Chairman James H. Lewis, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
Jim Lewis holds research and policy analysis positions at the University of Illinois, Chicago Great Cities Institute and at the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Prior to his current positions, he was Senior Program Officer at the Chicago Community Trust where he managed grant-making in the fields of human services and community development; he was Director of the Institute for Metropolitan Affairs at Roosevelt University where he also taught urban affairs and research methods; and he was Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League where he oversaw research in education, economic development and voting rights. Jim is former co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, was a member of the Simon-Stratton commission in campaign finance reform, and was a member of the State of Illinois Human Services Commission. He was a co-principal investigator on the official evaluation of welfare reform in Illinois and served as statistician for the City of Chicago's three initial HUD homeless counts. Lewis testified as both an expert and fact witness in federal litigation of City of Chicago ward and U.S. Congressional district remaps. He has authored more than 30 articles, book chapters and commissioned evaluation or research reports. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from Northwestern University.
Senator Heather Steans
Heather Steans brings outstanding experience to her position as the 7th District State Senator.
Heather started her first term on February 11, 2008. She graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in Urban Studies and received her M.A. in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
An advocate for good public policy, Heather’s professional career has focused on government finance, economic development and education reform efforts. She has:
- Managed the budgets of state agencies in Illinois and Wisconsin where she improved customer service and reduced costs.
- Developed the Chicago Public Schools’ multi-year strategic plan that produced education reforms.
- Directed urban economic development initiatives for the Civic Committee.
- Successfully launched programs to increase housing and asset development and promote job growth in Chicago.
She currently serves in the Illinois Senate as Chairperson of Appropriations I, and Vice Chairperson for the Environment Committee. She also serves on the Human Services and Public Health committees. Steans is active in developing equal protection and access to benefits for all as seen in her commitment to Medicaid reform, funding human services, leading the charge on nursing home reforms, and passing civil union legislation with the goal of full marriage equality.
Heather Steans and her husband, Leo Smith are raising their three children in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.
Pamela J. Althoff
Former Senator Pamela J. Althoff was appointed to the Illinois State Senate in March of 2003 and elected to a four-year term in November of 2004. She has championed legislation to increase open space, expand the agricultural industry and promote improved statewide economic growth. She is a proponent of improving the business/job climate of Illinois, obtaining equitable education funding reform, tax reforms and senior health issues.
Althoff is the Republican spokesperson for the Licensed Activities and Appropriations II Committees, and serves on the Higher Education, Labor, Appropriations I and Local Government Committees. She is also chair of the Local Government Caucus, co-chair of the Environmental Caucus, and serves on the Education Caucus, the Economic Development Committee of the Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments, the Violent Crime Advisory Committee, and the Executive Committee for the National Conference of State Legislators.
Althoff served as a board member and general campaign chair for United Way (2006-7) and remains active as a board member. She is also active with the McHenry County College Foundation Board, McHenry County College Friends of the Foundation, McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce, Pioneer Center and PALS.
Prior to joining the State Senate, Althoff served as Mayor for the City of McHenry as well as a Special Education teacher. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from Illinois State University and a Masters Degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Althoff now resides in McHenry.
Representative William “Will” Davis
Since taking office in 2003, State Representative William “Will” Davis has been dedicated to serving the needs of 30th District residents. His top legislative priorities include education funding, increased health care availability and economic development.
As a leader for education reform, Davis knows that Illinois children are being shortchanged on a quality schools and homeowners are being overwhelmed by an unfair property tax burden. Illinois has the most inequitable education funding system in the country, which is why Davis is continuing his fight for fundamental structural changes that will eliminate gross funding disparities among Illinois school districts and provide substantial property tax relief to Southland homeowners and businesses. Davis believes that geography should not determine the quality of education a student receives and that al Illinois students are entitled to first-rate classroom opportunities.
In 2005, Rep. Davis helped make Illinois the first state in the nation to guarantee access to quality and affordable health care for all children, regardless of income. He is working continuously to improve health care and has supported legislation to address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cervical and breast cancer. Davis believes that access to health care is a right and that no American should be without insurance coverage.
Davis is focused on spurring economic development and revitalization in the South Suburbs. As an advocate for small businesses, he understands that they are the backbone of our community and provide the services, products and employment that sustain our economy. To help stimulate the Illinois economy, Davis worked to increase the state loan amounts available to small businesses owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities from $50,000 to $100,000. He also helped captured millions in funding for the Highway Improvement Program to repair deteriorating roads and bridges. He backs the passage of new state capital spending plan to rebuild crumbling public infrastructure and is a longtime supporter of the Abraham Lincoln National Airport at Peotone.
In the 96th General Assembly, Davis serves as Chair of the Health and Healthcare Disparities Committee and Vice Chair of the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations and Tollway Oversight committees. He also serves on the Higher Education Appropriations, International Trade and Commerce, Labor, and Railroad Safety committees.
The Illinois Association of Code Enforcement, Illinois Primary Healthcare Association, and the Illinois Association of Park Districts have all recognized Davis with “Legislator of the Year” awards.
Will Davis was born on July 2, 1968 in Harvey, Illinois. Davis holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Governors State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1989. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He is a founding member of the Better Funding for Better Schools Coalition. Davis also serves on the Foundation Board of South Suburban College.
Prior to his legislative service, Davis served as an Admissions Counselor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale from 1990 to 1996. From 1997 to 2003, he was the Deputy District Administrator for Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. Davis is a dedicated member of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Harvey.
José R. Sánchez, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian American Hospital, is Chicago’s only Latino hospital CEO. Sánchez has a 30-plus year career as a health care executive and possesses a wealth of knowledge of the health care industry.
