Meet Jennifer

As a mother of three boys, community leader and immigration & human rights attorney, Jennifer will bring smart, common sense leadership to Springfield as a tenacious and pragmatic problem-solver who will fight for our community’s needs and values.

Her service to community includes pioneering the use of pro bono social workers to serve as guardians ad litem to ensure that no child is left to navigate the complex immigration system alone.

Her family’s experience as immigrants to the United States instilled in her a commitment to public service, which she’s fulfilled as an attorney, on nonprofit boards, and through participation at her synagogue.

Based solely on their nation­ality, the federal gover­nment sought to deport her grandparents. Jennifer’s grandparents immigrated from China in the 1920s, started a business and a family. Based solely on their nationality, the federal government sought to deport them under the Chinese Exclusion Acts. Ultimately, her grandparents gained citizenship and raised her father, who served the country in the military and participated in the civil rights movement.

As a lawyer at Winston and Strawn, Jennifer partnered with the National Immigrant Justice Center to represent victims of child trafficking and forced marriage. As a founding member and co-chair of the Illinois Unaccompanied Children’s Task Force, Jennifer advocated for systemic changes to courtroom procedures involving vulnerable children. These experiences led Jennifer to the Highland Park – Highwood Legal Aid Clinic where, as the first Director of the immigration law practice, she developed the capacity, policies and procedures to meet the needs of Dreamers and other low income residents of the community.

Gun violence is an epidemic and, to Jennifer, it’s personal. Domestic violence and guns is an American crisis that ends approximately 50 women’s lives every month. Jennifer’s family is among those who have experienced this horrifying statistic firsthand, losing her first cousin and her two children when they were murdered by their father who had a history of domestic abuse. Jennifer will demand common sense laws that keep guns out of the hands of abusers and other violent individuals, and she’ll fight to keep dangerous weapons of war off our streets. She knows it’s time to turn tragedy and loss into action, and she’s ready to stand up to the NRA and demand change.

Our democracy thrives when all voices have equal oppor­tunity to be heard. Jennifer is committed to ensuring that the ladders to success are available to every child in Illinois. She served as a board member of the Glenview Education Foundation where she supported investments in STEM projects to promote science and technology learning in D34 public schools. Jennifer is a member of the Social Justice Committee of Northfield’s Temple Jeremiah and an active supporter of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Jennifer’s life experience and family background give her a unique ability to build connections and find common ground among different perspectives. She knows that our democracy thrives when all voices have equal opportunity to be heard. As state representative, Jennifer will bring those voices into the ongoing debate on critical issues in Illinois. Solutions to seemingly intractable problems will be resolved only if lawmakers are willing to see past differences and work together.

Education and Experience

  • Masters
    International Human Rights Law
    Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Law Degree, with honors
    Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • B.A., Journalism
    Indiana University
  • Director
    Highland Park-Highwood Legal Aid Clinic
  • Former Litigation Associate
    Winston and Strawn
  • Former Board Member
    Glenview Education Foundation
  • Former Board Member
    Heartland Alliance
  • Pro Bono Leadership Award
    Chicago Bar Association
  • Speaker & Honoree
    UN World Refugee Day
  • Social Justice Committee
    Temple Jeremiah