Helen Wheeler Center CEO Jackie Haas was sworn in Tuesday as the new 79th District State Representative. Haas is succeeding former Representative Parkhurst, who was sworn in as Circuit Judge on December 7. Parkhurst has served as State Representative since 2017. Haas, who succeeds Parkhurst, thanked her for her independent leadership.
“I want to thank the people of the 79th District for entrusting me with the responsibility to be your voice in Springfield,” Haas said. “I also want to thank Judge Parkhurst for her example of independent leadership, and her guidance and advice, as I begin my mission to faithfully discharge the duties of this office.”
Haas was sworn in by Judge Lindsay Parkhurst at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Kankakee in front of friends and family.
“We know we face difficult challenges ahead of us as a state, but it is in the face of adversity where Illinoisans thrive,” Haas continued. “There are many opportunities moving forward to pursue much-needed reforms to our government, sound ethics laws for politicians, and more.
Haas grew up in Momence, IL where her father still lives in the house she grew up, she attended Bishop McNamara High School, obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work, and today serves as the CEO of the non-profit The Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health.
“I am confident my experiences will provide a unique perspective in the General Assembly to produce common sense, and bi-partisan solutions to the various difficulties facing our great state.”
Haas is a member of Maternity BVM Catholic Church in Bourbonnais, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1992, a member of the National Association of Social Workers, Certified Mental Helth First Aid instructor, National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health Fellow 2019. She is also actively involved in numerous local organizations including the Pledge for Life Partnership, Success by Six, Partnership for Healthy Communities, Kankakee County Jail Re-entry KCRO Board of Directors, among many others. Haas is also a past Kankakee County Board member.