A Letter of Gratitude to our Coalition

To our Coalition Partners,

If you’re like me, you might feel at a loss for words as you try to describe the past year. I’ve said this countless times over the last 9 months, but if anyone had told me a year ago how my first year as Executive Director of Illinois Partners would unfold, I don’t think I would have believed them. I know I am not alone in feeling exhausted, I’m guessing you probably feel that way too. I have been reminded every day that resilience is fundamentally necessary to do this work.

This year has shown me that the strength of Illinois Partners has always been in the collective power of our coalition, and the resilience of each of you. You have shown up this year in incredible ways — most centrally, in a tireless commitment to advocating for the needs of your clients and communities. It is because of this resilience that we were able to center your stories and amplify your work to our elected leaders. Your commitment to your communities allowed us to distribute more than 500,000 masks to health and human service organizations across the state. We learned from your experiences and shared them in our testimony to the Senate Public Health and Human Services committees, while recognizing that the time is long overdue to confront the inequity in our state’s distribution of resources. Together we demanded that Governor Pritzker protect and preserve our health and human service sector, and hundreds of you joined us. And this is just the tip of the iceberg — your resilience and commitment has strengthened our coalition in so many ways.

As we move into a difficult budget year, I know that there is a great deal of anxiety about what the future holds. Though I feel this anxiety too, I am resolute in my belief that an investment in human services is an investment in the health and safety of our communities. We have more work to do to make health and safety a reality for every community throughout Illinois. I promise that we’ll continue to fight for you as hard as you’ve been fighting for your clients and communities — and I am certain that our collective power will only move us forward.

With Gratitude,

Lauren

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