Our new Illinois senator uses a wheelchair

WheelchairThe 2016 presidential election is getting so much attention that some of the more interesting state and local races seem to be somewhat overlooked. The Senatorial race here in Illinois is a good example. The votes have been counted, and our next senator from Illinois will use a wheelchair.

Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Tammy Duckworth served in Iraq and lost both legs when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter she was co-piloting in 2004. After her victory over incumbent Senator Mark S. Kirk in yesterday’s election, Tammy Duckworth will be only the second woman to serve as senator of Illinois.

An article in the Chicago Tribune during tammy Duckworth’s campaign pointed out that running a Senate campaign involves lots of travel and complicated logistics. From the article:

Duckworth said she and her staff have a pre-event checklist to make sure the site is up to their standards — and that means making sure even the bathrooms are wheelchair accessible.

“I don’t go to any place that isn’t accessible even though I have artificial legs that I can walk in; it’s on principle,” she said. “If someone in a wheelchair can’t get in it, I’m not going to do an event there because just because I can get in there doesn’t mean somebody else can.”

The article said Duckworth often heard from voters who question her ability to serve. A question about using a wheelchair in public during the campaign came up when she first ran for Congress. “I’m not ashamed I’m in a wheelchair. I earned this wheelchair,” she said. “I’ve always insisted it’s not something that we hide.”

Congratulations to Tammy Duckworth — we look forward to having someone like you represent us in the U.S. Senate in 2017.


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