Press Release from the Illinois House Democratic Women's Caucus
September 1, 2020
NEWEST STATE LAWMAKER WORKS TO MANAGE THE PRESENT, PREPARE FOR A BETTER FUTURE
CHICAGO, IL - Illinois State Government faced no shortage of challenges when newly minted State Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado arrived at the Capitol last year, but the fallout from the COVID pandemic has recast the role of public servants like Delgado and her staff in ways few could have imagined.
“I came into this position with a lot of goals and a lot of various policy areas I want to focus on, but right now everything is colored over by the pandemic,” Delgado said. “My staff and I, all we do every day is talk to constituents who are trying to navigate through Employment Services to get the money the need to live. We are ‘all hands on deck’trying to manage a nearly impossible situation, it’s difficult but it’s what we have to do right now.”
As the newest member of the Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus, Delgado says she is seeing more and more how the pressures of the current health crisis are falling on women in her community: “Many women I represent are primary caregivers who are facing layoffs and reduced hours; the disruption of schools hits them the hardest. That is why I am working with my fellow Women’s Caucus members on affordable child care solutions. Without having safe and affordable child care, you can’t function; child care gets lost behind other issues and that is a major issue for me.
While meeting the challenges COVID presents to her constituents takes up the majority of time for Delgado, she is looking forward to the day she can shift her focus to long term infrastructure improvements for her region.
“I’m an infrastructure geek,” Delgado said. “My career background and experience has taught me a lot about public transportation and utilities. I am passionate about spearheading investment into quality infrastructure to the parts of the state that need it. We are seeing now more than ever that there is a strong need to address some pretty bad disparities. Without better telecommunications infrastructure, how can we expect to teach all our children remotely? The working Moms I represent don’t just want safe reliable public transportation, they need it to survive. These are issues that stretch all across our diverse state and impact urban and rural areas alike so I am hopeful we can build consensus around these ideas.”
“When I was younger I thought I needed to shut up. Now, I understand we need to speak up…”
-Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado
As someone who worked her way through both business and government and now is a newly established female leader in government, Delgado has some wisdom to impart on young women working their way up; “Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. I wish someone told me that when I was younger. I always thought that if it felt uncomfortable, I was doing something wrong. But, we need to be able to have uncomfortable conversations and speak openly about our challenges. When I was younger I thought I needed to shut up. Now, I understand we need to speak up about what is going on and have the tough conversations.”
The mission of the IHDWC is to promote the leadership of women elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and to create inclusive and collaborative policy outcomes for the state. The caucus is working to address systemic challenges for women in government and throughout the state, and to provide resources and forums for leadership development, mentoring and issue expertise that will elevate the role of women in public service.