Activists, pols and CEOs fill Blagojevich roster - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Activists, pols and CEOs fill Blagojevich roster


Gov.-elect Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday continued to sketch in the outlines of who will participate in his new government, naming the leaders of 16 policy panels that will participate in his transition team.

The civic activists, politicians, business officials and others will build on the ideas he offered during the campaign, and study urgent policy areas that will need to be addressed soon, Mr. Blagojevich said in a statement announcing the appointments.

“The list includes people who are leaders in their fields and represent every part of the state,” Mr. Blagojevich said. “I am confident that they will help me create a state government that is responsive to the needs of every household.”

Though the committees now will only advise, some of their members are considered likely contenders for posts in the Blagojevich administration.

The committees and their chairs, or co-chairs, are: • Agriculture—State Rep. Chuck Hartke, D-Teutopolis; and Joseph Sullivan, chairman and former CEO of the Vigoro Corp.

• Civil Rights—Vera Davis, president of the West Side Branch of the NAACP; and Martin King, chairman of Operation PUSH.

• Consumer Affairs and Regulatory Policy—John Mitola, CEO of Electric City Corp.; Charles Hill, chairman of the Woodstock Institute; and Ron Kastner, president and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 21.

• Crime, Public Safety and Anti-terrorism—Ted Street, president of the Illinois Federation of Police; and Diane Williams, president and CEO of the SAFER Foundation, a social service agency for ex-convicts.

• Economic Development—Vincent Barnes, executive director of Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp.; Paul O’Connor, executive director of World Business Chicago; state Sen. Larry D. Woolard, D-Carterville; and David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Assn.

• Elementary and Secondary Education—Anne Davis, president of the Illinois Education Assn.; James Doherty, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers; Sarah Williamson, president of the Illinois PTA Assn.; and Michael Johnson, executive director of the Illinois Assn. of State School Boards.

• Environment/Energy/Natural Resources—State Rep. Joe Brunsvold, D-Milan; and Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

• Ethics—Former congressman and White House Counsel Abner Mikva; Mary Lee Leahy, former director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services; and Dawn Clark Netsch, former state comptroller and former state senator.

• Health—Joyce Washington, president and CEO of the Washington Group; Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, dean and provost at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield; Tom Balanoff, president of Local 1 Service Employees International Union; and Raghuveer Nayak, an architect of the proposed Cook County Prescription Assistance Coverage for the Elderly program.

• Higher Education—State Rep. Judy Erwin, D-Chicago, chair of the House Higher Education Committee; and James Walker, president of Southern Illinois University.

• Housing—U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Chicago.

• Labor—Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; and Ron Powell, president of Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

• Local Government—Cook County Board President John Stroger, Cook County Assessor James Houlihan, Illinois Municipal League President Gary Niebur and Palatine Mayor Rita Mullins.

• Social Services—Tina Tchen, a partner in the Chicago office of law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Barbara Jones Green, founder of Lakeside Community Center; and Loretta Durbin, vice-president of Government Affairs Specialists and wife of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

• Streamlining Government—MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council; state Sen.-elect Jeffrey Schoenberg, D-Evanston; and John McCarter Jr., president and CEO of the Field Museum and former state budget director.

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