Tenth Dems’ 2020 Annual Awards Dinner Draws Virtual Crowd Of Over One Hundred, Called To Action By Keynote Speaker Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), And More

Deerfield, IL — Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) held its 2020 Annual Awards Dinner (virtually) on Saturday, October 17th. Keynote Speaker US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) was introduced to the crowd of over 100 people by friend and colleague, US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Durbin and Merkley kicked off an exciting night that recognized some of the group’s top leaders for their contributions to Tenth Dems and inspired supporters to continue working hard to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.
In a fun twist, Merkley, the Keynote Speaker, engaged the crowd by turning into questioner, asking attendees to tell him what they thought should be the top priority for Democrats once they win in November. Almost instantly, dozens of responses poured into the chat box. Controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing climate change, and restoring the country’s relationships with allies were just a few of some of the issues raised. Merkley occasionally referred to the importance of re-electing Senator Durbin, who joined his colleague in the upbeat, thoughtful conversation with the Tenth Dems crowd.
With so many Democratic elected officials and candidates scattered amongst the now-familiar Zoom gallery, supporting and electing Democrats was not far from people’s minds. Congressman Brad Schneider and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood energized the audience, which consisted of so many Tenth Dems members who have volunteered for them over multiple campaign cycles.     
Reflecting the growing amount of success by the Democratic Party in the 10th District, numerous officeholders and 2020 candidates participated in the event. They included: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Lake County State’s Attorney candidate Eric Rinehart, Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court Erin Cartwright Weinstein, Lake County Coroner candidate Jennifer Banek, Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim, State Senator Julie Morrison, State Senator Adriane Johnson, State Representative Daniel Didech, State Representative Rita Mayfield, Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, Lake County Board candidate Paras Parekh, Lake County Board candidate Carissa Casbon, Cook County Board Commissioner Scott Britton, Judge Patricia Fallon, North Shore Water Reclamation Trustee Rhoda Pierce, and more.    
Tenth Dems also honored Bobbie Hinden with the Founders Award and Vicki Thompson with the Rosenblit Volunteer of the Year Award. Both were presented their awards, via Zoom, by last year’s recipients, Jeanine Chyna and Tom Recht, respectively. Hart, the 2019 Mikva Leadership Award recipient, accepted on behalf of this year’s honoree, State Representative Mary Edly-Allen.

To end the night’s proceedings, the group remembered the late Daniel Pierce, a former state representative, 10th District State Central Committeeman, Highland Park Mayor, and President of the North Shore Water Reclamation District. Tenth Dems Founding Chair and Lake County Democratic Party Chair Lauren Beth Gash recounted her time with Pierce, including how Pierce drove her to her very first Lake County Democrats meeting many years ago. Gash pointed out that Dan Pierce often addressed Tenth Dems crowds in a signature slot, the very end, traditionally wrapping up the group’s events. Fittingly, this was when Gash paid tribute to Pierce.

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