193: Kathleen Willis

Steve chats with Representative Kathleen Willis, who represents Illinois’s 77th District, about her past experience in libraries, her legislative priorities, the parts of writing a bill that Schoolhouse Rock doesn’t cover, and how library staff can successfully lobby for funding.

Kathleen Willis is serving her fourth term in the Illinois General Assembly as State Representative of the 77th District, which includes O’Hare Airport and portions of Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, Stone Park, and Wood Dale. Representative Willis now serves as leadership in the Illinois General Assembly as House Majority Conference Chair.

As a full-time state representative, Kathleen’s top priorities are to improve access to quality education, human services, prevent unfair property tax increases on local families, make our neighborhoods safer by keeping deadly assault weapons off our streets and out of the hands of criminals, and work to get Illinois’ state government and economy back on the right track. Representative Willis was the primary sponsor and instrumental in passing the Red Flag law, which is a gun violence prevention law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.

Kathleen has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Administration from Elmhurst College and a master’s degree in Library and Information Services from the University of Illinois. She and her husband, Tom, reside in Addison.