Rachel Ventura – Candidiate for IL-11 Congressional
Rachel Ventura was born and raised in Joliet. With two working-class parents and three siblings, she grew up understanding hard work and the value of organized labor. She attended public school and continued to Benedictine University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Armed with that degree, she moved to California to work as an actuary in the health-insurance industry. She then came to understand how the American healthcare system had been structured as purely a profit-driven enterprise.
Disillusioned by that industry’s practices, Rachel left healthcare. She spent the next 10 years as a military spouse, which gave her more opportunities to work, travel, and learn. While living in Virginia, she earned a second degree in biology and began work as a veterinary assistant. Rachel later became a naturalist for Georgia State Parks where she learned of the destruction of over 87 million acres of Longleaf Pine Forests. She learned that less than 4% of the original forest remains today, and with that, Rachel’s passion for preservation began. Shortly after her twin girls were born, the family moved to Washington State. She volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations, many of which focused on protecting the environment and providing access to healthy foods. She also worked as a substitute teacher.
Rachel later returned to Joliet with her daughters as a single mother where she secured a position at a local company, Legendary Games. In her free time, she volunteers for Joliet School District 86, Girl Scouts, Educarious, and is active in productions at Will County Bicentennial Park. Here in her hometown, she realized she wanted to do more to help her community. In 2018 she ran successfully for the Will County Board. In that race, Rachel showed her willingness to engage with constituents, as she knocked on thousands of doors. And at every door, she listened to the real concerns of the members of her community.
As an elected county board member, Rachel helped secure long-term clean water for the 800 families living in Fairmont. Due to her perseverance, Will County became the second county in Illinois to adopt the Greenest Region Compact. She continues to advocate for affordable housing, recovery homes, housing for the homeless, an end to systemic racism, and the creation of job opportunities with livable wages.
No matter the job, city, or state, Rachel has always fought to make her community a better place. Equipped with years of knowledge, compassion, and an unrelenting work ethic, she plans to continue to fight for the people as a congresswoman for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District.