Thursday, January 29, 2009

Road Trip!

Thank you to guest blogger Paul Wilkinson for not only this newsy post, but also for his entertaining company on our roadtrip to Springfield to see one of our favorite gals!

On Joan Krupa's final day as our state representative, Diane and I road tripped to Springfield. As avid supporters of Joan, I wanted to give her a gift, namely pictures of her time in the state capital. Having organized a trip for Neighborhood leaders to Springfield to meet with Rep. Aaron Schock and Senators Koehler and Risinger, and with previous instructions from County Board Member Allen Mayer, I felt ready to tackle this task.

When one enters the capital, one sees the ornate beauty of the place and there is definitely a vibrancy in the air. Having been in the U.S. Capital with Aaron the week before, Springfield seemed almost peaceful. It was the last day of the session. Joan took Diane and I to the gallery, where we were allowed to take pictures of the House in session. There were several memorials and tributes to services to those who had passed away and those who were not returning to serve. Sometimes the speech was very solemn, sometimes filled with laughter.

It's odd when one reads on the internet people who make such disparaging and personal comments about our leaders. Witnessing the events we saw brings to reality that these are people doing their job. Sometimes we agree, sometimes not. Like most jobs, some are better at it than others.

In monitoring Joan, she exhibited a sense of style and grace which greatly fit in with the decorum of this day. She was definitely proud to serve the people of her district, even if only for a few days. Joan's participation in the historic vote to impeach the governor and her proposal of legislation to regulate predatory practices of payday loan companies, indicates her willingness to work to benefit the people of this district and of the entire state as well.

As Diane quickly found out, what one plans to happen in Springfield, seldom pans out. We anticipated a short house session on their last day, but it was not. It was wonderful that Joan was recognized for her efforts by the house floor. As a moment of the occasion, Joan gave me a an autographed copy of the the special investigation into the impeachment of the Governor. It however, made for a long day as the session ran into the late afternoon. Plans for lunch with Joan and Rep. Leitch quickly evaporate. It did allow us to explore the capital, a building I had not actually toured since the 5h grade...a few short years ago (hey it's my blog entry okay, haha).

I highly recommend to those that have not been able to witness our legislators at work to go view the process. It changes your perception and creates more realistic expectations of what can be accomplished and more importantly the work it takes to accomplish it.

I would like to congratulate Joan on her efforts and hope she has fond memories of the good experiences involved. I know she developed several lasting friendships through on this road traveled.

1 comment:

Merle Widmer said...

Great read and pictures. I believe that Joan with the right leadership would have won over Gordon.

A great shame she didn't.