As President and CEO of Norwegian American, Sánchez is dedicated to enhancing the quality of services provided to more than 112,000 patients annually. Among his first priorities was to lead the management executive team to critically assess and refine the quality of all systems, structures and services that are currently in place. Sánchez is committed to pursuing collaborative and innovative solutions to combat the health care challenges of the communities the hospital serves: Humboldt Park, West Town, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Austin.
Before joining Norwegian American Hospital, Sánchez was the Senior Vice President of the Generations +/Northern Manhattan Health Network, one of the largest health care networks in the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. During his tenure, he oversaw three acute care hospitals of which two were level one trauma centers, and 34 community-based health centers in East Harlem, Central Harlem and the South Bronx in New York City.
Sánchez is the architect of the Urban Health Conference, an annual national forum in existence since 2001 that brings together more than 300 health care providers to focus on the disparities in health care for minority populations and strategies to eliminate them. He serves as Chairman of the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation Board of Directors, which provides microlending and business development services for community businesses. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Boricua College in New York. The college was designed to serve the educational needs of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics. In October 2009, Sánchez was named among the “Most Influential Latinos” in the United States by
Hispanic Business Magazine, a New York Times Co. syndicated publication.
Sánchez has been a licensed social worker since 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the City College of New York and a Master of Social Work from Adelphi University. In 2002, he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. This honor recognized his measurable accomplishments and steadfast commitment to improving the health status of the poorest and most disadvantaged populations in New York City.
Director- Budgeting for Results Unit, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget
Curt Clemons-Mosby coordinates the implementation of the Budgeting for Results process which signed into law under Public Act 96-958.
Through the Budgeting for Results Unit at the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), Curt directs statewide program performance analysis and cost-benefit processes to provide improved data and analysis to support the Illinois budget process. He designed and implemented the Illinois Performance Reporting System (IPRS), the State’s flagship program performance data collection system. Curt is a Commissioner and Staff Director for the Budgeting for Results Commission, and also serves as Staff Director for the Illinois Youth Budget Commission. Curt is a board member on both the Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Board, and the Illinois Competitiveness Council.
Curt has a Masters in Political Science and a graduate certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Planning from the University of Illinois Springfield.
With ten years at GOMB and previous experience with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois House of Representatives, Curt has a strong professional background in program performance evaluation and public policy.
Senior Lecturer - Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago
Paula R. Worthington received her PhD in 1988 in economics from Northwestern University.
Worthington is currently the academic director of the University of Chicago, Center for Municipal Finance School's Policy Labs program. She is also the faculty lead of the MPP program.
She teaches courses in state and local government relating to cost-benefit analysis at Harris School of Public Policy. Worthington has been recognized for her excellence in teaching, receiving nine awards since her arrival at Harris in 2004.
Previous to her position at Harris, Worthington served as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington DC where she presented research, policy analysis, and other written materials to provide high quality economic analysis to the Executive Office of the President. In addition, she has worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She has published articles in academic journals and Federal Reserve Publications. Immediately before her position at Harris School, she lectured for the economics department at Northwestern University.
Jesse Elam is deputy executive director for Research, Analysis, and Programming at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), where he has worked since 2005. He oversees transportation programming, including approximately $160 million per year in grants under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, Transportation Alternatives Program, and the new Surface Transportation Program Shared Fund, which he played a leading role in creating. He also manages travel demand modeling and policy development at the agency. He has been heavily involved in promoting congestion pricing and in helping develop the ON TO 2050 plan. Previously at CMAP and its predecessor the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC), he was responsible for several areas of environmental planning, including water supply and water quality planning. Occasionally he serves as adjunct faculty in environmental planning and policy. Prior to NIPC, Jesse worked in biological research and then environmental education. Jesse has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago and bachelor's degrees in biology and in philosophy from Millsaps College.
Nelson Gerew serves as Director of Data and Policy at The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund). In this role, he is responsible for managing and utilizing the Fund’s data resources and providing analytic support for all aspects of The Fund’s work. He also leads the development of many of The Fund’s reports on policy topics and works closely with partners at Chicago Public Schools and throughout the education sector in Chicago.
Prior to joining The Fund, Nelson worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as a research assistant and research associate. Nelson received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University.
Anthony A. Pascente serves as Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS ) and oversees the day-to-day operations for the Director’s Office. CMS is the operational engine working behind the scenes to enable the State’s more than 80 agencies, boards, and commissions to deliver efficient, reliable services to all Illinois citizens.
He is an accomplished management executive with nearly 20 years of diverse State and City government as well as private sector experience. Prior to joining CMS, Pascente served as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chicago in the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In that role, he oversaw a portfolio of the City’s physical infrastructure departments including Streets & Sanitation, Transportation, Water Management, Fleet and Facility Management, Emergency Management & Communications, and Buildings.
He joined the Office of the Mayor after serving two years as Deputy Commissioner for the City’s Fleet and Facility Management (2FM) department where he managed the fiscal, procurement, and information technology operations. Pascente prepared, executed and managed the department’s annual operating budget and procured more than $500M of goods and services while exceeding the City’s Minority and Women Owned Business participation goals.
Prior to 2FM, he served as a Budget and Business Analyst at Arcadis U.S., a global design, engineering and management consulting company where he was assigned to the Chicago Department of Water Management’s Capital Improvement Program.
He is a lifelong Chicagoan and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola University (Chicago), and his MBA from Roosevelt University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He continued his post-graduate studies and earned certificates in Project Management from UC Berkeley, Public Performance Management from Rutgers University, and Contract Management from George Washington University.