Added: Feb 15, 2022

Grasso Press Conference Remarks February 15, 2022

Good morning, thank you for attending this virtual press conference. I will give you some brief opening remarks about my candidacy for Congress, introduce three significant endorsements, and take your questions.

The new 6th Congressional District is comprised of municipalities in Southwestern Cook and Southeastern DuPage Counties. Burr Ridge sits almost equally between DuPage and Cook Counties in the District. That geography and my experience make me the perfect candidate to represent the citizens of the new IL 6th.

I was first elected Mayor in 2005, reelected in 2009 and then returned as mayor in 2019. I was elected for a fourth time in 2021. In my first two terms – with the help of many others – I led the development of:

our award-winning Village Center,
built our state-of-the-art police facility in 2010,
provided a fitting memorial to honor our veterans,
and brought significant businesses – including Loyola Medical- to Burr Ridge.
The COVID Pandemic hit just as I returned as Mayor in 2019. In the throes of the pandemic, we kept our small businesses and restaurants open using social distancing, spacing tables, and asking staff members to wear masks. We also provided funds for outdoor tents, and we also provided grants to our small businesses for them to meet payroll and rent. We did not lose one restaurant and only one business closed.

Burr Ridge is also fiscally sound and this past December 2021, we paid off our bond debt – Burr Ridge is debt free. How many municipalities can make that statement!!!

My public service also includes representing the residents of southeastern DuPage as an elected member to the DuPage County Board between 2012 and 2018. Many of these same residents and communities are now part of the IL 6th District.

During my time on the DuPage County Board, I was Chairman of the DuPage 911 Board and oversaw the construction of two state of the art call centers providing DuPage County – in my opinion and many others – with the finest 911 System in the state.

From 1998 to 2010, I served 12 years on the DuPage County Board of Health. We transformed the Health Board in those years to face bird flu, SARS, and West Nile virus giving me invaluable experience once the COVID pandemic struck.

Before moving to Burr Ridge in 1995, 27 years ago, my wife Janet and I lived in Western Springs in Cook County, now part of the new 6th District. There, I served on the Library Board for 4 years, and was elected to the St. John of the Cross School Board and then its Parish Council.

In 2018, along with other local officials, we brought to light the failures of the US and IL EPA concerning Sterigenics that eventually led to its closure and decommissioning. We support residents that are pursuing breast cancer and related lawsuits against Sterigenics. Burr Ridge also has filed claims against the USEPA to recover our legal fees.

I am an attorney by profession practicing law in the courthouses of Cook and DuPage Counties for over 40 years. I was the first in my family to get a college education graduating from Georgetown University in Washington DC and later earning my law degree from Fordham Law School – attending at night while working a full-time job.

My wife and I have raised six children in Cook and DuPage Counties and on Feb 10 last week we welcomed the birth of our sixth grandchild. Six children, six grandchildren, running for Congress in the 6th District – it has a ring to it…. Doesn’t it!

I have been asked why I am running for Congress. Here’s why:   We need to bring the voice of reason and respect for each other back to Washington. The perpetual partisan fighting and gridlock in Washington is hurting families and individuals across my community, the 6th District, this State, and nation. We have to stop the bickering, divisiveness, and name calling, and instead, make government work once again for the citizens of this great Country.

Look, I truly believe I have the best chance to win the district in the general election this November. That’s the prize.

I am honestly the candidate with the greatest experience and qualifications, with a proven track record of success in each of the positions I have held. Most importantly, I have a strong reputation and history of building consensus to get things done.

For example – as Mayor for over 10 years, I have been able to build consensus amongst my Board members on issues so that I never had to vote on a substantive matter to break a tie.

I can give Republicans north of I-80 a seat at the table of our national government – and bring the voice of reason to Washington.

Now I’d like to turn to today’s endorsements from three great leaders in their own right. I am honored and humbled that these individuals have selected me as their choice for Congress from the 6th District.

I will introduce them each separately so they may each articulate their reasons for endorsing me.

The first person is Dan Webb, former US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and special prosecutor of the Jussie Smollett case. Dan is a true legal giant of our state and nation, and with whom I’ve also had the pleasure and honor to work with as an attorney.

The next video is from Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Leader Durkin also represents many of the residents of the new IL 6th District, including Burr Ridge. Jim is a tireless fighter for our communities in the Illinois General Assembly.

Our final video is from Dan Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman, and former Chairman of the DuPage County Republican Organization. Dan appointed me Chairman of DuPage County’s 911 Board in 2014 and supported our efforts to build the most efficient 911 System in the state. Like me, Dan tries to work with others to build consensus.

I want to thank former US Attorney Dan Webb, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, and DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin for those kind words on my behalf. I truly appreciate their endorsements. At this time… I will take questions.


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