Deb Conroy is a passionate community activist and a tireless advocate for mental health and DuPage County schools. Deb attended York Community High School, the College of DuPage, and Columbia College. A former Elmhurst District 205 school board member, Deb fought to improve access to education for special needs students. In 2012, Deb launched an underdog bid for State Representative in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in 36 years. Deb ran a dynamic grassroots campaign, spoke to thousands of families across the 46th district, and secured a resounding 16-point win.

The spirit of service that first drove Deb to get involved as a young parent has stayed with her to this day. In Springfield, Deb’s poured countless hours into her work as chair of the House Mental Health Committee, while fighting for our schools, voting to protect vital health care programs, and finding bipartisan solutions to make our government more transparent and accountable. Deb always votes her district. Deb has four adult sons and currently lives in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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Before Deb was a public servant, she was a parent to four DuPage County students. As a volunteer teacher, PTA member, and nonprofit leader working to support District 205 schools, Deb saw the difference good local schools can make for our communities – but she also saw that DuPage County schools had room to improve. One area where our schools faced serious challenges was access for special needs students – so Deb stepped up and fought to ensure that classrooms for special needs students were located safely on the first floor. She served on the board of the Elmhurst Children’s Assistance Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families with disabled or medically burdened children. Deb ran for school board because she wanted to bring positive changes like this to our local schools – and she’s continued to fight for our schools ever since.

And Deb hasn’t just fought for our schools – she’s delivered. For too long, school boards have faced an impossible choice: raise property taxes or cut vital programs that help our children succeed. That’s why Deb enthusiastically supported the 2018 bipartisan budget, which helped bring more than $500,000 in new funding for the 46th District schools. This bill means more money that allows school boards to protect important programs, while still delivering property tax relief for DuPage County families.

In Springfield, Deb passed laws to protect health care for patients with pre-existing conditions, fund programs that reduce opioid abuse, and make our state government more efficient. As chair of the House Mental Health Committee, she’s worked hard to make sure insurers cover the care patients need, partnered with local law enforcement to reduce drug use in our communities, and fought to ensure that hospitals and clinics across Illinois have the funding they need. And during the budget crisis, Deb worked to restore funding for vital programs – from early-childhood programs that serve young patients to in-home medical treatment for seniors.

Deb believes good government should be a bipartisan issue. That’s why she’s worked with colleagues in both parties to pass bills that make state and local government more efficient, transparent, and accountable. One of the first bills Deb passed as a legislator allowed units of local government in DuPage County to consolidate. This bill eliminated wasteful layers of bureaucracy, made our county government more efficient, and delivered real savings for taxpayers. It’s proven so effective that counties across the state are using it as a model to reduce government waste.

Our state faces real challenges as we recover from the budget crisis and work towards better schools, quality health care, and more accountability in government. The work won’t be easy – and now, more than ever, we need a voice in Springfield who’ll bring a serious and thoughtful approach to these issues and so many others. Deb has been that voice – speaking up for transparency, common sense, and honesty in Springfield. That’s exactly what she’ll do over the next two years – because the people of Illinois deserve nothing less.