Congressman García’s Statement in Memory of Maria Whelan

June 12, 2020
Press Release

Chicago, IL. -  Maria Whelan, President and CEO of Illinois Action for Children passed away suddenly on June 10th. Maria was an authority in the early child care and education field. Throughout her career, Whelan developed a legacy as a fighter for child care assistance programs for working parents in Illinois. Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement today honoring her:

“Maria Whelan was a dear friend, a tireless and effective advocate for children, and a social justice activist her entire life. I am deeply saddened by her passing. My wife Evelyn and I and send condolences to her husband and best friend, Jack Wuest, their three children and grandchildren. I’m thankful to have worked with Maria—she dedicated her life to improving the lives of children and families throughout Illinois.”

During the current coronavirus pandemic, Maria was a top expert who provided input into the plan to open child care centers keeping the safety of children at the forefront of her recommendations.

Whelan remained deeply engaged in ensuring that all children in Illinois are counted in the 2020 census. Her organization held census bingo games at every holiday party the Illinois Action for Children held last December for the families they serve.