Social Workers Endorse Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County President
2018 NASW Illinois PAC Endorsements
NASW-IL Endorses Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace for Illinois Gov/LT. Gov.

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Category: Endorsement

SOCIAL WORKERS FOR BISS – Endorsement Information


I am excited to announce today our endorsement of Senator Daniel Biss as the Democratic candidate for Illinois Governor and Representative Litesa Wallace for Lieutenant Governor. Excited and overjoyed because this endorsement by the member-driven process was really straightforward, and there is no other team that better exemplifies the spirit of Jane Addams than Biss/Wallace. Senator Biss has always understood the power of what social workers can do to support individuals, families, and communities in times of great need. He gets that the work social workers do matters because our profession is absolutely necessary for a healthy society. Social work’s primary mission as articulated in our code of ethics is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people. It is our profession that continues to pick up pieces of a broken system and determine how to make that system whole again. We know this is Senator Biss’ vision as well. Senator Biss’ legislative record speaks to our mission, as does his vision of restoring the social services so drastically cut under Bruce Rauner, and expanding mental health and social services in low income communities, rural communities, and other areas around the state that are under-resourced.

We have worked with Senator Biss for almost 7 years now. He has not only been the champion of the social work profession but more importantly he has been the champion of the clients our members serve. Litesa Wallace knows firsthand how critical behavior health services are and how crucial it is we finally fix our child welfare and foster system.

Other candidates for this office may eventually become an effective politician—Daniel Biss already is one. Other candidates may become strong advocates for the  LGBTQ community—Daniel Biss already is one. Other candidates may one day be strong advocates for the social work profession and the clients our members serve—Daniel Biss already is one.

We don’t need to look at the potential of other candidates hoping one day they will be effective: the Biss/Wallace team already are.

We hope you will join us in volunteering and supporting Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace in their campaign to improve Illinois.

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE
Executive Director, NASW-Illinois Chapter

“I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the Illinois chapter of the National Association of Social Workers,” said Daniel Biss. “We’ve collaborated for years to resist Bruce Rauner’s budget cuts and develop policies to support social workers and the families they serve, and I was honored to be chosen as the NASW-IL legislator of the year in 2017. However, as proud as I am of the work we’ve done together, I’m also frustrated at how our agenda has been stifled by Bruce Rauner, his budget crisis, and the broken political system he represents. I’m running for governor to change what’s possible—for social workers, and for middle-class and working families all across our state—and looking forward to working with NASW-IL in years to come to make our progressive vision a reality.”  via Daniel Biss

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Video: NASW-Illinois Chapter Endorses Daniel Biss and Litesa Wallace

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The NASW IL PAC endorses candidates in state and local races who we feel best represent the social work ideals and legislative agenda.  For federal endorsements, members can view the separately organized federal PACE endorsements by clicking here:

Please note: Additional endorsements forthcoming including statewide races and competitive races where additional information was needed.

Competitive Primary

LAST NAME       FIRST NAME                               POSITION


VILLIVALAM        RAM                                     8TH SENATE

MARTINEZ           IRIS                                       20TH SENATE

GILLESPIE            ANN                                      27TH SENATE

BURKE                 DAN                                      1ST REPRESENTATIVE

CASSIDY               KELLY                                14TH REPRESENTATIVE

MARTWICK         ROB                                     19TH REPRESENTATIVE


SLAUGHTER        JUSTIN                              27TH REPRESENTATIVE

JONES                    THADDEUS                      29TH REPRESENTATIVE

DAVIS                     WILL                                  30TH REPRESENTATIVE

FLOWERS              MARY                                 31ST REPRESENTATIVE

DIDECH                 DANIEL                             59TH REPRESENTATIVE


Non-competitive Primary

The following candidates for office were also endorsed based on voting record, personal interaction and support for the social work agenda.

Sen. Elgin Sims, Sen. Laura Fine, Sen. Omar Aquino, President John Cullerton, Sen. Don Harmon, Sen. Linda Holmes, Sen. Mattie Hunter, Sen. Terry Link, Sen. Andy Manar, Sen. Julie Morrison, Sen. Martin Sandoval, Sen. Cristina Castro

Rep. Theresa Mah, Rep. Sonya Harper, Rep. Carol Ammons, Rep. Jamie Andrade, Rep. Kelly Burke, Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, Rep. John D’Amico, Rep. Marcus Evans Jr, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, Rep. La Shawn Ford, Rep. Robyn Gabel, Rep. Will Guzzardi, Rep. Michael Halpin, Rep. Gregory Harris, Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, Rep. Lou Lang, Rep. Camille Lilly, Rep. Natalie Manley, Rep. Christian Mitchell, Rep. Anna Moeller, Rep. Martin Moylan, Rep. Michelle Mussman, Rep. Silvana Tabares, Rep. Andre Thapedi, Rep. Arthur Turner, Rep. Lawrence Walsh, Jr, Rep. Chris Welch, Rep. Ann Williams, Rep. Kathleen Willis, Rep. Sam Yingling, Rep. Michael Zalewski, Rep. Deb Conroy, Rep. Fred Crespo, Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, Rep. LaToya Greenwood.


