Gerri Songer: Endorsed By Lake County Federation of Teachers – Local 504, IFT-AFT/AFL-CIO

Thank you LCFT for your support.  I’m honored to be endorsed on behalf of over 6,000 members.


REALLY, It’s Not My Job!


“[Lawlor] also questioned whether Songer’s day job would prevent her from attending county board meetings.” SONGER’S RESPONSE: My responsibilities as a Lake County Board member will be my full-time priority.  I’m very much looking forward to attending Lake County Board meetings!

In a Lake County News-Sun article, reporter Luke Hammill writes concerning the issue of transporting highly explosive crude oil by rail, “My opponent hasn’t stepped up on our behalf to lobby or communicate related hazards,” [Songer] added, while acknowledging the federal government is responsible for regulating such trains. Lawlor said the issue is important but is “completely the responsibility of the feds.”

“If you want to impact train or rail safety,” Lawlor said, “you need to run for Congress.”

I guess my opponent had better give Karen Darch a heads up!

Karen Darsch, Barrington’s village president, did the following (including, but not limited to):

Darch took determined action against the merger of CN and the EJ&E Railroad by forming a coalition with villages along the corridor as co-chair of TRAC; filing a petition with U.S. safety regulators seeking upgrades for the DOT-111 fleet and real-time information sharing with emergency responders on hazardous car contents; and filing public comment with PHMSA, likening the transport of Bakken crude to “a game of Russian roulette.”

Darch testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to discuss legislation about the importance of considering community impacts in a governmental review of railroad mergers (H.R. 6707), and she filed a petition asking a Chicago-based federal appeals court to review new crude-by-rail rules, arguing regulators didn’t go far enough.

Most impressive, she visited the Canadian town of Lac Megantic and talked with officials still coming to terms with the aftermath of a derailment that decimated the core of their village and took the lives of 47 unsuspecting victims.

Darch stepped up when her community needed her. She was in the fight when it began and hasn’t stopped since.

Lake County needs a responsible representative who makes people her priority.  We are human beings, and our lives have value.

What is the public saying about the issue of transporting crude by rail through our neighborhoods?

Lawlor not leading on rail safety

Recognizing the urgency of a problem

JUST FOR THE RECORD:  I’ll consider running for Congress in our next General Election.

Lawlor not leading on rail safety

The Letter to the Editor below, written by Jane Partridge from Lake Forest, goes on to ask some hard hitting questions about the state of Lake County’s emergency preparedness.  At the Daily Herald interview to which this LTE refers, I asked the question, “Who’s job is it?”

I received no answer.

My answer is this: “I’ll take it.”

Post By:
  Daily Herald
Photo:  William Hejl


Oil train derailments and fiery explosions come with a 1-mile radius blast zone and up to a 3-mile evacuation zone. I’ve been proactive since May of 2014 in demanding action from our elected officials and in raising public awareness.

Regarding a recent Daily Herald article, I take exception to Aaron Lawlor’s passing the buck about protecting the people of Lake County.

There are five railroad tracks with thousands of tank cars passing through Lake County while carrying millions of gallons of oil. These accidents-waiting-to-happen traverse over 25 communities from Barrington to Winthrop Harbor and Highland Park to Antioch.

Is each community individually supposed to deal with safety, traffic, pollution issues caused by the trains? Most communities, grappling with limited resources and influence, are unable to deal with potential catastrophes. The county should spearhead efforts to improve safety standards and mitigate impacts.

To read this Letter to the Editor in it’s entirety, please view:  Lawlor not leading on rail safety