As a native of Kankakee County, a working mother who runs a nonprofit, and an active member of her community, Jackie understands the everyday challenges, issues, and opportunities in the 79th District. She has a passion for helping people and is an effective problem solver who will roll up her sleeves to get the job done. As state representative, Jackie will take her proven track record of helping advance key issues to Springfield for the betterment of our community.
Jackie has dedicated her career to serving her community as a social worker for three decades, focused on helping underserved populations, and advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves.
A lifelong advocate for ensuring her neighbors have the care and access they need to healthcare, particularly behavioral healthcare, as well as an advocate for early childhood development, education, and economic opportunity, Jackie has grown frustrated with the failures of Springfield. Politicians have forgotten about the children and families they represent and instead, have failed to help increase opportunities for Illinoisans.
As the CEO of a nonprofit for 20 years, Jackie understands what it takes to run and manage a business, from operations to budgets to strategic planning to navigating a challenging regulatory environment. Throughout the years, Jackie has developed strong relationships with many diverse sectors and community leaders. In addition to forging relationships at the state and local level, Jackie knows the direct impact Springfield can have – positive and negative – on residents of our communities and state through her work on behavioral health legislation.
Additionally, serving on the Kankakee County Board has given Jackie experience with government management.
Born and raised in Momence, Illinois, to Jim and the late Marlene LaMotte. Jackie attended St. Patrick’s grade school in Momence and Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee. She received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Valparaiso University, as well as her master’s degree with a specialization in mental health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams School of Social Work.
After graduating, Jackie began working at Riverside Medical Center, before accepting a position with the Helen Wheeler Center, where she eventually became the first female CEO of the Center. Jackie continues to serve at the Helen Wheeler Center today and is actively involved in several community-based coalitions, local board of directors, and community collaborations.
Jackie resides in Bourbonnais with her husband, Bill, of 27 years. They have two children, Nicole and Ben.