Rep. Kelly Cassidy helped make Illinois a haven for LGBTQ+ rights & says the impact is beyond words

Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D) left Florida for Chicago when she was still a teenager, skipped college, went to work right away, had three kids in short order, and has been moving at the same lightning speed ever since.

Her first job was with the National Organization for Women, where she rose to legislative director. She joined the staff for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, worked in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office as the director of programs and development, and was appointed to the state legislature in 2011 after playing a major role in the ouster of Speaker Mike Madigan, who was later indicted after ruling for more than 30 years as the top Democrat in the Illinois House.

Cassidy, 55, won her first term representing District 14 on Chicago’s North Side in 2012. She’s running for a fourth term in 2024.

Her staff managed to clear a spot on the rep’s always busy schedule for a conversation from her district office in Chicago. It was a mild spring morning in the usually Windy City.