The NASW IL PAC is the nonpartisan political arm of the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter.  As a political action committee, the NASW IL PAC endorses and financially contributes to candidates from any party who support NASW’s policy agenda. The national NASW Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) Board endorses and contributes to federal candidates running for U.S. House and Senate seats; the NASW IL PAC is responsible for endorsement decisions in local and state races in Illinois.


  • Mobilizes thousands of social workers to vote by informing NASW Illinois Chapter members of which candidates the NASW IL PAC endorsed in upcoming elections
  • Hires and coordinates field organizers to get out the vote in targeted races
  • Compiles valuable facts relating to local and statewide candidates who are social workers or support the concerns of the social work profession
  • Makes contributions to political campaigns of candidates who support the NASW policy agenda.

Social Workers Endorse Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County President

Chicago, IL—On behalf of the over 6,000 members of the National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter, the Political Action Committee (NASW-IL PAC) and the over 20,000 licensed social workers in the state of Illinois, it is our pleasure to emphatically endorse Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in the upcoming 2018 Illinois primary election.

The Cook County Board President is a critical position in promoting the delivery of human services and protecting the social workers the county employs. We believe strongly that the advocate and manager of this critical county office should be Toni Preckwinkle.

Our association has endorsed President Toni Preckwinkle in 2010 and again in 2014, and we see no reason she should not be endorsed for another term. Her work to reform county government, improve county healthcare delivery, and push for meaningful criminal justice reform should be enough, but we can’t help but go back to the scandal-plagued county board of 2009 and notice how we are better off today.

We get that the sugar tax wasn’t well received, but the truth is the county needs new revenue to provide the safety net services Cook County is charged to provide. The sugar tax was not wrong, it was just unpopular. Her opponent, on the other hand, has expressed questionable ideas including reducing monitoring for nonviolent offenders, stressing a tough-on-crime platform for Michigan Avenue thefts, and refusing to present new revenue ideas he would support. We  just can’t support a candidate whose entire platform is – I wouldn’t have done with Preckwinkle did. We need leadership, even on unpopular tasks.

Toni Preckwinkle can continue to provide that leadership in Cook County as she has for the last 8 years.

Additional Cook County Endorsements:

For Cook County Commissioner, 1st District: The NASW-Illinois Chapter endorses – Brandon Johnson

For Cook County Commissioner, 6th District: The NASW-Illinois Chapter endorses – Donna Miller


Social Workers Endorse Susana Mendoza for State Comptroller


Chicago, IL—On behalf of the over 7,000 members of the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee (NASW-IL PAC) and the over 20,000 licensed social workers in the state of Illinois, it is our pleasure to emphatically endorse Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza for Illinois Comptroller in the upcoming 2016 general election.

The Illinois Comptroller position, while obscure to many, is a critical position for social service agencies and the social workers they employ. Whether it is determining priority for payment, ushering social service agencies through the state payment process, or being an advocate for prompt payment of services rendered, the Illinois Comptroller must understand the complexities and the crisis our delayed payment situation is causing to our social service infrastructure and mental health safety net.

We believe strongly that the advocate and manager of this critical state office should be Susana Mendoza.

In 2014, the NASW-IL PAC endorsed Republican Judy Barr Topinka for this post. We did so based on her strong advocacy for the social service industry, her innovative staff, and her ability to rise above party politics and “tell you how it is.” While the current comptroller has retained some of that staff and has made inconsistent efforts to reach the social service community, her attempts to avoid party politics has come up woefully short.

While we are cautiously encouraged that both candidates have run on prioritizing human service payments, we are also justifiably nervous about when human services fall out of favor.

We are also disappointed both candidates continue to support the publicly popular (yet likely illegal) practice of delaying politician payroll. Our members understand the very real crisis a lack of a state budget is having on their businesses and the clients they serve. However, we believe in a fundamental policy principle that if you work, you should get paid for that work. While we join thousands of advocates in being disappointed in the lack of progress legislators made to produce a fair and equitable state budget, we cannot support political points over paying for work rendered. It is not right to withhold payroll from state legislators as it wouldn’t be right when the state withholds payroll from future employees the chief executive deems unworthy of payment.

The Illinois Comptroller office not only has to be efficient, but it also has to be above the daily squabbles that have turned Springfield into a partisan standstill. We are not confident the current appointed officeholder with such strong financial ties to the chief executive can or will be that person.

NASW-IL has a long relationship with Clerk Mendoza going back to her early days running against Speaker Madigan’s preferred candidates. She was a strong social service advocate in the Illinois General Assembly who constantly stood up to party leaders on issues of critical importance.

Her work modernizing the Chicago City Clerk’s office and accessibility to the public gives us renewed hope for what she can do for a still inefficient state office.

She is also a tireless advocate for social service issues important to our profession, which gives us confidence that while in office she will work to re-establish the communication lines the late Comptroller Topinka worked so hard to create.

As we enter year two of what can only be described as a state in total chaos, we need strong, independent leadership in this office. Clerk Mendoza is our pick to be the next Illinois Comptroller.

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