A warm farewell to Policy’s Jennifer Cushman, welcome to Jonathan Holmes

Jennifer Cushman, policy specialist and CCH’s lead point person in Springfield, will be leaving July 31 to start a job with the Responsible Budget Coalition.

Jonathan Holmes (second from left), with CCH's Charles Austin, advocates with Community Renewal Society and Heartland Alliance, and State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (middle), sponsor of HB 494.
Jonathan Holmes (second from left), with CCH’s Charles Austin, advocates with the Community Renewal Society and Heartland Alliance, and State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (middle), sponsor of HB 494.

Policy Fellow Jonathan Holmes will join the staff as a policy specialist, effective immediately, and Policy Director Julie Dworkin has begun a search to hire a policy specialist to succeed Jennifer.

After joining CCH in November, Jonathan became a key advocate in working for this spring’s legislative passage of a reentry job-access bill, House Bill 494. He also assisted on CCH’s state budget advocacy. 

Jennifer has been with CCH for two and a half years, leading our successful efforts to preserve homeless funding in the state budget. CCH does not accept government funding, but it advocates for support of housing, shelter and services that help homeless families, youth and adults get back on their feet.

Jennifer also led advocacy to enact a Homeless Bill of Rights in 2013 – making Illinois the second state in the nation to do so. She also advocated successfully for a 2014 bill, drafted by Youth Health Attorney Graham Bowman, to allow unaccompanied minors to consent to their own non-emergency medical care.

Jennifer Cushman (back, second from left) watches as Gov. Pat Quinn signs the Illinois Homeless Bill of Rights at the CCH office, on August 22, 2013. (Photo by Judy Fidkowski)
Jennifer Cushman (back, third from left) watches as Gov. Pat Quinn signs the Illinois Homeless Bill of Rights at the CCH office, on August 22, 2013. Attendees included legislative sponsors, State Rep. Chris Welch (left) and State Sen. Ira Silverstein (right). Photo by Judy Fidkowski

Working for CCH, Jennifer became involved this year with the Responsible Budget Coalition, a coalition of more than 200 organizations on which CCH is a lead partner. She showed great leadership in expanding and activating RBC’s field committee to get more organizations involved in state budget advocacy. Jennifer says that her time at CCH has been a fulfilling experience, but she could not pass up an opportunity to be more engaged in budget and tax policy, which she feels is a key social justice issue in Illinois right now. We will miss Jennifer, but will continue to work with her in her new role as a policy specialist and field coordinator for the RBC.

Applications are being accepted for an entry-level policy position with CCH.

– Julie Dworkin and Anne Bowhay