Political figures across Illinois are remembering Dawn Clark Netsch, the first woman elected on a major ticket to run for governor in Illinois.
Netsch died early Tuesday from complications of ALS. She was 86.
"As an elected delegate to the Illinois constitutional convention in 1970, she spearheaded the movement to modernize our constitution,” Gov. Pat Quinn said.
"For decades, Dawn was a powerful and plain-spoken voice for those whose voices were not heard in our city and state," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "She refused to allow underrepresented residents of our city and state, whether they were women, immigrants, or gays and lesbians, be denied a seat at the table."
"The Illinois political scene will not be the same without that pool-shooting Sox Fan with a cigarette holder," Sen. Dick Durbin said, "but generations of Illinois women can thank the indomitable force of Dawn Clark Netsch for blazing their path.”
"Dawn Clark Netsch set the standard for integrity in public service," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. "She led by example with relentless honesty, fierce independence and a passionate belief in civil liberty for all. Her unwavering dedication to the People of Illinois will be missed. She blazed a trail for women and worked hard to make sure so many of us could follow her.”
“Her legacy will live on through her incomparable career of helping others," Secretary of State Jesse White said. "She will be missed, and the state of Illinois owes her a debt of gratitude.”
"Dawn always remembered that government exists to serve taxpayers, not the other way around," Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said. "She was a leader who was ahead of her time and our state is better for her service. More than that, she was a consummate professional and a class act. It was my honor to call her a colleague and friend."
"Dawn leaves behind a long path paved with the shattered glass from the ceilings she broke for women in leadership," said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley.
"She was straight forward, a straight shooter and great at explaining state issues. She was not just a public servant, but a teacher. She will be missed," said Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon.
"Chicago has lost a bold and progressive voice whose vision unified independent blocs and causes everywhere, from our City’s lakefront to the Capitol in Springfield," said Ald. Ed Burke. "Dawn Clark Netsch was a groundbreaking leader who set her own compass. She was never swayed by either the imposing power of party leaders or by their agendas. Rather she approached problems with a fresh spirit and the keen eye of an academic. She listened to the underrepresented and advanced causes that sought fairness and gave balance to our society."