by: Azka Khan
As the first female Attorney General to be elected for the state of Illinois, Lisa Madigan shared her political insights with the Benedictine community. The Center for Civic Leadership, also known as CCL, hosted Attorney General Lisa Madigan to speak on various issues and her experience as a public servant on Wednesday, February 19th.
This was not the first time the Attorney General has come to Benedictine University.
“I have fond memories of my time here,” said Madigan. She stayed at Benedictine for six weeks for a volleyball camp. She also participated in a forum hosted by the University concerning identity theft in 2006.
During the event on Wednesday, Madigan spoke about an array of issues. She began by discussing the reasoning behind her decision to become a public servant. After obtaining her Bachelors in Political Science from Georgetown University, she taught girls in South Africa. During the apartheid, which is rampant racial segregation, Madigan experienced the impacts of such an immoral regime through her students.
“I decided to pursue law because [I wanted] to be able to do social justice work,” asserted Madigan when referring to why she chose law.
With that dedication, Lisa Madigan has accomplished becoming the longest elected and female Attorney General of Illinois, even arguing cases all the way to the Supreme Court. Madigan moved on to explain her position as an elected Attorney General. A common misconception of the Attorney General is that they are in charge of police units of the state. However, they are more focused on advocacy work.
With almost 750 employees under her wing, Madigan handles complaints from resident, the most common being identity theft and data. She also addressed that her office is pushing for more Internet safety, especially since many major companies are being breached.
Throughout the event, Madigan had the audience engaged and interested with her speech.
“It was informative and educational…she’s very passionate about what she’s doing,” said Ubair Siddiqui, who is part of the IT department on campus.
After explaining her position, Madigan moved on to answer questions from the audience. When asked about her future career, Madigan asserted she aspires to continue service work and make a difference. Additionally, when asked about how she balances her position and have a family at the same time, Madigan eloquently stated that by having a family and being a woman, she understands the various issues that affect families.
“This position [allows] you to cherish the time with your family. They are your support, and it gets you through the day,” stated Madigan.
Benedictine Professor and former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, in partnership with Dr. Phillip Hardy, started the CCL in 2005 to improve civic education and encourage young people to get involved with public service. The organization has hosted an array of politicians and distinguished individuals for high school and college students, as well as the public.