I Say “Bill” You Say “Foster!”

naper dems_1For the first time in our parade history, we were blessed with a wonderful AFSME leader, Mike Lowery, who brought his megaphone and a wonderful chant (see above!) that just electrified our group of about 75 marchers and added so much energy to the parade! No matter at what point we were on the parade route, Congressman Foster enjoyed magnificent support from those watching! Supporters stood and applauded, reached out their hands to Bill, and shouted encouragement! He is off to a terrific start for 2016!

naper dems_3We had a wonderful mix of folks who came out to support the Congressman: State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia, members of Mothers Against Gun Violence (leader Erin Hill), Laborers Local 68 (Casey Bobak), Painters District Council 30 (Mark Guethle), IBEW 701 (Bill Habel), Democratic leaders from DuPage Township ( former Chair Norman Bown), Downers Grove Township (Chair Kim Savage), Wheatland Township (Chair Nick Palmer), Lisle Township (Chair Joe Heneghan), Naperville Unit Education Association leader, Lisa Yost, and many NTDO precinct committeemen, including NTDO officers Ed Agustin, Deanne Sereno, and Paul Mandrik. Steve Purduski, NTDO Secretary, was unable to join us. Jennifer Rice, from the Fox Valley labor News, also covered the parade with photos and a forthcoming write-up.

As Chair of the NTDO since 2010 and even under former Chair, Tom Wronski, I have pretty much been the chief “organizer and bottle washer” for this parade, with assistance from the officers, of course, and it’s not always easy to persuade folks to march. I’ve wondered if perhaps they were concerned about the reception they might receive from the parade attendees in an area usually earmarked for Republicans! Well, if that was ever the reality, it is not now! Our support from people along the way was amazing! One of our marchers indicated that the congressman received just a handful of negative responses along the entire length of the parade route. When you consider that there was an estimated 15,000 (more like 25-30,000!) attendees at the parade, this is proof enough that this corner of DuPage is definitely purple…leaning blue!

Following the parade, we gathered at the Two Nine Martini Bar (above Potter’s Place on Jefferson) for a very cool, air conditioned little party! Congressman Foster very generously purchased a table full of appetizers for the crowd…which were very much appreciated! And everyone enjoyed the opportunity for a cool drink, a chance to debrief the parade, and to catch up with each other! The congressman came by to thank everyone for their support and to visit personally with his supporters.

A special thank you to Precinct Committeeman Ed DePaepe and Vice Chair Ed Agustin for picking up all those helium-filled balloons on Sunday evening, a gift from the Congressman, and for carefully delivering them to the parade site Monday morning! It was so appreciated! We’ll do this once again in March for the St. Pat’s parade…so, if you think this sounds like something you could do, sign up for the next parade when that evite or email comes your way!naper dems_2


[A hearty “Thank You!” as always, to Dianne for the above text, and the photos.  Steve]

[Update, 9/11/2015: Dianne got a more accurate number of parade attendees, and noticed that I’d somehow left Ed Agustin’s name out above.  I’ve made the corrections.  Sorry, Ed!  Steve]