Thumbs up: To the McHenry County Mental Health Board and Crystal Lake-based Community High School District 155 for their partnership to train about 250 staff members to be better equipped to help prevent suicide. High school communities around the area including in District 155 have been devastated too often when students have taken their own lives, leaving permanent wounds to surviving family members and friends. This training will help those who are around young people everyday better identify risks and guide students toward seeking the help they need.
Thumbs up: To Huntley resident Cynthia Schumann, for creating an online program designed to help train staffs in the hospitality industry on what to do if they see a potentially unsafe situation for guests or employees. Using her 30 years of experience with the Chicago Police Department, Schumann has created a program that should help employers better utilize anti-violence strategies. The course, found at learnwithluma.com/domestic-violence-in-the-workplace, takes about an hour to complete, and we encourage those who can take it to do so.
Thumbs down: To Illinois House Democrats who once again voted Michael Madigan their leader. Madigan was elected to his 17th term as Speaker, putting him on track to soon become the longest-serving statehouse speaker in modern U.S. history. During Madigan’s tenure, Illinois has amassed a $120 billion pension deficit, the worst-in-the-nation; more than $11 billion in unpaid bills to vendors who already have supplied the services they are owed for; the worst credit rating of any state in the country; and we could go on and on. Yet House Democrats think he is their best option to lead them for another two years? No, the truth is they are afraid of him and his power. Shame.
Thumbs up: To the lone Democrat, Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood, who did not vote for Madigan. “I am confident that my vote represents the view of the vast majority of my constituents,” Drury, who voted “present” on the speakership election, said in a written statement. “In that respect, the decision was easy. Unfortunately, I have learned that what is popular with constituents does not always align with what is popular in Springfield. In the end, I chose the public over politicians.” So now we’ll get to see how Madigan chooses to punish Drury for his defiance.