Parkhurst commends Kankakee County Training Center for Disabled
Republican Lindsay Parkhurst, newly elected to the District 79 state House seat, recently commended the Kankakee County Training Center for the Disabled Inc. (KCTC) for outstanding vocational training and rehabilitation services to the disabled in Bradley.
“A big thanks to CEO … Diana Graham, and President of the Board Glenn Nixon, for the tour of KCTC Training Center for the disabled,” Parkhurst said on her Facebook page. “Very impressed by their workers and the valuable work they do.”
Along with Graham, who serves as vice president and chief operating officer of KCTC, the nonprofit organization thrives under the leadership of President and CEO Stephen Mitchell, a slate of officers, and a board of directors that includes Nixon.
The 50-year-old nonprofit was founded by a group of parents of adult children with disabilities. It has grown, literally, from a one-room schoolhouse operation into a full-fledged center serving over 420 individuals. KCTC consists of two vocational workshops, therapeutic services and several programs designed around the needs of its “consumers,” as its beneficiaries are called.
Parkhurst also touted the KCTC facility on her Twitter feed. She is known for her support of constituents in need, with a reputation as an advocate for youth. Last year, she received an award for pro bono attorney services rendered to citizens who could not afford a lawyer.
Parkhurst visited the facility after her recent election victory. During her campaign, based largely on a platform of accountability, she proved to be an outspoken candidate focused on transparency.
As well as the standard priorities of budget balancing, education and job creation, Parkhurst also spoke out on behalf of retaining families and building a better business climate in Illinois. She approached her candidacy from the perspective of a constituent, pointing out early on that she came into her role after observing the needs of the current administration and its effect on citizens.
"I never planned to run for office … but my time of sitting on the sidelines is over,” Parkhurst said this fall. “I’ve seen first-hand how entrenched politicians fail to help taxpayers and Illinoisans in need and continue to waste our hard-earned tax dollars while lining their own pockets."
Striving to depart from what she — along with others — dubbed as the “Madigan Machine,” Parkhurst presented herself clearly as a non-politician who, like her peers, was weary of politics as usual. She was quick to respond when House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) waffled when it came to holding House sessions last June.
"Illinois hasn’t had a balanced budget for years, social service organizations are being shuttered and schools are at risk of not opening on time," she said. "I’ve seen first-hand how entrenched politicians fail to help taxpayers and Illinoisans in need and continue to waste our hard-earned tax dollars while lining their own pockets."
Her background as an attorney served her well as she deftly out-reasoned her opponent, state Rep. Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee), time and time again, able to illuminate the incumbent’s flaws or mistakes. When Cloonen made the mistake of falsely alleging that Parkhurst wanted to eliminate the Social Security and Medicare programs, for example, Parkhurst exposed her — and the voters listened.
Parkhurst indicated clearly throughout her candidacy of her intentions to strive for term limits; to end “the mass exodus of jobs and businesses” sparked by Illinois’ perilous financial status, and generally encourage the legislature to streamline operations for the sake of Illinois’ economic health and citizens’ well-being.
“Illinoisans deserve a state government that cuts wasteful spending, balances its budget and lives within its means," Parkhurst said.
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