BGA President and CEO Andy Shaw welcomed a crowd of 800 to our Annual Luncheon on Sept. 13 with a message that stressed the importance of increased citizen participation in elections—one of the keys to good government. He talked about election reforms that can increase voter registration and turnout, and offered an overview of the BGA’s watchdog work, including the 22 BGA-backed good government bills approved by the state legislature this year. But he emphasized that there is still a lot more work to do be done, especially on election reform, because the Independent Map Amendment was struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court and Automatic Voter Registration was vetoed by Gov. Rauner.

BGA Board Chair Mark Rust honored Daniel L. Goodwin, chairman & CEO of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., with the annual BGA Watchdog Award. Goodwin was recognized for his lifetime contributions to economic development, philanthropy and civic engagement. As chairman of the DuPage Airport Authority, he led the push to reform a corrupt and inefficient public airport.

After lunch, Shaw turned the tables by interviewing NBC political director Chuck Todd, who has moderated Meet the Press since 2014. He has a daily show on MSNBC and serves as on-air political analyst for TODAY and Nightly News with Lester Holt.

Todd discussed the shifting and unpredictable media landscape in this presidential campaign season, the importance of the upcoming debates, and the challenges facing Trump and Clinton. Ultimately, he said, whoever wins—he calls Clinton a slight favorite at this point—will have a hard time governing and uniting a divided and polarized country. But he offered a message of hope—Millennials—at least the ones who haven’t given up on government and public service.

2016 Luncheon