The Chicago School Team Meets with National and Local Politicians to Advocate for the University and Our Students


In early February 2024, the Advancement and Public Affairs team consisting of Kathleen Buczko, Denise Diaz, and Victor Abalos, had a successful advocacy week in Washington, D.C., combining participation in the National Association and Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) conference with strategic meetings with Senate and Congressional offices representing California and Illinois. During this time in the capital, The Chicago School achieved significant milestones and identified areas for further action. Our engagement with Illinois U.S Senator Dick Durbin’s staff showed promising support for our earmark application, particularly for the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM). We’re collaborating closely to ensure readiness for the application’s tentative launch in March.  A discussion with Illinois U.S Senator Tammy Duckworth’s staff emphasized the importance of inclusivity within the COM curriculum, especially for students with disabilities. We had the opportunity to chat with California Congressman Lou Correa and thank him for his support of independent universities and, in an effort to strengthen our mutual relationship, extended an invitation for him to visit our Anaheim campus.


The team returned to California for a town hall-style meeting with CA Assemblymember Avelino Valencia representing the 68th Assembly District. His District includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Orange. Beyond the fact that the Assemblymember’s district office is in the same building as our campus, this visit gave the Assemblymember a chance to meet faculty, staff and students, as well as to talk openly with President Michele Nealon about the challenges the State of California is facing with its mental health crisis. The discussions will continue as we submit a proposal for review to support our students. We are hoping this step results in more direct student support to reduce education costs and make graduating with little to no debt a reality.


In summary, our DC trip and hosting of our Assembly members were marked by impactful advocacy, productive discussions, and the groundwork for future partnerships aligned with our institutional goals

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