McDermed leads House in honoring women; Demmer's praise of Bellock draws applause
Nevertheless she persisted was the theme in the Springfield capital.
International Women’s Day during Women’s History Month was quite obvious during House floor debate last week, with representatives honoring females during the hour.
Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) was the first to rise in honor of the day, beginning her point of personal privilege saying there is almost no path women can’t take anymore.
“When I first started out in the cut through corporate business world I was surrounded by men,” McDermed said. “Today, I am proud to say women have expanded into all facets of every industry, and it is clear women are no longer second class citizens here in the U.S.”
But the fight is not over, according to McDermed, who said this year's International Women’s Day theme is “Press for Progress,” which was her lead-in to the recent sexual harassment charges in the Capitol, “which ... proves that culturally if not under the law, we have a long way to go.
“To do that we must overcome generational misconceptions ingrained among women and men,” McDermed said, adding it must start at home, continue in schools and the communities. “And finally, if necessary, it ends here in the political process.”
Speaking of women in politics, Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) used his point of personal privilege to call attention to Rep. Patricia Bellock (R-Hinsdale), who he noted was celebrating her final International Women’s Day in the General Assembly.
“She is serving in her 10th term in the Illinois House of Representatives and she is our deputy minority leader, she is our chief budget negotiator, she is an expert held in high esteem across the entire state of Illinois in health care, developmental disability and mental health worlds,” he said.
Demmer said Bellock has been awarded by too many organizations, sat as a board of director in too many groups and volunteered in too many associations to list, adding she has been “a dedicated Sox fan since birth.”
“She is one of the hardest working legislators,” Demmer said. “If you drive into the Stratton Building before dawn her car is there and it is there well after sunset, and anytime you go to see Patti in her office, she has a line of people waiting outside to talk to her because they value her input on legislation and seek her support on bills.”
Kind and generous also describes Bellock, according to Demmer, who said she has been a mentor to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“I just want to recognize her tireless efforts and great friendship,” Demmer said to applause from the floor. “To Rep. Bellock and all the women that serve in this chamber, happy International Women’s Day.”
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) used her point of personal privilege to also honor women and how far they have come; however, she pointed there is further to go.
“Yesterday my page here was on a tour with me of the Capitol, and we were walking around talking about the history of our state and the people who make decisions here, and then she turned to me in the hall of governors and said ‘where are all the girls,’ and I said, ‘that’s on us and that’s on you,'” Bourne said.