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I have been a resident of Aurora since 1990. My 3 children, Kathryn (26), Gregory (23), and Elizabeth (22) were born and raised in the Oakhurst neighborhood. For the past decade I have been a single mom. My oldest daughter Kathryn was born with Down Syndrome and this inspired me to leave the work force to advocate for her future. I immersed myself into our schools and our community by volunteering and sitting on every board and every committee that I could. By doing this, I was able to educate myself, build relationships, and most importantly, earn the trust of the community.
My advocacy became my passion in life; not only for my daughter Kathryn, but also for my community, which I have voluntarily served in Aurora for almost 30 years.
In 2008, Smith was recognized with the Volunteer of the Year award from the city of Aurora.
“Patty Smith, through her devotion to the welfare of our community, literally defines the meaning of the term community leader,”
- Thomas J Weisner, Mayor Aurora, Illinois.
My call to serve led to my employment with the non-for-profit legal agency Prairie State Legal Services where I serve as an American Bar Association Certified Paralegal. Prairie State provides free legal services for low income residences in 36 counties across the State of Illinois.
Every day I work to help people in need. I help Senior Citizens, Veterans, domestic violence victims, and the homeless. I have dealt with a variety of issues, such as resolving tenant/landlord disputes, social security matters, education and disability concerns, family law, and other legal needs and services. Without our work, many would go unprotected by our justice system.
“Through my employment, 30 years of community service, and experience working with special needs cases, I understand the monumental need for a working government and the importance of collaboration between its bodies.”