Linda Chapa LaVia has come a long way from that young mom considering a run for public office back in 2001, who tried to hide in the corner at a hoity-toity fundraiser featuring U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

That’s the evening the long-time Illinois politician learned the Aurora woman was not only a small business owner and bilingual but also a United States Army veteran.

“Run, you will win,” Chapa LaVia recalls Durbin telling her point blank.

And she did — becoming the first female Latina outside Cook County to be elected to the Illinois House of Representatives.

With Democrats now holding a super majority, “there’s nowhere else to point the blame,” she rightfully noted. “We need to proceed with caution because with greater power comes greater responsibility.”

As does leadership.

“When we leave,” Holmes said, “we need to make sure other women are prepared to step into that role.”

Chapa LaVia said when she called her mother to tell her that her peers overwhelmingly voted her in as assistant majority leader, “I was so excited that I was crying … but I’m not sure she understood it all. For her, it was just another first.”

“I hope I can live up to her expectations,” Chapa LaVia said. “My most important role is to help women see their full potential.”

Twitter @dencrosby

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City: Aurora,Region: W Suburbs,Opinion

via Beacon News Opinion – Aurora Beacon-News

January 28, 2019 at 06:06AM