Did You Know…?



I get asked lots of questions and that’s a good thing

When I’m at a public event or on the road campaigning for Illinois Comptroller, I get asked A LOT of questions — each one is unique and sometimes personal. In this way, you can learn more about me as your Illinois Comptroller, a wife, mother, and even a collegiate soccer player!

Here are some of the most popular questions that I thought would be fun to share.

Did you know…

I was 25 years old. I was inspired to run for the 1st District Illinois State House seat representing the southwest side of Chicago and Cicero. I wasn’t sure voters would take me seriously because of my age, but I gave it my best shot…and lost, but by only 55 votes against an incumbent.

I was thankful and motivated by the idea that thousands of people voted and believed in me, at only 25 years of age. Two years later, I ran again and won with 55% of the vote!

Read more about how I got into politics in this article: Kahn, M & Yaptangco, A. (2017, February 16). How a Misspelled Spanish-Language Flyer Convinced Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to Run. Elle. Retrieved from www.elle.com.

I’m a foodie and love cooking. I LOVE soccer. Traveling with my husband makes me immensely happy.

I’m most passionate about being a great mommy to our 5-year-old son, David Quinten. Did I say I love food?

At the age of seven. I fell in love with it. I was a self-proclaimed “total tomboy.” Since I primarily played on all-boys teams, soccer gave me the ability to build character and mental toughness at a very young age.

In high school, I was Captain of the Bolingbrook High School soccer team and played offensive center midfielder. I earned All-State and All-Midwest honors and as a result was the first girl to make it onto the Bolingbrook High School’s Wall of Fame. I went on to play at Truman State University with an academic and athletic scholarship.

Soccer taught me about discipline, respect, competitiveness, teamwork, and honing individual leadership skills. Who knew that my passion for soccer would so perfectly prepare me for the political world?

I’m a 1st generation Mexican American and thankfully my parents made it a priority to have a bilingual household. My two older brothers and I know how to read, write, and speak Spanish thanks to our parents’ at-home diligence.

Now that I’m a parent, my husband (who is learning Spanish) and I are raising our 5-year-old son in a bilingual household too. We both feel that it is very important and we are very proud to say that David Quinten is doing a wonderful job speaking and reading in Spanish.

The Illinois Comptroller is the state’s chief financial and accountability officer. In general, the Illinois Comptroller pays the state’s bills and monitors state funds. The Illinois Comptroller’s Office was created by the Constitutional Convention of 1970, replacing the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts.

Since 1970, the Comptroller has been an independently elected officer serving a four-year term in the Executive Branch of state government and serves as an important check and balance. Illinois citizens vote for the Comptroller in statewide elections, along with the other five elected officials: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Treasurer.

Click here to learn more about the Comptroller’s Office.

Yes. I love it. I’d say it’s a little harder now, but I have an incredibly supportive husband. Our son is five and I want him to grow up knowing what his mommy does.

I love people and I think the best ideas come from talking directly to them. As a public servant, I work for the public, not the other way around.

During times of fiscal crisis, like we’re in now, having a Comptroller who leads with a strong moral compass is more important than ever.

I’m committed to prioritizing the most vulnerable people in our state, especially children and adults with disabilities, people in nursing homes and hospice centers. I do my best to be their advocate, but what keeps me up at night are all those other people, who I don’t know, who need my help as well.

Read more about my first year as Comptroller in this article: Fishman, T. (2017, June 12). Woman on Fire. Chicago Magazine. Retrieved from www.chicagomag.com.

Illinois is a big state, and I was elected to represent every inch of it. I take pride in being a Comptroller that gets out where the people are and listens to their concerns. It’s truly only by visiting the entire State that you can get a real feel for what its needs are.

Social Service agencies and state vendors around Illinois suffered through two years or more of late payments from the state during the budget impasse. I met with as many of them as I could to work out plans for keeping them afloat.

Learning those needs first-hand allows me to be a better megaphone for people’s voices. There’s a real feeling by people outside of Chicago that they are somewhat forgotten. By being present, I’m showing my commitment to all of Illinois, whether in Rockford, Peoria, Quincy, Cairo, or everywhere in between, that I see them, love them and am proud to advocate for them.

Passing the Debt Transparency Act, without a doubt. The DTA is the most important transparency reform in the history of the Office of Illinois Comptroller. For the first time in the history of the state of Illinois, this 2018 budget season, legislators were able to craft a budget with financial data as recent as the previous month, versus useless financial data almost a year old dating back to June 30th of the previous year.

I’m especially proud that I overrode Governor Rauner’s Veto of the Debt Transparency Act with unanimous bipartisan approval in the House of Representatives, a historic first unanimous veto override of a sitting governor in that chamber.

I was just thinking that I wanted to help the people at the scene of the crash and make sure this guy didn’t get away. My two older brothers taught me how to stand up to bullies when I was about 6 years old, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s in my nature to stand up and fight for who and what I believe in.

Obviously, he was way bigger than I was, so rather than engaging physically, I used my cell phone camera, my quick wits and said, “Say Cheese!”.

Watch the video: Kass, J. (2017, September 16). Column: Comptroller Mendoza confronts Chicago tough guy leaving crash scene with 2 magic words: Say cheese!. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from www.chicagotribune.com.

As the campaign continues, I’ll continue to share additional questions on this page.

If you have a new question you’d like to ask me, fill out the form below and I’ll try to update this page with my answer.

Thank You Susana A. Mendoza

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