Service, not money, always has propelled Baumer's public service
Republican Katy Dolan Baumer is running for the 44th District State House seat, but she may have found herself on the ballot a decade earlier if she had been willing to do the bidding of those higher up in office.
Baumer refused the opportunity because she had no interest in compromising her beliefs.
Ten years ago, “Mr. Madigan's people” knocked on her door, asking whether she would consider running for state representative with the promise of money, Baumer told the West Cook News. Baumer was told that if she would do a few things for Madigan, she would receive money for her community in return. What they didn't know is she isn't driven by money and couldn't be “bought,” Baumer said.
Serving the community has never been about money for Baumer, who owns her own graphic arts business. She just really enjoys helping her neighbors.
“I can't compromise my beliefs to do someone else's bidding," Baumer said. "I have to do the people's bidding.”
Baumer said that when she and her husband married, in addition to wedding vows, they vowed to make public service a priority in their lives, and they have done just that in their Streamwood community.
“We decided we had to get into our community and make it better,” Baumer said.
Baumer has served on a variety of boards and commissions, including the Village Blood Drive Commission, the Elk Grove Village Lions Club, the Poplar Creek Library Board and the Streamwood Chamber of Commerce. Baumer also served as a Hanover Township trustee before taking her current position as township clerk. Baumer is also vice president for the Township Officials of Cook County Clerks Association.
“This is my community; if I don't stand for my community, who will?” Baumer said.
Baumer said she isn't someone who steps down when things get tough. As a fencer, she took home the bronze award at the Prairie State Games in Illinois by standing strong in the face of diversity.
Baumer may not have used a fencing sword in her board positions, but she is known for standing up for what she believes is right, even when it's not the most popular position.
One place where she has found a lot of encouragement is through the Streamwood Woman's Club. Baumer said women from all walks of life are part of the organization, and they are incredibly supportive of each other. They have helped to shape her, Baumer said.
Over the years, Baumer has helped oversee the building of a library and served two terms as president of the Chamber of Commerce. Baumer doesn't take positions with the intent of staying in them forever and said she believes in going in, doing the job, showing someone else how to do the job, and moving on. The one exception is the Village Blood Drive Commission, a commission she holds close to her heart.
“I don't do it for accolades; I do it because I know it's the right thing to do.” Baumer said.
Baumer will face Democrat State Rep. Fred Crespo in the election.