In your early days as a consumer
advocate, you began the fight for freshness dates on products
sold in supermarkets. As Program Director of Illinois Public
Action, you fought for energy reform and stronger protection
from toxic chemicals. As Executive Director of the Illinois State
Council of Senior Citizens, you helped organize across the state
for universal and comprehensive health care, for lowering the
cost of prescription drugs, for financial protection for spouses
of residents in nursing homes.
As an Illinois State Representative, you served your constituency
well for four terms. You were an outstanding Chair of the Labor
and Commerce Committee. You served on the Human Services, Appropriation,
Health Care, and Electric Deregulation Committees. You were a
Democratic Party Floor Leader and served as Secretary of the
Conference of Women Legislators.
Your dedication to the people was rewarded by a great grassroots
campaign, with hundreds of street volunteers, when you chose
to run for the United States House of Representatives. Your first
term in Congress has been outstanding. You have been an outstanding
voice for seniors, labor union members, women and children. You
have continued your advocacy of universal health care through
your membership on the Health Care and Medicare Task Forces.
Through your work, you were appointed to a leadership whip position.
Your work and your life honors the memory of Eugene V. Debs,
Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington and continues their legacy
of struggle for social justice.
For your dedication to the fight for a just society, the Debs
- Thomas - Harrington Dinner Committee hereby presents to you
its annual award on this 5th day of May, 2000.