a woman back to Springfield?

We know that this is a controversial position. Particularly in this race, where there are extraordinarily qualified male candidates on the ballot. And there is The Herald, suggesting “discrimination” based on gender.

Our second qualification for choosing is age. We want a young person. We want someone who will become a political leader and will be around for a long time either with us or on a broader platform. We know how that happens. We have helped do that before.

On the basis of those two issues, age and gender, and based on experience, government knowledge, education and interest in the district, the Hyde Park Herald recommends a vote for 35-year-old Adrienne Irmer as the Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 25th district in the primary election on March 20th.

Irmer has served as the Legislative Coordinator to the Cook County Bureau of Asset Management, working in Springfield on county capital projects. She has also served as Special Projects Manager for State Sen. Kwame Raoul. With her professional relationships in Springfield she already knows a lot about how the “system” works, both in the House of Representatives and the State Senate.

Irmer has lived her whole life in the district and is a graduate of Kenwood Academy High School (class of 2000). She received her bachelor’s in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004. As a 2014 National Urban Fellow, Adrienne received her Masters of Public Administration from Baruch College in New York State and served as Special Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Beverly Hills, Calif. Her science education from MIT will serve us well in the battle over the environment between the state and the federal administration.

Irmer is a 2018 Emerging Leader with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a 2017 Political Partner with the Truman National Security Project, 2017 Fellow of the Chicago Urban League IMPACT Leadership Development Program and currently serves as the Chapter Co-Director for New Leaders Council, Chicago. Adrienne’s civic leadership includes the Executive Board of The Liberty Project, the Junior Executive Board for South Central Community Services, Inc., the Advisory Board to the Chicago Ideas Week YOU(th) Program and the Junior Executive Board for the Better Boys Foundation on Chicago’s West Side.

Adrienne Irmer is the right candidate at the right time for the 25th District of the Illinois House.