“UChicago has been a leader in intellectual pursuits, academic research, basically thought leadership. As an anchor institution in the area, UChicago needs to invest in the community in a more direct way,” said Grace Chan McKibben, one out of seven Democratic candidates vying for Illinois 25th District state house seat.
Current 25th District State Representative and majority leader Barbara Flynn Currie is retiring after thirty-nine years in office, leaving the race for State Representative wide open. On the March 20 primary elections, voters will choose between McKibben and six other Democratic candidates to represent the district that includes areas of Hyde Park and neighborhoods on south down the lakefront.
McKibben said that she stands out because she is an immigrant Asian-American woman, a demographic barely represented in government. There has so far only been one Asian-American in the Illinois legislature: Theresa Mah (A.M. ’93, Ph.D. ’99), another ex-UChicago administrator elected just two years earlier. McKibben noted that she also has extensive experience in both the private and public sector. After receiving her A.B. and A.M. from the University of Chicago, McKibben served as Associate Dean of Students at UChicago from 1998 to 2003. She has also worked in government, as Chief of Staff of the Illinois Department of Employment Security from 2003 to 2005, and now works as a community leader, as Development Director at the Indo-American Center.