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State Rep. Esther Golar Dies, South Side Loses 'Selfless Advocate'

By  Andrea V. Watson and Ted Cox | September 21, 2015 11:01am | Updated on September 22, 2015 9:54am

 Rep. Esther Golar (l.) and Resident Association of Greater Englewood President Aysha Butler
Rep. Esther Golar (l.) and Resident Association of Greater Englewood President Aysha Butler
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CITY HALL — The South Side and Englewood lost a "selfless advocate" for the community's interests with the death Monday of state Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago).

Steve Brown, spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, said Golar died Monday morning, but couldn't offer any more details.

"For almost 10 years Rep. Golar has represented her constituents honorably and has been a selfless advocate for their interests," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. "She understood that government is a vehicle of service, and operates at its best when it is collaborative. She was a believer in the strength of neighborhoods and communities, and was an ally on issues I hold dear: schools, public safety  and health care. My sympathies go out to her family and close friends."

"She committed her life to service and was a wonderful person," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), whose ward overlapped with her district. "We're all sorry to see her go."

The New City resident was elected to the General Assembly in 2006. Before that, she served on the Local School Council at Fulton Elementary and was a member of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. She also won a Back of the Yards Neighborhood Leadership Award.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that Golar "served the people of Illinois and her constituents in Chicago admirably, while advocating for some of our most vulnerable citizens. She championed change in the areas of housing, education, restorative justice and mental illness. She was a pillar of strength in her community and represented the people of the 6th District with tenacity and grace."

While in Springfield for a legislative session earlier this month, Golar was taken to a hospital, according to the Tribune. She was later moved into hospice care, the paper said.

Golar had represented the 6th District since she was first elected on Nov. 7, 2006. She had lived in New City since 1983.

As a state representative, she served on committees for appropriations-human services, elementary and secondary education, housing, personnel and pensions and public utilities.

In June, Golar was joined by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th) to discuss proposed cuts in a program that helps residents pay their utility bills.

Golar was active in the Englewood community, doing her best to attend events like the Englewood Back to School Parade and the Resident Association of Greater Englewood's "So Fresh Saturdays" series.

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