Mary cares about the same issues that are important to residents, businesses and organizations in the 35th District. 

Public Safety

Mary and State Senator Bill Cunningham distributed constituent surveys to everyone in their district, and the number one issue raised by constituents was public safety. Mary will continue to be a champion for public safety as her predecessor Fran Hurley was. Mary supported bills in the past legislative session promoting public safety and advocating for first responders. She recently introduced legislation that would require insurance coverage to include couples therapy with no co-pays or cost-sharing for all first responders in the state. Mary is a passionate supporter of law enforcement officers and plans to stay involved with first responders within all parts of her district.


Mary previously taught special education and received a BA in Special Education from St. Ambrose University. She also previously served on the elected local school council at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. She believes that all children deserve the right to a world-class education no matter their situation. Mary plans to continue to fight for students and teachers in Springfield by advocating for well-rounded education policy and a budget that truly invests in the children rather than stakeholders. In Springfield, Mary supported a measure that provides all state-required health courses provide instruction on the dangers of fentanyl to create a well-rounded course system.

Worker Rights

Mary is a strong supporter of workers’ rights to organize a union. Her husband, Dan, is a member of Local 399 Operating Engineers. In Springfield, Mary promises to ensure state policies support workers’ rights to organize and bargain with their employers. Mary recognizes unions are extremely important to the working economy and hopes to advance their mission through education, policy, and advocacy. Mary introduced a measure in Springfield that creates a task force to study the requirement for all high school counselors to provide technical education resources to all students and how we can better involve high school students into technical education.


Small Business Development

Mary previously served as the Executive Director of the Mt. Greenwood Community and Business Association. In this position, she helped businesses thrive and grow through cooperation and teamwork between the community and business owners. Mary, along with 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea, backed the 111th streetscape project to upgrade lighting, improve pedestrian safety and enhance the beauty of the W. 111th St. corridor between S. Homan Ave. and S. Sacramento Ave.These investments help beautify the business district and provide a better environment for shoppers and residents. Mary’s extensive background in the small business community ensures she is prepared to advocate for small businesses in Springfield.

People with Disabilities

Mary’s grandparents sat on the first-ever committee to found the Special Olympics Chicago and her uncle, Mike Cusack, was the first athlete to ever participate. She is an active volunteer with the Chicago Special Olympics and the Mount Greenwood Special Recreation Association. Mary also previously taught special education. She obtained a BA in Education with a focus in Special Education at St. Ambrose University. Mary promises to always protect our most vulnerable in Springfield through state investments and legislation that focuses on benefiting those with disabilities and their caregivers. 

Women’s Reproductive Rights

Mary is a pro-choice advocate and believes all women should have the right to do what they want with their bodies. She believes women’s healthcare is a basic human right and no one has the right to limit that freedom. Mary is your pro-choice candidate for Illinois and vows to maintain that freedom for all women in the state of Illinois.


During the 2023 legislative session, Mary sponsored a Bill (SB1527) with Senator Laura Ellman requiring health insurance policies to provide coverage for medically necessary compression sleeves to prevent lymphedema. Lymphedema can cause swelling in various parts of the body and is common among breast cancer survivors. Mary is a strong advocate for accessible and affordable healthcare coverage for all.