meet Jill Manrique.
I have spent my career filling the gaps where people have been left behind. I am a fundraiser for non-profit organizations, an advocate for abortion rights and for families and children, and a mother of three. I am running for State Representative to advance the issues that matter in the 16th District - education, access to quality healthcare including mental health services, revitalizing our business community, environmental justice, and criminal justice reform.
Jill Manrique has spent her life fighting for her community and her values. She grew up in the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago. Her father sold steel, and her mother was in public relations and marketing.
From an early age Jill understood the importance of public service, serving as class president of her Edison Regional Gifted Center grade school class. She went to Loyola Academy, where she cemented her belief in the value of teamwork as a member of the rowing and golf teams.
It was during her time at Loyola Academy that Jill participated in her first protest, traveling to Ft. Benning, Georgia, to demonstrate against School of the Americas, a military academy specializing in training Latin American military officers who have gone on to be party to human rights abuses and war crimes.
It was also during this time that Jill had her first abortion. This pivotal moment in her life showed her that true freedom for women is inextricably linked to reproductive choice. She would later have another abortion at the same clinic where she currently serves as a clinic escort.
Following her time at Loyola Academy, Jill went on to study at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. It was there that she survived a rape and got a firsthand look at the broken process of reporting sexual assault and the difficulty survivors of assault face in seeking justice.
Jill transferred to Columbia College Chicago and then finally to Northeastern Illinois University. There, thanks to an inspiring lineup of professors, she fell deeply in love with Political Science. She interned for State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, where she learned the ins and outs of legislative offices, answering questions for constituents.
Jill has built her career in the nonprofit world, working to fill the gaps where people have been left behind. Throughout her career, she has been a consistent fighter for her values, even in her first job in nonprofit development with Rotary International. Surprised at the group’s lack of a family leave policy, Jill set about organizing her coworkers to advocate for themselves. Thanks to her campaign, Rotary now boasts a generous policy that benefits new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents.
Following her time at Rotary, Jill joined Boys Hope Girls Hope, an organization dedicated to supporting at-risk youth who had demonstrated a strong educational potential. She has raised funds to support environmental stewardship with Nature Conservancy, and now works to advance housing justice in her current role as Development Director at Open Communities.
Jill is a steadfast advocate for women and families. For three years she volunteered as Chief Development Officer for Carry the Future, an entirely volunteer-run network that collects and distributes baby carriers, diapers, and other mother and baby needs to refugee camps in 14 countries. In 2018 she organized a protest against the McHenry County ICE detention center, and traveled to Tornillo, Texas to protest the caging of children at the ICE camp there. Jill currently volunteers with Illinois Choice Action Team (ICAT), escorting women into clinics providing abortion care.
In 2019, Jill was elected to the District 219 School Board and currently serves as Vice President of that board. Jill is the proud mother of three children ages 11, 5, and 4, who attend public school in the district.