Jackie Traynere biography
Jackie Traynere is proud to be of, by, and for the people she represents as a Will County Board member from the 4th District, which encompasses the eastern portion of Bolingbrook. As someone who grew up in Bolingbrook, who has returned to her hometown to work and serve, Jackie has her finger on the pulse of this growing area. She has seen and lived the changes that the area has undergone, and she knows that its residents want leaders that are in partnership with them in providing their families with opportunities for success and community connections while keeping them and their neighbors safe in their homes and as they go about their daily lives.
Jackie’s journey – having been raised in Bolingbrook, exploring other areas for a bit, and now returned to the area (permanently, as far as she’s concerned!) – has helped form her sense of who she is not just as a person but as a public servant. She has observed and experienced some of the many ways in which governmental agencies assist and protect their constituents. Her family home growing up as acquired with the help of a VHA home loan. As a young mother and later as a single parent, she was fortunate that she had family and friends she could rely on when needed, but she also knew that there were programs available to make sure that her children were cared for and agencies to keep them all safe and healthy. Jackie later endured the difficulties of navigating eldercare systems as she cared for her aging parents. When she found her professional calling, Jackie understood through her union work that those who organize as a workforce share in leadership and help ensure quality workplaces, as well as the products and services they provide. Finally, as a small business owner herself, Jackie knows first-hand that safe, carefully-run operations benefit everyone from the owner to the employees to their customers – and governments at all levels share in the responsibility of keeping the playing field level.
Jackie’s first foray into political life was as a fourth grader, when her class (with some adult assistance, of course) successfully lobbied the governor to help their fellow classmates by creating a safe school crossing at Route 53. Her first adult political experience was serving as an election judge at age 18, witnessing and protecting our most basic American democratic right at the voting booth. What really got her interested in getting involved in politics was the outsider candidacy of Ross Perot for president in 1992; she recalls being fascinated by his intentionally non-politician approach to spreading his message, including breaking things down on flip charts, just like we’ve all seen and used in classrooms and in our workplaces. As she matured and moved back to her Bolingbrook hometown, she joined the local Democratic Party. She entered the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership in 2006, coinciding with her first race for the Will County Board – and lost by 89 votes! Undeterred, she ran again and won in 2008 and has now been elected to that position three times. In 2013, Jackie attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she learned a very memorable lesson about political life from the session’s lead speaker with the National Association of Counties: “It is a politician’s job to disappoint you at a rate you can absorb.” Jackie fervently hopes she can stay on target with the rate side of the equation while not going past the line of acceptable disappointment.
In 2015, Jackie took a leap of faith (and garnered some national attention along the way) when she challenged Bolingbrook’s long-time mayor and the rest of his ruling party. As the lead candidate of the Bolingbrook United ticket, Jackie ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and greater inclusion for the village, committed to “transparency and accountability to the residents of Bolingbrook, not the special interests or party machines.” The group ran a great campaign, earning a depth of support that led to a much tighter race than had been expected, and drawing the attention of state- and nation-wide media outlets that highlighted the contest as a proxy for the 2016 presidential race. The voting ultimately came down to the wire, requiring the counting of all the mail-in ballots, but unfortunately the mayor was re-elected. Jackie sees the close race and heightened attention to issues Bolingbrook is facing as steps forward, and she continues to believe in the platform she ran on will be the one that will guide the village in years to come.
Jackie lives in Bolingbrook with her husband Joe; she has two adult children and two stepchildren. She has worked for twenty-two years for the American Federation of Government Employees as an organizer, and she and her husband and brother-in-law run The Cleaning Authority, a cleaning service with over thirty employees; through this small business they are connected to Cleaning for a Reason, a non-profit organization that provides home cleaning for women undergoing treatment for cancer.