For Immediate Release
January 19, 2022
EMILYs List Endorses Three Women in Illinois Statewide Elections
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed three women for election in Illinois, including Juliana Stratton for lieutenant governor, Susana Mendoza for comptroller, and Anna Valencia for secretary of state. Laphonza Butler, president of EMILYs List, released the following statement:
“These groundbreaking women have been lifelong advocates for their communities, championing everything from youth development and empowerment programs, to animal welfare and social services initiatives. EMILYs List is confident that under their leadership, Illinois will be best positioned to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and become a place where all people can flourish.”
The first African American to become lieutenant governor of Illinois, Juliana Stratton leads the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, and chairs the Illinois Council on Women and Girls, the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, the Military Economic Development Council and the Illinois River Coordinating Council. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Lieutenant Governors Association as the treasurer. Before becoming lieutenant governor, she represented the 5th District in the Illinois House of Representatives and previously served as chair of the Kenwood Academy Local School Council. She is the proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University’s College of Law.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza made history in 2016 when she became the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in Illinois. In less than a year, Mendoza transformed the office, shifting the priorities back to funding nursing homes, hospice centers, schools and the state’s most vulnerable. Before being elected to the Comptroller’s office, she was the Chicago city clerk. Mendoza also served six terms as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011 for the 1st District. Elected in 2000 as the youngest member of the 92nd Illinois General Assembly, she was publicly recognized for her leadership and legislation on social services, education, law enforcement, job creation and animal welfare.
Anna Valencia is a lifelong resident of Illinois and child of Mexican immigrants. Valencia has served in the Chicago City Clerk’s office since 2017, as part of her commitment to make government more accessible for all. Valencia has been a longtime champion of women’s rights, creating the Chicago Status of Women and Girls Working Group to make Chicago safer for all women and girls, and worked with Chicago Public Schools to create the NextGen City Council, to provide high school students with the opportunity to experience what local government is all about. If elected, Valencia would be the first woman, first Latina, and first mom to serve as Illinois’ secretary of state.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $700 million to elect Democratic pro-choice women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running nearly $50 million in independent expenditures in the last cycle alone, and turning out women voters and voters of color to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country's first woman as vice president, 159 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and more than 1,300 women to state and local office. More than 40% of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. After the 2016 election, more than 60,000 women reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices. In our effort to elect more women in offices across the country, we have created our Run to Win program, expanded our training program, including a Training Center online, and trained thousands of women.