|Name||Lauren Beth Gash|
|Address||1345 Forest Ave |
Highland Park, Illinois , United States
|| June 11, 1960
Jan 11, 2018 04:30pm
|Info||A longtime resident of Highland Park, Lauren has been a dedicated and active member of her community. For years, Lauren volunteered as a room mother for her daughter Sarah and son Ben and organized carpools for busy parents. She also gave of her time to read to children and taught a school program on voting. Lauren was also a liaison to the school board, a member of the Ravinia School PTA, and active in the Illinois Child Care Council. |
Lauren volunteered on a number of projects designed to expand health awareness and improve health care. Following her volunteer work as a teenage hospital candystriper, Lauren and her children were frequent volunteers at the Villa St. Cyril Nursing Home in Highland Park for years, "adopting" shut-ins who had no visitors. Lauren has also given her time to the Kids First Health Fair for a number of years. A longtime advocate for mental health issues, Lauren was twice named National Legislator of the Year by the Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1997 and in 2000.
Lauren has been working toward preventing crime, gun violence, and helping crime victims for more than two decades. Starting in college, Lauren chaired and co-founded Clark University's student safety commission. Lauren worked to provide a safe place for victims of domestic violence in Lake County, and received recognition for her support and advocacy on behalf of victims of sexual assault. Today, Lauren is a member of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and the former President of the Illinois State Crime Commission, which awarded her the Legislator of the Year Award in 1999.
Early in her career, Gash worked as Federal Projects Director for Illinois Senator Alan J. Dixon. Lauren helped many Illinois communities secure federal resources for education, crime prevention and transportation projects. Lauren was the Statewide Constituency Coordinator for Senator Paul Simon's 1990 campaign. Working with Senator Simon, Gash advised the campaign on issues of particular concern to women.
An Effective and Independent State Legislator
An outpouring of grassroots support encouraged Lauren to run for the Illinois State Legislature in 1992. After a right-wing extremist won a primary election against three middle-of-the-road candidates, many moderate Republicans, like minded Independents and Democrats encouraged Lauren to run. Following an old-fashioned door-to-door grassroots campaign organized by Lauren and her fellow community activists, the independent voters of Lake and Cook counties elected Lauren with 61% of the vote.
Understanding her community and its needs has given Lauren the ability to take on issues that affect our daily lives. Her accomplishments in improving education, making our neighborhoods and schools safer, reforming our health care system, and protecting a woman's right to choose show her deep commitment to what is important to us.
Lauren has made her mark as an independent legislator taking on her party and the existing power structure. When faced with complaints about noise and air pollution, long traffic delays and daily accidents at the Deerfield Toll Plaza, Lauren went to work. Taking on entrenched bureaucratic power during the effort to reform the Illinois Toll Highway Authority, Lauren succeeded in getting the Deerfield Toll Plaza demolished and Lauren was one of only a few legislators to vote against their party and in favor of the landmark Chicago School Reform.
Her staunch independence earned her the "Best Legislative Voting Record" award from the Independent Voters of Illinois. The Chicago Tribune has said "few legislators are as deeply dedicated and politically independent as she."
Gash currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee on Criminal Law and is vice-chair of the House Committee on Elections and Campaign Reform. She also served three terms on the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, where she advanced a number of important education reform measures.
Now serving her fourth term in the Illinois House of Representatives, Gash has proved a tireless champion for her constituents. And they've rewarded her with large margins of victory in the 60th Legislative District, covering northwest Cook County and southeastern Lake County.