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The Grueling Work of a Grassroots Campaign: Hernandez ’25 at “All In With Lilian” in Chicago, Illinois.

A picture I took while canvassing for social media purposes.

A picture I took while canvassing for social media purposes.

For my very first Co-Op at Antioch College, I was eager to get to work with someone I greatly admire and someone so incredibly close to home. I’m proud to present to the Antioch community: my aunt, Lilian Jiménez. I am working throughout this spring term as an intern in her campaign to be the Representative for the 4th District of Illinois, which includes places such as Humboldt Park, a place I feel a very strong connection to due to my Puerto Rican heritage. To sum up her platform best, here is a quick excerpt from her website’s landing page, from which you can view more about her beliefs and endorsements such as the Chicago Teacher’s Union and Planned Parenthood:

“Lilian Jiménez is Chicago born and raised, and a daughter to a Puerto Rican father and Mexican mother. She is an attorney who has specialized in public policy advocacy, bringing two decades of experience working in immigration, labor, criminal justice, civil rights, and community organizing. Lilian previously served as Director of Policy and Chief of Staff for Jesus “Chuy” Garcia during his tenure as Cook County Commissioner. Jiménez also served as Director of the Fair Labor Standards Division at the Illinois Department of Labor. Currently, Lilian leads the Illinois Welcoming Center Office where she leverages her broad experiences to expand access to human services for limited English, immigrant, asylum seekers, climate and international refugees.”
Lilian with Chuy García

Lilian with Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García.

In terms of my job as an intern, it would be hard to pin down everything I do around the office and beyond. Officially I work as a social media intern, and you can view some of the content I’ve made here. I created this card specifically to attract a younger audience than the typical Facebook post, and you can

A picture of me with my aunt Lilian at a rally.

Me with my aunt Lilian at an abortion rights rally.

see within that I am also currently populating an official TikTok account for the campaign with some quick and trendy videos. It’s been difficult, being professional and TikTok-worthy at the same time, and to do so, I’ve also been following my aunt around for several weeks now as she goes about her days. I’ve had to learn to write in her voice and make sure everything I put down is approved. I have also learned how to use the fancy new camera on my phone to take pictures on the campaign trail. While many campaigns, especially those with corporate money, have professional cameramen, All In With Lilian has me, and I take that job very seriously.

An old family photo.

Top left: Migdalia, my aunt. Top right: Jaime, my grandfather. Bottom left: Lilian herself. Bottom right: Rosa, my mother.

Many days, my work includes canvassing the local neighborhoods. I’ve become proficient in MiniVan, an app that allows us to better connect with voters in a door-to-door strategy many larger campaigns often ignore. This means quite a lot of walking, along with quite a lot of exploring the city I’ve called home for 19 years. On other days I’m addressing mail to donors, decorating a new office space, or even putting my Media 101 class to good use, making flyers or other media to share on her socials. Honestly, it’s tiring work, which is all the more reason I’m so awed by how my aunt handles it all considering she’s on top of things 24/7 with the help of her campaign manager, Claudia.

Lilian and Claudia stand in our new office on Division Street

Lilian and Claudia (our tireless campaign manager) stand in the new office on Division Street.

Lilian is a working mother to a young son, my cousin Oisín, and she barely gets any rest between him and this incredibly brave campaign. It makes me all the more glad I’m able to use my Co-Op opportunity to propel her to the state level and let her do her best work for our communities. And one more thing, if you wanted to hear a little more about my family story and her inspiration for running, check out this moving interview she recently did with The Metropolis Rising Podcast. Or check out some fun endorsements such as The “Girl, I Guess” Voter Guide or this election zine by United Neighbors of the 35th Ward where she makes an appearance as a cartoon!

Lilian with her son at work.

Lilian with her son, Oisín, after picking him up from daycare. Taken by me.

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Rosabella Hernandez they/them, Class of 2025 I was born in 2003, to a Latino family residing in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Coming from a family of life-long learners invested in the public good and education for all, my goal is to work in one of the many museums I spent my childhood inside. I am interested in Art, History, Art History, and everything in-between!

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