TIME Magazine Features “The Avengers” of Naperville

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“A person like me, I’m a single parent and work everyday. I just never imagined something like that would happen to me,” said Valerie Montgomery.

Valerie Montgomery has landed on the cover of TIME magazine along with Anne Stava-Murray and Lauren Underwood. The three Naperville women, who are running for elected office, join 45 others who are doing the same around the country.

“Well it’s so meaningful to be a part of a group of amazing women with such diverse backgrounds who have answered this call together,” said Stava-Murray. “So it’s not about me and my story or any single one of us but about how together we can really make a massive scale change. So I think what we’re seeing isn’t the end of the story it’s really the beginning.”

Back in October the group was asked to be a part of “The Avengers” issue by TIME reporter Charlotte Alter, to put a focus on the high number of female candidates this year.

“She was really interested in not only how us running together impacted our ability to run but also Lauren Underwood, who’s running for Congress in the 14th, who had encouraged me to run. Then as I was running, Valerie had been thinking about running so we encouraged each other and used tools and resources. So she [Alter] really liked that aspect I think.”

Underwood is running in a contested Democratic Primary for the 14th U.S. House District.

Currently Stava-Murray and Montgomery are running unopposed in Democratic primaries for state representative seats.

“When you get to be surrounded by women who are being recognized for being leaders, mothers, workers, just businesses owners. I feel really proud to be a part of that. I can make my mark in the world now,” explained Montgomery.

The candidates hope those who have been interested in running for public office will step up to do so.

“We encourage you to run, look up the resources there are many, and reach out to us if you need to. We’re happy to help,” Stava-Murray said.

“Yes! I think we heard a statistic that women are asked to run for office like 200 times and men are asked twice and they do it,” said Montgomery. “So we’re the only ones holding ourselves back. We can do anything as women.”

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.