Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez, a long-time Cicero community activist, is serving in her fourth term as State Representative of the 24th District. Her top legislative priorities have been to crack down on gang violence and crime, create jobs and stimulate the economy, improve educational funding for Cicero and Berwyn schools, increase government openness and transparency, improve childcare, senior and social services, and expand access to quality, affordable health care.
Before serving as a state lawmaker, Hernandez worked for former Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn as a Senior Policy Advisor, and prior to that, Hernandez completed a 17 year career in Cicero Public School District 99, where she managed the district’s multi-million dollar educational grants office.
As a legislator, Hernandez has helped pass measures to improve government transparency, increase child care assistance for low income families, protect victims of domestic violence, provide funding for vital anti-crime programs, and expand access to quality health and dental care. Hernandez has also worked hard with AARP and other senior service providers to revamp the state’s senior services, care for seniors with mental health issues such as hoarding, and provide more money to support in-home care workers.
In her most recent term, Hernandez has tackled some of the state’s most challenging issues, including the economy and government reform. She worked with her colleagues to pass the state’s most grand-sweeping ethics overhaul to root out corruption in state government, including strengthening the state’s campaign finance laws and prohibiting pay to play politics.
As the state faces the adverse effects of the national economic downturn, Hernandez is still fighting to protect funding for local programs, and to create jobs. She helped pass a statewide capital construction bill to not only repair the state’s damaged roads and budgets, but to create new jobs and put people back to work. The legislation appropriates $8.39 billion for capital improvements and enables Illinois to receive $6.75 billion in federal economic recovery funds.
Hernandez has also worked hard to improve education by requiring public schools to teach students about the forceful removal and illegal deportation of almost 2,000,000 Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression, and helped extend critical tax relief for local homeowners, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and disabled veterans.
Hernandez is the vice-chair of Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and member of the Conference of Women Legislators (COWL). In addition Lisa is a member of the Education Caucus, Diabetes Caucus and board member for the Children’s Center, Youth Commission, CYTF and Hunger Commission.
Hernandez was Born in Missouri and raised in Chicago. She grew up in Little Village and graduated from Jones Academy High School. A single mother at twenty-one, Lisa knows firsthand the challenges of raising a family and staying in the workforce. She also knows the value of persistence, and in 2001 she capped her efforts for a better future by earning a college degree.