The BIOGRAPHY of Susana Mendoza
Susana Mendoza was sworn in as Chicago City Clerk on May 16, 2011, becoming the first woman ever elected to the Office of the City Clerk. As City Clerk, she successfully transitioned 1.3 million customers away from an inefficient and archaic seasonal Chicago City Vehicle Sticker sales program dating back 105 years, plagued by tremendously long lines and guaranteed headaches, to a streamlined Year-Round-Sales program, modeled after the Illinois Secretary of State's license plate renewal program. This historic change resulted in better customer service at lower taxpayer cost.
FIRST TERM AS CITY CLERK
In her first term, Clerk Mendoza also took on the horrendous puppy mill industry and won. Working closely with animal rights groups, primarily the Puppy Mill Project, Clerk Mendoza spearheaded and passed the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance, banning Chicago Pet Stores from selling dogs, cats or rabbits unless those animals are sourced from humane shelters or animal rescue organizations. This ordinance effectively shuts off the pipeline of horribly abused puppy mill animals coming into the City, and places Chicago as a national leader in humane and compassionate legislation towards animals.
BEFORE SUSANA WAS CLERK
Before City Clerk, Susana Mendoza proudly served six terms as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011. Elected in 2001 as the youngest member of the 92nd Illinois General Assembly, she was publicly recognized for her leadership and legislation on social services, education, law enforcement, job creation and animal welfare. She was a leading sponsor of HR 1650 which created the panel to impeach former Governor Blagojevich and she served as an active alternate member of the impeachment committee.
HIGHLIGHTS AS A SIX-TERM REPRESENTATIVE
- Furthermore as a state representative, Susana Mendoza served as Co-Chairperson of the Conference of Women Legislators and twice served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention (DNC). She was also a co-founder of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.
- In 2004, Susana Mendoza was named one of Chicago Crain's Chicago Business Magazine "40 under 40" and in May of 2011, she was highlighted by Chicago Crain's Chicago Business Magazine in their "Women to Watch" series.
- The U.S. Department of State selected Susana Mendoza as part of its Professional Speaker's Program in an effort to have her promote democracy and leadership in the countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela and Chile. As a lawmaker and/or the Chairman of the Illinois International Trade and Commerce Committee, Susana Mendoza traveled to China, Turkey, Ireland, and El Salvador.
- In 2010, she was selected by Robin Read, former President & CEO of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, at the behest of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as one of only seven women nationally to travel to Iraq as an international observer of the Iraqi elections held on March 7 of that year. Watch videos of Susana's trip to Iraq.
IN HIGH SCHOOL
Susana Mendoza graduated from Bolingbrook High School where she earned All-State and All-Midwest honors in varsity soccer. She attended Northeast Missouri State University, (now Truman State University) on a soccer and academic scholarship, earning All-Midwest honors in soccer and a B.A. in Business Administration.
She is very happily married to her wonderful husband, David Szostak, with whom she is sharing the joy of parenting an amazing 2 year old son named David Quinten. They live on the City's northwest side in the historic Portage Park neighborhood.