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A busload of Evanston politicians, educators, business people, and savvy citizens climbed aboard a motor coach at Ryan Field shortly after dawn today, bound for Illinois’ state capital at Springfield to let legislators and government officials know that Evanston is watching them and is concerned about what they do.

This is the fifth year of Evanston Day in Springfield, and before they arrive back at Ryan Field after dark tonight, they will not only have met with some of the key legislators and department directors, but they will have had a chance to network with each other in order to present a united face of Evanston to the people who matter in the state capital.

When the bus arrives  in Springfield around 11 a.m., the group will head for the Governors Mansion for a luncheon provided and coordinated by Northwestern University.

Then it’s over to the Capitol for a meeting on the Senate floor with Senate President John Cullerton and Evanston’s Sen. Daniel Biss, followed by a meeting with Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno of Lemont.

The group is expected to touch bases with several state officials, including Jerry Stermer, director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget; Marc Miller, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Lisa Bonnett, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development; and former representative from Evanston, Julie Hamos, who is now director of the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services.

The group will see other legislators with Evanston constituents, including Sen. Heather Steans, Rep. Robyn Gabel, and Rep. Laura Fine.

If time permits, some members of the group may sit in on House and Senate hearings that may be in session during the day.

A meeting with Gov. Pat Quinn is not on the schedule, but it’s never out of the question if he’s in town, particularly in an election year.

At 5 p.m., the bus heads back to Evanston, loaded with Jimmy John’s sandwiches for dinner, with a planned arrival back at Ryan Field at about 8:30 p.m.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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