Secretary of State Jesse White, who has held the position for nearly a quarter of a century and is about to leave, looks back on his career and says he still has a lot to achieve.
First elected in 1998, White won state votes repeatedly seeking re-election and is best known for his work with the Jesse White Tumblers, who have impacted the lives of thousands of young Illinoisians in Illinois. became. 60 years.
Now, as he prepares to resign, he reflects on the environment around the office of the Secretary of State who succeeded George Ryan in the late 1990s.
“When I became an elected official, I was made available to the people who elected me to office,” he said. “You have to do what is required and set an example for doing it in a highly professional manner.”
White, who had served as a state legislator and deed registrar of Cook County before being elected secretary of state, soon had to grapple with corruption within the bureau.
“My employees no longer have to buy fundraising tickets, sell fundraising tickets, do political activism, or attend my events where they have to pay,” he said. Told.
Besides tackling corruption and ethical issues, White spearheaded efforts to strengthen teen driving and organ donation programs, both of which have saved countless lives.
“[Through these changes]we have been able to save many lives,” he said. “The organ donation program has been very successful.”
Now White is preparing to leave politics, but will continue to work with the Jesse White Tumblers, a group that has helped nearly 20,000 young Illinoisans since its founding more than 60 years ago.
“I have been running this program for 64 years. More than 18,000 young people have been through the program, but only 15 have had problems with the law,” he said. “I tell my kids to always look up.
White will be replaced by Secretary of State Alexi Giannurias early next year.