DuPage County Holds Historic Inauguration Ceremony

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A new era in DuPage County began at Monday night’s inauguration ceremonyas the newly-elected DuPage County Board Chair Deb Conroy, and board member Michael Childress made history.

DuPage County Firsts

The audience at the JTK Administration Building erupted into applause when Democrat Deb Conroy became the first woman to be sworn-in as DuPage County Board Chair. 

The Elmhurst resident replaced long-time county board chairman Dan Cronin, a Republican. Cronin chose not to seek reelection after 12 years in office. Conroy said she was honored to take on this historic role.

“It felt like a decade of work, and every woman that I stood on their shoulders, I felt pride for them,” said Conroy. “I feel pride for every woman in DuPage County.”

Since 2013, Conroy has served in Springfield as an Illinois State Representative for the 46th District, chairing a mental health and addiction committee. Conroy is looking forward to leading a diverse DuPage County Board.

“DuPage is a beautiful, wonderful, thriving county,” said Conroy. “We’re going to write a new chapter and it’ll be with that diverse voice. And I’m very proud to lead that.”

Diversity on the Board

23 DuPage County elected officials were sworn into office Monday night. The board itself now has a more diverse look, and a female majority with 13 women, two of whom are Asian American, and six men. 

One of those men, Democrat Michael Childress, made history himself, becoming the first Black man to be sworn in on the DuPage County Board. 

“It’s not often in a person’s life that you can say you made history,” said Childress. “So that’s overwhelming, and it’s really more of a pride thing. But I always want to make sure that I portray myself in the most positive light for my wife, my kids and my grandchildren.”

Childress previously served as the Bloomingdale Park District Commissioner and President of the DuPage County NAACP. The Bloomingdale resident will serve as a representative for District 1.

“DuPage County is a great county,” said Childress. “I’ve lived in it for 40 years. There’s been some good things, and some not-so-good things. But what we’re going to do is forge ahead with different ideas and viewpoints from all around.”

Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.

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