Melinda Bush was born and raised in Lake County, the oldest of six brothers and sisters in a working class family. She moved to Grayslake when she was eight years old.
Melinda always felt a pull towards public service, believing strongly we should put people first.
In addition to owning a small business and forming Grayslake’s original Downtown Merchant’s Association, Melinda organized the Grayslake community against massive over development that would have taxed the local infrastructure and school system. That land is now the Rollins Savanna – the second largest forest preserve in the state.
In 2008, Melinda felt her community was being underrepresented and won election to the Lake County Board. Working with local business leaders, Melinda brought the Fed Ex Facility to Grayslake and hundreds of jobs to Lake County.
But jobs were not enough – Melinda knew that to improve the economy she must also fight for property tax relief. Melinda voted against every budget that asked for the maximum in property tax levies.
Her independent streak on full display, Melinda worked hard to oppose ‘insider’ deals and called for substantial ethics reform – winning real changes that allowed public oversight and forced consistent review of the Lake County Board’s practices.
With Springfield mired in partisan scandal, Melinda knew Illinois needed leaders who would set an example and put people before politics. In 2012 Melinda was elected to Illinois 31st Senate District seat, where she is still standing up for Lake County citizens every day – demanding fiscal responsibility, setting an ethical standard, and creating jobs to restore our economy.
Melinda still lives in Grayslake with her husband Andy. Her son, Chris Willen, is a professional fly fisherman based out of Hayward, Wisconsin.