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Interview with Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton

Suzy Glowiak was elected to the State Senate last year. She’s lived in Western Springs for over 25 years, including two terms as a Village Trustee.

You were elected State Senator for Illinois’s 24th District last November. What have been your biggest satisfactions and challenges so far?

There is tremendous satisfaction in seeing your idea for legislation proceed through committees, go through the full Senate and House and to the Governor’s office for signing. The legislative process in making a bill a law is a daunting task and often requires work in the form of negotiation while getting diverse interests together to agree on a good piece of legislation.

You served two terms as Trustee for the Village of Western Springs, from 2009-2017. How did this experience help you in your current position?

Governing Western Springs has similarities to governing the state; it is a question of scale. Instead of discussing local issues such as beautification of downtown Western Springs or adding another well for water, state issues are broader in scope and encompass issues affecting the entire state such as education policies.

What led you into government service? What would you say to a young person considering a career in public service?

I have always been interested in volunteerism and public service. I had been involved in the community as a volunteer in the Western Springs schools and have been involved with many church committees. When I was appointed to the WS Recreation commission, I learned about the recreation community as well as Village policies and found the work rewarding. Younger folk’s ideas are some of the most refreshing and innovative; and I would encourage anyone interested in public service to get involved on commissions and boards.

After living in Western Springs for over 25 years, how do you think the town has changed in that time?

We moved to Western Springs because of the excellent schools and proximity to transportation, and in 25 years the schools are even better and the ability to get downtown or to either airport remains convenient. Downtown Western Springs is vibrant with new restaurants and shops and I look forward to staying in Western Springs for many more years.

You and your late husband raised your three children in Western Springs, including sending them to public schools. As a parent and as a member of the Senate’s Education Committee, what are your thoughts on the local schools?

Western Springs’ schools have always been ranked as some of the best in the state and teachers continue to meet the students wherever they are for positive outcomes. 

We can see you’re “on the same page” with the Thomas Ford Memorial Library because you’re spearheading a Youth Summer Book Club. Please expand a little on the importance of children reading and how Illinois public libraries can help.

Studies indicate that two months of reading and math skills are lost over a single summer but just 20 minutes of reading a day can help keep students’ minds sharp and promote better educational outcomes in the long run. I encouraged my children to read all summer and we came to the library regularly and always signed up for the summer book clubs at the Thomas Ford library.

What are your own reading interests? Anything you’d recommend?

I have enjoyed reading mysteries while on beach vacations and have been in two book clubs with neighbors. I have thoroughly enjoyed book clubs because they helped broaden my interests as a result of others recommendations.

It’s always interesting to get an inside look at a public figure. Can you tell us a bit about your hobbies or vacation plans?

I enjoy travel when I have the time and hope to take off a few days this fall before session begins. I enjoy reading, running and gardening.

Anything else you’d like the community to know?

I am proud to serve and humbled to have been elected to this district and will continue to work hard for the residents.