Pritzker continues to ignore needs of Arab Americans violating his campaign promises
Gov. J.B. Pritzker allegedly promised during his run for public office to engage Arab Americans and include them in his administration. Several self-serving Arab activists insisted he would do right by Arab Americans, but in reality Pritzker has marginalized the community while palling around with a privileged few.
By Ray Hanania
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to ignore the needs of Arab Americans after allegedly promising to make Arab American needs a priority.
Since his election, Pritzker has failed to live up to his campaign promise, made to one of the community’s political groups, to include Arab Americans in government.
The governor continues to issue press releases naming individuals to vacant seats on the state’s Boards and Commissions, but none have been Arab.
Here is Pritzker’s latest appointments:
Gov. Pritzker Announces Six Appointments to Boards, Commissions, Public Administrator and Public Guardians
Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:
ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION
Ann McCabe will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission.* McCabe currently serves as the United States Program Director and Principal of the Regulatory Assistance Project and as a Consultant for both non-profit and private sector clients on regulatory and policy issues. McCabe was previously appointed to the Commission and served from 2012 to 2017. She brings decades of regulatory experience from her time at Ann McCabe & Associates wherein she advised and analyzed policies and regulations affecting fuels and refineries in the Midwest and researched biomass energy for the American Public Power Association. McCabe has also served as Partner and Treasurer of Policy Solutions LTD, Associate Director of the Delta Institute, BP (formerly the Amoco Corporation), and the State of Illinois. McCabe received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Williams College and a Master of Arts from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
ILLINOIS FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMISSION
Carrie Ward will serve as a Member of the Illinois Forensic Science Commission.* Ward is Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, where she works with legislators at the state and federal level to improve the policies and resources available to survivors of sexual assault. Prior to working in this role, she was the coalition’s Grant Director, where she helped the coalition distribute $26 million in funding for rape crisis services statewide . Ward has also worked as an Adult Therapist for the Rape Information and Counseling Services, and as Case Manager for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from Illinois College, and a Master of Arts in Human Development Counseling from Sangamon State University.
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR AND PUBLIC GUARDIANS
Dana Considine will continue to serve as Public Administrator and Public Guardian of the counties of Lee and Carroll.* Considine is Partner and Attorney at Ehrmann, Gehlbach, Badger and Considine, LLC, where she has worked for eight years. As an Attorney, she practices in civil litigation, family law and municipal work. She is also a Member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lee County Bar Association, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Task Force and Law Office Management and Economics Committee. She is also the recipient of the Sauk Valley Media 40 under 40 Award. Considine received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and a Juris Doctorate from Drake University.
William H.T. Lee will continue to serve as Public Administrator and Public Guardian of Whiteside County.* Lee is the Owner of the Law Office of William Lee. Previously, he worked as a Partner at the Mahaffey & Lee Law Firm, an Associate at the Ludens, Potter, Mahaffey & Lee Law Firm, and at the Law Office of Paul Whitcombe. Lee is a Member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Whiteside County Bar Association. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Juris Doctorate from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
STATE EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Mark Donovan will serve as a Member of the State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees.* Donovan is Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending and Treasury Operations at INB, N.A., where he has served for 19 years. He is also Chairman of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and has also served as Treasurer of Leadership Springfield and as Member of the Illinois Comptroller’s Local Government Advisory Board. Donovan received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
TORTURE INQUIRY AND RELIEF COMMISSION
Steven Block will continue to serve as a Member of the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.* Block is a partner at Thompson Hine LLP. He previously served as Assistant State’s Attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney Office, Assistant Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office, and as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Matthew Kennelly. He is a recipient of the Maurice Weigel Exceptional Young Lawyer Award, awarded by the Chicago Bar Foundation. Block received both his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University, where he was also awarded the Pro Bono Award.
* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.
Illinois has 317 boards and commissions that consist of some 3,000 individuals appointed by the legislature, state constitutional office and by the governor. Many are vacant and need appointments.
A review of the boards and commissions list shows Pritzker has broken his campaign promise to name Arab and Muslim Americans to the state’s many boards and commission, although he has been generous with other ethnic, racial and religious groups.
The first person Pritzker named to state office after becoming governor was Jordan Abudayyeh. A former Arab American journalist who served as his election campaign communications director and spokesperson, she was named as Pritzker’s press secretary.
Ironically, an Arab American was always destined to serve in that position. The campaign press secretary for Pritzker’s chief election rival, Christopher Kennedy, was Hanna Jubeh who is also Arab American and active in political consulting.
Read my column on this topic published on August 23, 2021. Click this link.
( Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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