DuPage Dems Difference Maker – Dan Bailey
Dan grew up in DuPage. As the oldest of 9 he took care of his siblings He would say he started looking out for the little guy. In primary school felt aligned with the Civil Rights movement. In high school he protested the Vietnam War, following MLK and Ghandian nonviolence. He married and divorced and took care of his daughter and worked as an Railroad Engineer. Eventually he became very active in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers as an officer and also was vice chair of the Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, Dan helped unionize a railroad. Active in political campaigns in Cook County including for a Green Party in 1980 and for independent Mayor Harold Washington and his ally, Chuy Garcia, from 83 until the 2000’s.
Dan Married Maria who gave him 2 more lovely daughters. When he moved back to DuPage in 88 there were few Dems. It seemed like an act of resistance to just help the Dem Party exist especially in conservative Milton Township. Dan became a PC. He says “I ran for office multiple times because I just had to do something. I couldn’t stand seeing no candidate represent the Democrats on almost all local offices.” The Dems did some building but still it seemed that there was never enough momentum to get anything really transformational going.
In 2006, 13 frustrated political activists met at Bob Peickert’s kitchen table and hatched a plan to vitalize the local Dems by doing one very basic thing, focus on recruiting PC’s. It was successful and Bob was elected chair. As a part of the team that supported Bob, Dan was close to the DPDC leadership and is now a vice chair of the DPDC. He is particularly interested in promoting a Democratic alternative to the conservative media version of politics in DuPage.
After 31 years at the RR, he went back to school to become a Registered Nurse and worked in a free clinic in Wheaton. Dan was a President of District 19 of the Illinois nurses Association and now is a member of National Nurses United. Besides politics he is still active in many issue campaigns advocating for Immigrants Rights, Unions, Medicare for All, A Green New Deal and in Illinois FEJA, CEJA, The Fair Tax, The La Salle Street Tax and is a longtime member of the Sierra Club. He says” It sometimes seems that I want to do more than I actually have time for; but which of my younger sisters and brothers would I want to leave behind?”