Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport)
Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) recently thanked his constituents for providing him motivation and inspiration during his first year in Springfield.
“With Thanksgiving behind us and the Christmas season fast approaching, to say that I had hometown pride when I began serving you is an understatement,” Chesney said in a press release celebrating his 89th District. “However, I am ever-more drawn to the rural beauty and small-town charm we enjoy in Northwest Illinois. After this year of 'firsts' in the Illinois General Assembly, I am all the prouder and more energized by our shared Northwest Illinois values.”
Chesney assured residents that they are always on his mind when he's called on to make decisions that affect the entire state.
“I haven’t been afraid to talk about our Northwest Illinois values while serving you in Springfield,” he said in the release. “Call me prideful if you must, but I feel there is something very special about the common-sense approach we take to helping our neighbors in Northwest Illinois. I see it every day in our values on full display throughout the communities I represent in Northwest Illinois.”
Chesney applauded the Freeport Area Church Cooperative for not only achieving its goal of raising $15,000 for the homeless, but for actually collecting nearly twice that amount.
“Northwest Illinois values were on full display,” he said. “The servant leadership of local advocates and officials demonstrating hardships for the homeless and hungry firsthand brought out the best in our community and in our spirit of human compassion.”
Chesney cited one recent encounter as an example of what keeps him motivated to continue fighting for Illinois and remaining hopeful about the days and months ahead.
"A constituent, voter and taxpayer contacted me and was upset about an issue in which we differed in our opinions and approaches," Chesney recounted. "I knew that I would not change her mind on the issue and she also knew she would not change mine. We recently sat down to discuss the issue, a legislative issue likely to come up again in the spring session, and I listened intently to her feedback and thoughts. Her voice matters to me.
"I heard her out and she did the same," he continued. "We disagreed but were respectful in our disagreement. In talking the issue out, we found many periphery issues that we do agree on. Heartfelt conversations and mutual respect led us to a better place and allowed us to recognize we are not as far apart as we may have thought at the beginning of the conversation."