Geneva, IL – After more than 31,000 phone calls and hearing Illinois’ 65th District residents’ struggles firsthand, Martha Paschke pledges to keep fighting to ensure the voices of all community members are heard in Springfield.
“While we may have lost the race, we have a victory to claim by successfully pushing issues – such as common sense gun reform, health care and social injustice — to the forefront in this campaign,” Paschke said of her race against incumbent Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva). “We have reminded our representative that he answers to us — his constituents — and we will not remain quiet on the issues that matter.”
Paschke, who turned to reaching voters via phone after COVID-19 hit earlier this year, said talking to people from throughout the district and hearing their stories and challenges is what has inspired her to keep working on behalf of her community, whether or not she is in office.
“From the working mother trying to balance remote learning and work-from-home, to the retiree in an assisted living facility concerned with his health during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am committed to continuing to work alongside each of you for positive change in our communities, “ said Paschke.
As a resident of the 65th District and a community leader, Paschke said she intends to work with Ugaste and other elected officials to seek reform in the areas of gun safety, supporting local business, funding education, protecting our environment, inclusive health care, social justice reform and a tax system that makes sense.
“I want nothing less for my community than a representative who will listen to us and work hard to ensure that we have every opportunity to thrive,” Paschke said. “I will continue to stay engaged with our elected officials, and fight for responsive and accountable leadership from them,” she said.
For immediate release: October 5, 2020
Paschke, Moeller team up to sponsor winter item drive to support community’s houseless residents
Geneva, IL – State representative candidate Martha Paschke is continuing her efforts to address the needs of all members of the 65th District by co-sponsoring a winter item collection drive Saturday, Oct. 10 with 43rd District state Rep. Anna Moeller.
The event, which will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, 357 Division St. in Elgin, will benefit Helping Hands & Caring Hearts, a Hampshire-based organization tasked with providing basic essentials to community members in need. Items most needed include: winter boots, blankets, coats, hats, gloves, gym shoes, jeans, long underwear, mini propane tanks, sleeping bags, socks, sweat pants, sweat shirts, toilet paper, baby wipes, underwear, hand warmers and water. Clothing and footwear are needed in men’s and women’s sizes, mostly men’s.
“I love the work Helping Hands & Caring Hearts does because they treat each person with dignity,” Paschke said of the organization she said brings community members together to support houseless people. “Helping Hands supports people who are frequently forgotten, underserved, and about whom many negative assumptions are made.”
Paschke said she is honored to join Rep. Moeller (D-Elgin) in working to ensure the needs of community members throughout the greater Fox Valley are met.
“Working jointly to serve the members of our community most in need is the least we can do to acknowledge their humanity and care for them in a way that lets them know they aren’t forgotten,” Paschke said.
Paschke noted that during the pandemic, the needs of charities and community members are even more critical. “We know that so many charitable organizations are hurting at this time, so if we find ourselves able to give, we should do so generously,” Paschke said.
For more information, visit Marth Paschke for IL 65’s events page on Facebook or email the campaign at email@example.com. To learn more about Helping Hands & Caring Hearts visit their Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release: September 29, 2020 12 PM
Republican Steve Andersson Endorses Martha Paschke for his former seat as IL 65th District State Representative
Geneva, IL–Democratic IL 65th District candidate Martha Paschke announced today that she is being endorsed by Steve Andersson, the former Republican office holder of the seat she is seeking, due to her strong leadership and demonstrated willingness to work across the aisle — qualities Andersson says are missing in the current state representative.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of former state Rep. Steve Andersson, who fairly represented the 65th District with integrity, tirelessly working to not only speak for our community, but to listen to his constituents,” said Paschke, who is looking to unseat Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) in the Nov. 3 election. “Rep. Andersson showed his initiative sponsoring and passing many bills. Notably, he rose to the level of Republican Floor Leader, after only one term. He worked with Democrats, Republicans and Independents to make real change, and I intend to do the same,” she said.
