Dem Chairmen to honor Conlon and Balanoff with Dem Party Builder Award at Annual Chicago Reception

//Dem Chairmen to honor Conlon and Balanoff with Dem Party Builder Award at Annual Chicago Reception

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2017
Media Advisory
Contact: Dan Kovats, IDCCA Executive Director
(773) 351-7818 /

Democratic County Chairmen to honor Conlon and Balanoff
with Democratic Party Builder Award at Annual Chicago Reception

Springfield, IL – On Thursday, March 16th, the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association will host their second annual Chicago Reception. As the IDCCA begins to prepare for the 2018 Election cycle, the Chicago Reception provides a great opportunity for supporters of the IDCCA to come together to show our resolve to fighting back against the failed policies of Governor Bruce Rauner. The IDCCA will present Kevin Conlon and Clem Balanoff with the first ever IDCCA Democratic Party Builder Award for their years of service to the Democratic Party.

The reception, co–hosted by Senate President John Cullerton, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, IDCCA President Doug House and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, will take place at the Hubbard Inn.

IDCCA President Doug House said “The IDCCA recognizes that there is no such thing as an ‘off year’ in Illinois politics. Our annual Chicago Reception is a way for us to raise the funds we need to continue the fight. We have already begun organizing and training for 2018 Election because we must do everything we can to stop the damage the Governor Rauner is doing to our state.”

In recognition of their outstanding membership and work, we will present Kevin Conlon and Clem Balanoff with the first IDCCA Democratic Party Builder Award. Mr. Conlon and Mr. Balanoff (bios included below) have served their entire adult lives helping to build the Democratic Party in Illinois and throughout the United States. IDCCA President Doug House said “we are excited to honor both Kevin and Clem. Both individuals exemplify what it means to be a Democrat and we look forward to continuing to work with them as we build the Democratic Party throughout Illinois.”

Supporting the IDCCA County Chairmen and the co–hosts for the Chicago Reception will be the distinguished members of our host committee. These members include (attendance at event not guaranteed):

Hon. Joe Berrios, Hon. Daniel Biss, Hon. Michael Bissett, Liz Brown – Reeves, Hon. Cheri Bustos, Hon. Mike Cabonargi, Hon. Michael Carrigan, Chicago Federation of Labor, Phillip H. Corboy Jr., Patrick Croke, Christopher Dunn, Hon. Michael Frerichs, Hon. Mark Guethle, Hon. Don Harmon, Christopher Hurley, Illinois American Water Company PAC, Hon. Robin Kelly, Chris Kennedy, Hon. Lou Lang, Hon. Terry Link, Hon. Lisa Madigan, Hon. Susana Mendoza, Hon. David Orr, Hon. Ameya Pawar, Hon. Bob Peickert, Ronald Powell, Hon. Toni Preckwinkle, J.B. Pritzker, Hon. Mike Quigley, Hon. Kwame Raoul, Hon. Carol Ronen, Hon. Jan Schakowsky, Hon. Brad Schneider, Hon. Kurt Summers, and Hon. Anna Valencia

The funds raised at this event will help continue the IDCCA’s investment in grassroots organizing throughout Illinois. The IDCCA will continue to support organizations such as Democratic County Parties, recruiting and training Precinct Committeemen, working with our partners to engage and build support, and continuing to be a voice against Governor Bruce Rauner.

Honoree Bios

Clem Balanoff

Influenced by his parents, Clem grew up in an activist family. At the age of 10, in 1963, he went to Washington, DC to march with Dr.  King.  His first campaign involvement started around the same time he organized a bike parade in support of a local candidate for Chicago Alderman on Chicago’s Southeast side.  To this day, Clem’s career continues to grow from the same passion for progressive causes.

Later Clem would become the Democratic Committeeman of the 10th Ward, and State Representative from the 35th District.  He served as Director of Elections for Cook County and was the longtime Chief of Staff for Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Throughout his life, Clem has been active in campaigns. He served as Political Director for the Chuy Garcia for Chicago mayoral campaign and was the Illinois State Director of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.  He has deep ties to African American, Latino and progressive communities across the state.  Currently he serves as Chair of Our Revolution-Illinois and is the Political Director of the Amalgamated Transit Union, International.

Kevin Conlon

Kevin Conlon’s passion for politics and public policy was sparked when, at 11-years-old, he volunteered at Rich Township Democratic Headquarters, where he later became a committeeman.  He went on to choose a career in government relations and to serve in leadership roles in campaigns at all levels of government.

Kevin’s campaign work has included serving as the State Co-Chair of the Illinois Hillary Clinton presidential campaign for the 2008 and 2016 elections.  During President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, Kevin was a member of the National Finance Committee, and founder and National Co-Chair of the Obama Leadership Circle.  During the 2004 presidential campaign, Kevin acted as Illinois State Chair and Vice Chair of the National Finance Committee for Governor Howard Dean and, later, Illinois State Finance Chair for Senator John Kerry. He has held a variety of positions with the Democratic National Committee, most recently serving as a member of the DNC’s Permanent Committee on Rules (2006-08) and a Delegate at a Democratic National Conventions since 1996.

Kevin was elected and served as Rich Township Democratic Committeeman for 14 years, and as Rich Township Supervisor for nine years. He was the first Democrat in 130 years elected to lead Rich Township, and, was named “Supervisor of the Year” by Illinois township officials in 2014.

After practicing labor and employment law as District Counsel for the Communications Workers of America, Kevin founded a government relations firm (now Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies) with former Democratic National Committee Chairman David Wilhelm. The firm has helped more than 200 clients, mostly nonprofits, achieve their goals in the public arena.

Kevin served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Expanding Training Opportunities during the Clinton administration and has been an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University, Chicago-Kent School of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, where he has taught classes on campaign strategy.  A native of the south suburbs, Kevin holds degrees from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, the University of Illinois, and Illinois State University.

The Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association is a state wide, grassroots Democratic political organization. It is made up of the elected Democratic County Chairmen in all 102 counties in Illinois. The mission of the IDCCA is to help elect Democrats in each county while continuing to grow the Democratic Party in the State of Illinois. Rock Island County Chairman Doug House is the President of the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association. Learn more at, and