Remembering Esther Golar

Representative Esther Golar, left, was honored at the 2012 Access Living Annual Meeting. Here she is with Access Living’s Marca Bristo and Amber Smock.
A sad note from Access Living’s Director of Advocacy about the recent death of Illinois State Representative Esther Golar

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

It is with a heavy heart this morning that we share that Illinois State Representative Esther Golar has passed away. Representative Golar, who represented the 6th District in Chicago with offices at 4926 S. Ashland, has been a steadfast ally for disability rights for many years. She had previously been honored for her leadership for disability rights at Access Living’s Annual Meeting, and she was our true friend.

Although she fought for a number of causes affecting people living on the South Side of Chicago, we knew that Representative Golar was particularly tenacious about the right of people with disabilities to live in our own homes. Time and time again, she stood up to fight for us on the House floor and defend us by voting to keep home services for people with disabilities and seniors.

She was particularly notable for graciously welcoming people with disabilities in her community and at the State Capitol. Our grassroots advocates could always count on a warm and real reception from Representative Golar. She was always honest about our obstacles, and passionate about respecting people. She was always full of fire and grace, tough and loving.

Although ill for quite some time, Representative Golar left her hospital bed on September 2 to be present in the House session where the House voted to pass House Bill 2482, the bill to preserve the DON score for home services. She also was there to help protect child care and other issues. She believed firmly that we, the people of Illinois, especially those who are poor and working poor, needed someone to count on. And if she could be that person, she’d do it.

Messages can be left at Representative Golar’s office webpage at .

As we go forward this year to fight for the right of people with disabilities to live in our own homes, please keep Representative Golar’s memory in your hearts. She joins the ranks of the elected officials who, regardless of party affiliation, championed disability rights but have now passed on. We carry our fallen warriors with us.

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living