Andersson, who has known Paschke for several years, said he respects her willingness to work with people of all points of view, as well as her ability to present well-researched and reasoned arguments that matter to her and the people of the 65th District.
“This is not partisan for her,” Andersson said. “She is willing to speak openly and genuinely on the merits of any position and to reach out on both sides of the aisle,” he said.
Andersson said his first encounter with Paschke was while she was advocating for small business health care professionals who were being frozen out of the medical marketplace. “She was fighting to give consumers greater choice in the birth experience of their children, instead of only allowing big medicine to control those decisions,” he said of Paschke’s advocacy work in women’s health care.
“Fighting for small business was always important to me, and I see that same passion in Martha,” Andersson said, noting that Paschke has been outspoken in her support for economic growth and encouraging the development of all small businesses that serve the 65th District.
“Martha is fighting the good fight for social issues in our community, but she also is fighting for our small businesses,” Andersson said.
Andersson said Paschke opted to run to represent the 65th District because incumbent Ugaste is not showing the necessary leadership or adequately representing his constituents.
“Martha saw a deficit in the way our district is being represented and she’s looking to do something about that,” Andersson said, adding that Paschke told him she would not have considered running if Ugaste had been reaching out to work with all of his constituents and other stakeholders to solve problems. “Ugaste just is not doing that.” Andersson said.
“Our district is increasingly diverse in opinions and makeup. Our representative must strive to reflect that diversity in their votes and work,” Andersson said. “It’s not that Dan Ugaste is a bad person, he’s not, but he invariably votes only with Republican talking points. If you are in the minority party, like I was, to be effective, you must realize that habitually voting ‘no’ means you will effectively have no voice in legislation. If, on the other hand, you recognize the reality and instead learn to influence the legislation by working across the aisle and around the edges, you can have a real impact. But it does mean putting real thought into your votes, and not always voting the party line,” Andersson said. “Unfortunately, I’ve never seen Dan Ugaste reach across the aisle on any issue, when he could have made a difference, and that’s critical to being an effective legislator,” he said.
Andersson said he perceives his successor Ugaste an “unproductive legislator” who has failed to pass any meaningful legislation. “I was so disappointed to see that not only did Dan Ugaste fail to pass a single bill into law in two years, but he didn’t take bills coming from the Senate and work on passing those bills in the House. In fact, he only took one such bill in two years and it went nowhere. Usually colleagues in the Senate look for help from legislators they can trust to push the bill in the House, but for whatever reason, Dan was not asked to sponsor bills from his Senate colleagues or chose not to do so. Either way, that is a dramatic sign of a legislator who is not considered to have much influence in the Chamber,” Andersson said.
“I want my representative to be an advocate for us in the House, not just a generic Republican ‘no’ vote,” Andersson said. “Our district deserves a Representative who reflects our diverse ideals, and Dan just doesn’t do that. He just never took the opportunity to be the agent of change. In fact, I’ve rarely ever heard him speak from the floor — and I pay attention,” he said.
Most recently, Andersson said, what drove him to go public with his endorsement of Paschke was the leadership she displayed during the public outrage over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Paschke spoke out immediately about the needs for social justice reform and racial inequalities in our society, while Ugaste was silent, Andersson said.
“You’re supposed to be a voice for the people of your district, but Dan Ugaste was silent,” Andersson said. “I’d respect him more if he said something I didn’t agree with, but Dan Ugaste said nothing — for weeks — while Martha Paschke was front and center working for change she believes in and listening to members of her community,” Andersson said.
View the Andersson endorsement.
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For immediate release: July 22, 2020
Moms Demand Action founder, local gun violence survivor to join Paschke for special Facebook Live event
Geneva, IL – Martha Paschke, democratic candidate for Illinois’ 65th House District, will tackle gun violence issues during a special virtual event next month with Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts and St. Charles resident Anjum Coffland, who tragically lost her twin daughters at the hands of their father in 2017.
The event will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13 on Paschke’s Facebook page.
