Elizabeth Lindquist first started organizing in the 16th Congressional District in March of 2012. She had discovered that the Democrats were going to let the Republican Representative there run unopposed in the fall and she could not let that happen. She was new to electoral politics, but was discerning enough to know that the 16th would never become competitive if the Democrats never ran anyone. Despite opposition from the party, she set out to find a candidate. The 16th spans 180 miles from Wisconsin to Indiana, not very conducive to organizing. Using social media, within three weeks Elizabeth had identified an Ottawa woman willing and able to run. Her name was Wanda Rohl. She had energy, enthusiasm, and an amazing personal story. The county party chairs resisted slating her. They did not want to “divert resources” (not just money, but people) away from the competitive 17th. They didn’t seem to understand that Elizabeth and the Rohl supporters had no interest in volunteering in the 17th. Eventually, the chairs acquiesced and slated Rohl. Despite a very late start and few resources, Rohl performed much stronger than expected. She lost, but the movement to organize progressives in the 16th district lives on.
Elizabeth believes it is the party’s responsibility to find and run candidates for every office. It’s not possible to build the party if there are no candidates for them to vote for. There’s also no building of the party without ideas. The Illinois Democratic Party platform should be readily available online, as should party bylaws and policies. Active participation of the grassroots base should be encouraged. None of this will be possible without new central committee members and new leadership.
Elizabeth holds a PharmD from the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy. She’s been practicing pharmacy for 25 years and oncology pharmacy for the past nine years. She’s the founder the oldest Represent.Us chapter in the country and served as Campaign Finance Reform Chair for the League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford. She’s been a Winnebago County Precinct Committeeman for four years, and last spring was elected Roscoe Township Trustee. Seeing the way the Democratic National Committee handled the 2016 election and the way the Illinois Democratic Party is handling the 2018 election made Elizabeth realize she had to do more. As State Central Committeewoman, she will fight for transparency and inclusion. She will fight to make the party a people’s party.