Political columnists usually focus on the dark side of politics, but indulge me today while I say goodbye to three of the best legislators I've ever had the pleasure to know.
All three are hard-working, honest pioneers. Senator Adeline Geo-Karis (R-Zion), born in Tegeas, Greece, was the first woman in Illinois history to become a member of Senate leadership. Senator Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago), born in Puerto Rico, was the first Latino elected to the Illinois Senate and the first Latino to make it to a leadership slot. Senator George Shadid (D-Peoria), born to immigrant parents from Lebanon, was the first Lebanese-American ever elected to the Senate and was also the first Lebanese-American to make it to a Senate leadership position.
Geo-Karis ("Geo" to her friends) lost her primary last spring, del Valle was appointed Chicago City Clerk last week (another Latino first), and Shadid is retiring.