Staff

STAFF

Madeleine Doubek – Executive Director

Madeleine Doubek is a passionate, long-time advocate for improving government and politics in Illinois. As the former vice president of policy at the Better Government Association, she was responsible for a new law that limits golden parachutes for public executives. She also worked to stop efforts to limit government transparency and championed laws that boost government efficiency.

Doubek writes a government-focused column for the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to her direct advocacy and policy work, she spent 32 years in journalism, many spent covering local and state government and politics. She has won several regional and national journalism awards during her career. Most recently, her work on Illinois’ historic budget impasse was honored by Voices for Illinois Children and with two Peter Lisagor Awards from the Chicago Headline Club.

Doubek previously served as publisher of Reboot Illinois, a citizen-focused website covering state politics and government. Before that, Doubek was the former Assistant Vice President/Executive Editor of the suburban Daily Herald. She served as the paper’s political writer, columnist and editor for many years. While there, she also led a team of reporters and editors who wrote an award-winning, 5-part series, “44 Minutes in January,” that told in unprecedented detail the story of the Palatine Brown’s Chicken murders. Her work on series examining homeland security spending, foster care, chronic drunken driving and burgeoning suburban hard-core drug use also was honored with regional and national awards.

Doubek graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a journalism major and political science minor. A native of Chicago’s South Side, she now lives in Des Plaines.

Jeff Raines – Communications & Engagement Director

Jeff Raines is the Communications and Engagement Director at CHANGE Illinois, where he overseas all communications, including strategic planning & messaging, press outreach, as well as digital & social media. Before coming to CHANGE, Jeff was the Communications Director for a winning, top-tier 2016 congressional race, where he oversaw the campaign’s communications strategy and acted as chief spokesperson and speechwriter.

Prior to that, he was a media associate at ReThink Media where he focused on other democracy issues, including money in politics and judicial selection. At ReThink, Jeff provided messaging assistance, media trainings, and strategic communications work to other good government advocates and non-profits around the country. Jeff has also served as a communications advisor for the racial justice group: Million Hoodies Movement for Justice and Chair of the Roosevelt Institute’s Student Board of Advisors. He is a graduate of American University and is a part of the New Leaders Council Chicago 2019 Cohort.

For any media inquiries for CHANGE Illinois, please contact Jeff at jeff@changeil.org or on Twitter: @jeff_raines.

Nelly Viramontes – Project & Operations Coordinator

As the Project & Operations Coordinator, Nelly Viramontes plays a critical role in keeping our team organized and operating at full capacity. Prior to joining CHANGE, Nelly worked for the Marj Halperin Consultants team and spent 17 years as the administrative manager and intern coordinator for the political watchdog group: the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. She began her work in politics at the League of Women Voters of Illinois as a data entry assistant and went on to become the organization’s administrative manager and executive assistant.

Born and raised in Chicago, Nelly is a newsie who is always following key issues that impact our state. Active in local politics, Nelly is a founder and honorary board member of the Jalisco Federation of Midwest Clubs, helping unite families from her father’s home state of Jalisco, Mexico. The organization helps members find jobs here in Chicago and supports families in Mexico with nutrition and health care services. Nelly also founded “Mezquiticenses en Chicago” for families who trace their heritage to the Jalisco town of Mezquitic. She has served on the board of directors since the organization’s founding in 1996. You can contact Nelly at nelly@changeil.org.

BOARD MEMBERS

George Ranney, Former President & CEO of Metropolis Strategies – Board Chair Emeritus

Deborah Harrington, Former President of the Woods Fund – Board Co-Chair

Brad McMillan, Executive Director of the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service at Bradley University – Board Co-Chair

Rev. Al Sharp, Executive Director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy – Board Treasurer

Hon. Kathy Ryg, Former Illinois State Representative – Board Secretary

Bob Gallo, Executive Director of AARP Illinois – Board Member

David Hoffman, Former Illinois State Inspector General – Board Member

Dave Lundy, President of Aileron Communications – Board Member

Andy Shaw, Former President & CEO of the Better Government Association – Board Member

Scott Turow, Author & Former Asst. U.S. Attorney – Board Member

Stevie Valles, Executive Director of Chicago Votes – Board Member

Hon. Corinne Wood, Former Lieutenant Governor of Illinois – Board Member