Friends, confession time: for the past several years, in my city and state elections, if I hadn't heard anything bad about the people on the ballot, I assumed "no news is good news" and cast a vote for that person again.
Oh boy. *hangs head in embarrassment*
Also, since the 2016 election, I've found that I've mostly been focused on what is happening in Congress on a national level and completely neglecting what's happening in my home state.
Today, I decided it was time to find out who was representing me here in Chicago, as well is in the Illinois General Assembly, and I came away with some answers and some surprises. First off, my alderman is actually contemplating running for governor of Illinois. I had read up on him (and even endorsed him!) after hearing his about his intention to run for governor, but did not realize he had been representing me the whole time! That's pretty embarrassing.
I also took the time to do some research on my representatives in the Illinois General Assembly. It turns out both my state representative and my senator both have e-newsletters that are sent out on a regular basis! I had been wondering if there was any way to regularly track what was happening in the state legislature, and these newsletters look like my best shot. I also tracked down my senator on Twitter, as well as my alderman. It appears my alderman has more followers than my senator, which made me a little sad since the senate district is massive.
Currently, the state legislature is on a break for the holiday weekend, but I'll be ready for when they return and begin sending out updates.
If you've got five minutes today to do a little bit of research, I highly recommend tracking down who is representing you in your city and your state. I had absolutely NO IDEA who had a say over my ward and districts, and it was incredibly enlightening, even if my ignorance did make me cringe a few times. Follow your reps on Twitter, subscribe to their e-newsletters, and plug their contact information into your phone so if the Affordable Care Act gets updated so states decide levels of insurance coverage, then you'll know who to reach out to first.