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Breakfast with Your Legislators

Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham

Illinois State Representative for the 35th District

Bill Cunningham, 45, is the State Representative for Illinois' 35th District. The district includes sections of Worth, Palos, and Orland Townships in the Southwest Cook County Suburbs, as well as the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly and Morgan Park in Chicago.

As a State Representative, Cunningham has sponsored several pieces of legislation designed to crackdown on registered sex offenders and protect senior citizens. He has fought for consumer rights by opposing legislation that would increase ComEd's electrical rates. And he worked to create new educational opportunities in his district by passing legislation to expand the Chicago Agricultural High School.

Cunningham has also fought to change the political culture in Springfield by refusing to give out legislative scholarships and voting to abolish the tuition waver program that has been abused by politicians for years.

Before taking office as a State Representative in January of 2011, Cunningham spent the previous twenty years of his career working for the Cook County Sheriff's Office, serving as Director of Communications to Sheriff Mike Sheahan and as Chief of Staff to Sheriff Tom Dart.

In each of these positions, Bill obtained vast experience managing nearly 7,000 Sheriff's Office employees and by forming policies for one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation.

As a top advisor to Sheriff Sheahan, he assisted in the development the state's first online sex offender registration website and coordinated efforts to improve monitoring of registered sex offenders. He also helped establish the Sheriff's Senior Law Enforcement Academy, a community policing program that provides senior citizens with crime prevention tips and free cell phones for emergency use.

As chief of staff, Bill managed Sheriff Dart's efforts to fight banks and lenders that attempted to wrongfully evict victims of the mortgage foreclosure crisis and worked with the legislature to impose longer prison terms on inmates who attempt to harm the staff at Cook County Jail.

As a husband and father, Cunningham has been active in his community, coaching a youth soccer team and volunteering for charitable causes. He has also worked to improve educational institutions in his neighborhood by serving as a parent representative on the Sutherland Local School Council, where he worked to identify new revenue sources when faced with budget shortfalls and supported new procedures to crack down on fraudulent enrollment.

Bill is a graduate of Saint Barnabas Grammar School (1981), Mount Carmel High School (1985), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (1990). Bill and his wife Juliana have two daughters, Madeline (14) and Olivia (11), and reside in the Beverly neighborhood.