William McNary has been called one of the most electrifying and inspirational speakers of our time. He is the Co-Director for Citizen Action/Illinois, the state’s largest public interest organization working on an ambitious agenda that includes the fight for workers’ rights, advancing public education funding, utility rate and insurance rate reform, environmental safety, and protecting consumers from unfair predatory loan practices. He previously served as the Legislative Director for Citizen Action/Illinois.
He is the Legislative Chair of “A Better Illinois” a coalition dedicated to making the Illinois tax structure fairer in order to provide the revenues needed to create jobs, educate our children, provide for health care, human service, and public safety.
One of the nation’s leading advocates for health care reform, McNary is one of the founding members of Health Care for America Now!, the largest national grassroots health care coalition which led to the successful passage of the national Affordable Care Act that was signed into law by President Obama.
He is the Co-Chairman of the Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services, dedicated to reforming, rescuing and restoring the Cook County public health safety net.
McNary has been appointed by 2 Illinois Governors, the Illinois Attorney General, the Cook County Board President and other State Constitutional Officers to serve on several state boards, task forces, and transition teams. Most recently, Governor Pat Quinn appointed McNary to serve on the Illinois Campaign Reform Task Force where he spearheaded the push for public funded clean elections to lessen the influence of corporate campaign money.
McNary served as the founding president of USAction, one of the nation’s largest coalitions of progressive grassroots organizations. He served as a surrogate speaker for President Barack Obama in his first run for President. He was also elected as an Obama delegate and served as Illinois Convention Floor Whip at the Denver Democratic Convention in 2008.
McNary also serves on the board of the Voter Participation Center, an organization that empowers unmarried women, people of color and other underrepresented groups to participate in the democratic process.
Over seven election cycles, McNary has worked with the Rainbow/Push Coalition where he co-directed targeted voter registration and “Get Out the Vote” campaign efforts. He has a degree in journalism and communications from the University of Iowa.