Patricia Bonk

Patricia Bonk

The last time voters in Illinois House District 30 in Harvey, Illinois, area had a choice on their ballot was in 2002. Now, for the first time in two decades, they will have a choice not only in the Nov. 8 general election for state representative but also in the Democratic primary June 28. Patricia Bonk, a Republican, was recruited by Illinois Policy to offer competition in the general election and help end the voter suppression inherent in a system that fails to give voters choices.

“One time, we had a 5-year-old girl who was beaten severely by her mother come into the emergency department. No matter what we did, we couldn’t save her. That was just one of the many cases I’ve seen over the years. I’ve been a nurse for 43 years, and kids have always been my highest priority.”

“As a health care worker, I was mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect. I had a stack of disposition letters that said the cases were unfounded based on the report. There were more than a few that should have been investigated a little bit more thoroughly because I knew those kids were abused. So, I’ve been really hurting over what’s going on at DCFS.”

“A group put over 300 pairs of children shoes in the Illinois Capitol rotunda, which represented the amount of children who have died while in DCFS care since 2019. That’s impactful. Changes need to be made at DCFS. They need to hire more people and train them better to protect our children.”

“I watch the news and read the paper and you can get mad about what’s going on in our state, but unless you’re willing to take action, to make a change, then don’t complain. So, I decided to run for office and got involved in local political groups with my husband, including a group that helps women fundraise and campaign for political office.”

“They only pick a few women to train each year. With the pandemic, the program was delayed. So last year I applied for it and I got selected for this year. In August, while I was still at work, [I got a call from Illinois Policy]. While I was standing in the lab in our clinic he asked if I had thought about running as state rep in my district.”

“And for a minute, I just stood there and thought, ‘If I don’t say ‘yes’ now, I will never get asked again.’ So I said ‘yes’ because if this is what it takes to make a change in the state, I want to be part of it. I want to be the change we want to see.”

“My husband and I are on a fixed income, so high taxes are a bigger concern now. And we don’t want to leave our state. I talked to so many people concerned about property taxes. People are leaving in droves. So then the people that stay take on their bigger burden of the taxes to pay for everything in Illinois.”

“We must fix our state budget. Over 25% of the budget is pension payments, which is only going to get worse. Also, a few weeks ago, my husband and I woke up to gunshots in the middle of the night. And so safety’s another concern. I’m worried about our kids. A former fellow employee said they won’t even let their kids go out and play because of everything that’s going on. It’s just wrong.”

“In 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was completing my BSN. Thankfully, it was diagnosed early. So I want to be sure we have the money to support research and services to provide mammograms for the uninsured.”

“Fixing our budget is necessary so we have the funds left over to help our state’s most vulnerable. We need to take back our communities, so our kids can grow up and play and thrive.”

“Our kids are the future, and we owe it to them to make this a state where they can grow up and thrive.”

Patricia Bonk
Retired nurse
Midlothian, Illinois

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