When State Representatives are in Springfield from January through the end of May, their days are filled with meetings, committee hearings and time spent on the House floor considering bills. But what about the other months, when legislators are back in their home districts? How is that time spent? Here is a glimpse into a typical day for State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) when he is tending to the needs of his constituents in the 41st District.
This particular day began with the Representative’s “Wednesdays with Wehrli” community outreach program. On this day, Representative Wehrli hosted a community coffee & conversation event at a downtown Naperville bagel and coffee shop. Between 8:00 and 10:00 in the morning, about 20 constituents stopped by to meet their Representative and share their opinions and concerns.
The recently-concluded spring legislative session was a popular topic of conversation, as visitors wanted to learn about the budget that was just passed. Many asked questions about several other issues, including the graduated income tax ballot proposal, the increase in the minimum wage, the legalization of recreational marijuana, environmental legislation, and other bills that moved through the General Assembly this spring.
At 10:00, Representative Wehrli drove to the Naperville Municipal Complex to prepare for a 10:30 meeting with an active member of Arc of Illinois, a non-profit providing disability assistance, programs and advocacy for families and individuals with disabilities.
Following that meeting, the Representative met from 11:00 until noon with his Developmental Disabilities Task Force, which includes representatives from local non-profits, family members who care for disabled children and young adults, individuals who work with special needs populations in local schools and some developmentally challenged individuals. Representative Wehrli listened to their concerns and challenges, and together they determined a legislative course of action that could improve service delivery to Illinoisans with disabilities.
After taking an hour for lunch, Representative Wehrli spent time at his Naperville district office preparing for constituent meetings and a late-afternoon speaking engagement. He also met with members of his staff to plan future outreach events.
On this particular afternoon, Representative Wehrli met with a small business owner and with representatives from the Illinois Landscapers Association. He also had a phone meeting with a constituent.
At 3:00, Representative Wehrli joined Nicki Anderson, President & CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, for a short meeting and to record a video segment about legislation impacting local businesses to be posted on the Chamber’s web site, social media sites, and to be sent as part of the Chamber’s electronic newsletter.
Following the taping, the Representative attended a Chamber of Commerce mixer, where he had an opportunity to speak with several business owners and community leaders about how Illinois laws impact the business climate across the state and in the suburbs.
At 4:00, Representative Wehrli and Senator Laura Ellman were the keynote speakers at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Both legislators provided an end-of-session update and answered questions from a large group of local business leaders.
The Chamber of Commerce meeting concluded at about 5:45 PM, at which time the Representative returned to his office and prepared for the following day’s events and meetings.
Lawmakers work hard when they are in their home districts tending to the needs of their constituents. During the summer and fall months, they engage with the community and work on local issues. They also host a variety of outreach events. Some of the issues brought forward through summer and fall meetings and events are transformed into legislation that Representative Wehrli champions in Springfield.
The Wehrli district office staff is available to assist constituents with issues involving state agencies and departments, and Representative Wehrli spends as much time as possible at his office so he can meet and hear from the people he represents. Learn more about Representative Grant Wehrli at repwehrli.com, or click here to leave feedback for the Representative. The office may be reached by phone at (630) 696-4160.