Lynda DeLaforgue, Co-Director
William McNary, Co-Director
Michael Happ, Administrative Director
Julie Sampson, Political Director
John Gaudette, Organizing Director
Emily Stuart, Director, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans
Joshua Collins, Legislative Director
Delores Travis, Office Manager
Lynda has over 28 years of experience working in the public interest. In 1997, she became Associate Director of Citizen Action/Illinois. From 1998 to 2000, she served as Executive Director of the national food safety group, Safe Tables Our Priority. In 2000, she became Co-Director of the organization. Ms. DeLaforgue is a Sustaining Board member of the Healthy Schools Campaign and a member of the USAction Board of Directors, as well as a 2013 recipient of the Chicago Coalition of Labor Union Women's Olga Mader Award. She earned a B.F.A. from Rockford College.
William has worked for the public interest for 25 years. He has worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the public interest in both the Illinois General Assembly and in the United States Congress. In 2000, he became Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois. Mr. McNary serves as a board member for Public Campaign, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Women's Voices Women Vote. In addition, he served as the president of USAction, the largest national coalition of progressive organizations, from 1999 to 2012. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa.
Michael joined Citizen Action/Illinois in August 2010, after many years managing community associations. His responsibilities include financial, personnel, and operations management for the organization. He has an M.S. in Public Services Management from the School of Public Service at DePaul University. Michael serves on the Board of Directors of Rape Victim Advocates, and has previously served on the Board of the Ravenswood Community Council and the Board of Trustees of Holy Covenant United Methodist Church.
Julie is Political Director of Citizen Action/Illinois. Previously she was a Regional Field Director for USAction, a national organization of 22 state affiliates organizing for power, democracy and social change. Julie has also served as Legislative Director and Policy Director of Citizen Action/Illinois, and on the staff of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone. She holds an A.M. in Social Administration from the University of Chicago, a B.A. in International Studies from American University and served in the Peace Corps in Thailand. Julie lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters but welcomes any opportunity to use her several foreign languages, at home or abroad, with a preference for beachfront locales.
John joined Citizen Action/Illinois in September 2008 as the Illinois Director of the Health Care for America Now! campaign. He has 12 years experience as a community organizer with the PICO and NTIC networks working with low- and moderate-income residents to address community issues, such as community policing, school reform, and economic development, nine of those as a director. Also, John worked as an engineer in the electronics industry, legislative director for the Illinois Environmental Council, and consumer advocate with Illinois Public Interest Research Group. Finally, John worked with Moveon.org PAC as lead organizer during the 2004 and 2006 elections in Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Director, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans
The Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans (IARA) is an affiliated partner of Citizen Action/Illinois. Emily has been the Director of IARA since April 2010. Previously, she was the Training Director for the U.S. Student Association. She has also served as an organizer for Citizen Action/Illinois. Emily received her B.A. from Western Michigan University.
Josh joined Citizen Action/Illinois in August 2012 as Legislative Director. Prior to joining the team, Josh was the Legislative and Political Director for the Laborers International Union’s Mid-Atlantic region and chief lobbyist for multiple states at the federal, state and local levels working on issues related to procurement, transportation and regional development. In addition, he has worked in various capacities on over two dozen campaigns dating back to the 2006 cycle. Josh received his B.A. at Virginia Commonwealth University and M.A. in Political Management from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.
During her tenure at Citizen Action/Illinois, Delores has worked as a receptionist, assistant administrative director/event planner, liaison to the board of directors and policy council members, and currently as office manager. Delores volunteers as a tutor, young women's mentor, and deputy voter registrar. Delores has attended both Kennedy King College and Olive Harvey College, and has enough credits to have her Associates Degree in Child Development.