by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—In search of consultation from seasoned leaders at the local level, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka recently turned her attention to the Sugar Grove area, bringing on Lourdes “Lulu” Blacksmith to serve on the comptroller’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
Blacksmith, director of governmental and multicultural affairs at Waubonsee Community College, will serve on the 10-person council and meet with Topinka four times a year to provide consultation and potential resolutions to community issues.
Blacksmith said the goal of the council is to come together to discuss issues of importance to community members, and work together to find solutions.
“In some cases, that may mean promoting new initiatives or legislation, while in others it may just be raising awareness of existing services,” she said. “Waubonsee’s engagement with diverse stakeholders—in this case, the Office of the Comptroller—can potentially impact our students and the communities we serve.”
In addition to the Hispanic Advisory Board, Topinka has also launched African-American, Asian-American, Polish, Women and Rural Affairs advisory boards, which Blacksmith said are meant to ensure a direct line of communication between various communities and the comptroller.
According to Mike Dropka, manager of media affairs for the Office of Illinois State Comptroller, Topinka and her staff hand selected candidates who offered the best representation for ethnicities.
“I am honored and humbled by the nomination and look forward to serve in this capacity,” Blacksmith said.