“Shannon and Anjum are both knowledgeable and passionate advocates, who have a lot of important information to discuss about common-sense gun legislation and gun violence prevention,” said Paschke, who earned the Moms Demand Action “Gun Sense Candidate” distinction this year.
Shannon Watts is a mother of five and founder of Moms Demand Action, which has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, with nearly 6 million supporters.
Anjum Coffland is a resident of St. Charles. In 2017, Coffland’s husband shot her, their twin 16-year-old daughters, Brittany and Tiffany, and then himself. Only Anjum Coffland survived. Since that tragedy, she has become a strong advocate for gun violence prevention.
For immediate release: May 28, 2020
Local Candidates’ Competition Results in Nearly 6,500 Masks Assembled for Community Group Supplying Local Nonprofits
St. Charles, IL – When a local grass-roots organization supplying masks to area nonprofit groups called on volunteers to amp up efforts, three local leaders stepped up with a friendly competition and inspired their communities to meet the challenge, resulting in nearly 6,500 masks being assembled in a three-day period.
“We were truly awestruck by the response from our community and the three candidates who inspired them to action,” said Sue Sanders, a St. Charles resident and Mask Up Kane County (MUKC) volunteer.
That response was spearheaded by Geneva resident Martha Paschke, democratic candidate for Illinois’ 65th House District, who felt that a friendly mask-making competition over Memorial Day weekend would be a great way to help members of her community and to introduce others to the great work MUKC is doing. Teams led by Jamie Mosser, candidate for Kane County state’s attorney, and Maura Hirschauer, who is running in IL House District 49, quickly signed on and their joint efforts pushed the group’s mask distribution total to more then 55,000 since its inception.
“If there is one thing I know about my team and my community, it’s that they will always step up when there is a need,” said Paschke. “I’d heard that Mask Up Kane County was concerned about being able to continue to meet the need for masks, and knew that we could help.”
Participants were provided with no-sew mask kits that included instructions and materials — auto shop cloths, paper clips, rubber bands and zip ties — to make 25 masks. With more than 350 volunteers and donors, MUKC provides such kits to anyone wanting to help in the effort to supply masks to area nonprofits, including homeless shelters such as Lazarus House in St. Charles and Hesed House in Aurora and Mutual Ground, a shelter for domestic violence survivors in Aurora.
“Our strength is in our unity,” said Hirschauer of Batavia. “We came together from all corners of Kane County to make masks for Mask Up Kane County. We were blown away by the support for this wonderful organization and grateful to be a part of such an impactful and uplifting weekend,” Hirschauer said.
“I was thrilled to have Maura Hirschauer and Jamie Mosser’s teams join us in the challenge, and while I knew we’d make a lot of masks, I was still amazed by the amount of energy and passion our teams turned out to meet the need,” said Paschke.
Sanders, who helps pack the supply kits, said the organization already had 350 volunteers when the competition began, and was amazed when the orders for new kits just kept coming from the three candidates. Just a few days prior, MUKC volunteers were concerned that participation would begin to drop off as the weather gets nicer and businesses begin to reopen.
The competition really took off when Mosser released a playful video on social media claiming her team could produce more masks than Team Paschke.
“I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to give back to the community in such a fun way. I would also like to thank my fellow candidates for their willingness to make such a big impact on those in need,” Mosser said.
Sanders said the experience was rewarding for all involved and she hopes that community members will continue to support MUKC as long as the need continues.
“We are so grateful for this competition that the local candidates created over the Memorial Day weekend,” said Sanders. She also was impressed that the candidates opted to declare the community a winner rather than revealing which candidate had inspired the most completed kits. “The volunteers received benefits as well as a stronger sense of community, team spirit, improved social connections, and a stress reliever for the competitors. Another positive outcome, lives are being saved by the masks being crafted and distributed, while supporting their favorite candidate. Win/Win from the Mask Up Kane County perspective,” she said.
For more information on volunteering or donating Mask Up Kane County, visit www.maskupkanecounty.org.