“Possessor of a brilliant career as the teacher union’s top legislative advocate, now Illinois labor’s foremost woman leader.”
Throughout her career Blackshere advanced women’s participation in the Democratic Party and organized labor. She has served as a delegate of the Democratic National Convention during 1980-1992 and promoted the candidacy of women at all levels within the Democratic Party. Blackshere promoted teachers’ rights as the president of the American Federation of Teachers and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Illinois State AFL-CIO.
“In 1903, the first president of the Chicago’s Women’s Trade Union League, and in 1913, victorious leader of the struggle for women’s suffrage in Illinois.”
From the settlement house movement at the turn of the century, McDowell sought to promote trade unionism, safer working conditions, shorter hours, women’s suffrage, improved sanitary conditions, and inter-racial harmony. She was the founder of Local 183 for female employees in the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen. McDowell promoted female labor activism in 1903 when she established the Women’s Trade Union League and was president of the Illinois branch.
“Skilled machinist, long-time leader of his union, and champion registrar of voters.”
As a significant union activist, Pardo was concerned with occupational safety and minority rights. He began his career as a tool and dye makers. He promoted the rights of workers as president of the International Association of Machinists as well as the vice-president, trustee; delegate to the Chicago Federation of Labor and the Illinois State AFL-CIO.