Commissioners (BFR)

Sen Heather SteansState SenatorIL General Assembly
Sen Pam AlthoffState SenatorIL General Assembly
Rep Will DavisState RepresentativeIL General Assembly
Mischa FisherChief Economist, Advisor to the GovernorState of Illinois
Rep David HarrisState RepresentativeIL General Assembly
Jesse ElamDirector of Chicago Metropolitan Agency for PlanningCMAP (Environment)
Kathy SaltmarshExecutive DirectorIllinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC)
Nelson GerewDirector of Program Investment Chicago Public Education FundChicago Public Education Fund (Education)
Chairman Jim LewisSenior ResearcherUnited Way of Metropolitan Chicago
Jose SanchezCEO and PresidentNorwegian American Hospital
Curt Clemons-MosbyDirector - Budgeting for ResultsGovernor's Office of Management and Budget
Ruth CoffmanExecutive DirectorResearch Partnership at URban Labs



James H. Lewis, Ph.D.

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

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.

Senator Pamela J. Althoff

Senator Pamela J. Althoff

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. The senator 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

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.

Representative David Harris

Representative David Harris

Rep. David Harris was raised in the district in Mount Prospect, and he and Michelle, his wife of 30 years, have lived in Arlington Heights their entire marriage, and they have raised two sons here. He and his two sons are graduates of St. Viator High School. His older son is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, and is currently a Captain in the US Army. His younger son attends Northwestern University and is a Division 1 athlete on the school’s soccer team.

Harris is a recognized leader in the area, having previously served in the House of Representatives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He left public service to take the position as the Senior Vice President of the Illinois Hospital Association, which is the trade association representing nearly 200 hospitals in Illinois.

Throughout his career, Harris proudly continued his military service as a member of the National Guard. And he returned to public service in 1999 to become The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard. As the officer in charge of all military and civilian operations of the Illinois National Guard, both Army and Air, Harris oversaw 13,500 men and women in uniform and 500 civilian personnel. He had the responsibility to ensure that the units of the National Guard were properly trained, equipped and ready to perform their state and federal missions. He led the Illinois National Guard through the difficult period after 9/11 and mobilized numerous Army and Air units for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

In 2003 Harris retired from military service after 33 years with the rank of Major General.

Shortly after that he accepted a position with the US Department of State as the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO). IRMO was the State Department organization responsible for the oversight of $18.4 billion appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq. Harris spent 14 months in Iraq during the height of the insurrection there.

When he returned from Iraq, General Harris became the Military Analyst for WGN-TV in Chicago. He would regularly appear on the WGN Morning News program, as well as other network time slots, to provide insight and analysis on news items related to military matters. He served in this capacity until February of this year when he became the Republican candidate for State Representative.

Major General Harris is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. His professional military education includes the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College in residence, Military Police Officer courses, and training and leadership seminars at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Entering military service in 1970, General Harris served in uniform for 33 years. He earned his commission through Officer Candidate School, U.S. Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, and he was inducted into the Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in May 2002.

General Harris’ civic affiliations include service as a Member of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. He is also a Life Member of the Association of the U.S. Army, a Life Member of both the National Guard Association of the U.S. and the National Guard Association of Illinois, and a Life Member of the Military Officers Association of America.

  Jose Sanchez

Jose Sanchez

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.

Curt Clemons-Mosby

Acting 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 the staff director for the Budgeting for Results Commission and also serves as a member of 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 seven 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.

Curt and his wife Amanda are active in their local church and enjoy watching rugby