Reflecting on my time in public office

Paula Yensen campaigns for the ERA in 1981As a young woman, I was a committed activist and every politician’s worst nightmare. I never imagined that one day I would run for office myself. I was more comfortable shaking a picket sign than shaking hands with voters. 

But in 2001, I ran for Village Trustee in Lake in the Hills. I won that race, placing first in a field of seven candidates. Since then I have won two more elections for Village Board and four elections for County Board. My success would have been impossible without my supporters and friends. Together, we really have made a difference.

My victory last month signals the beginning of my final two-year term on the County Board. You can be assured, however, that I will continue to work hard in the time I have left. I will also do what I can to support the next generation in their fight to make America a more perfect union.

I want to thank my friends for their loyalty and support over the years. I want you to know how much I appreciate your friendship. I also want to thank the voters for allowing me to serve you for the past 19 years. It has truly been an honor.

Paula Yensen signature

Paula greeting students in Mpigi, UgandaAbout Paula

Paula Yensen has always been involved in her community, first as an activist and volunteer, and more recently as an elected official. She's traveled to Uganda, Peru and Guatemala to help build infrastructure for schools and small villages. She's been a national volunteer advisor for Girl Scouts, and delivered Thanksgiving meals to shut-ins and the poor. At the local level, Paula believes we can leverage this kind of community involvement with government resources to make a lasting difference.

In 2001 Paula made the decision to run for the Lake in the Hills Village Board because she was interested in preserving the environmental quality of our community. She worked hard to listen to the voters during the campaign, and made a promise to represent their concerns. Against all odds, she won that campaign and served two terms on the Village Board. She has now been elected four times to the McHenry County Board, in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. She is the only Democrat to ever be elected to more than one term.

Paula believes that government must be focused on service to the public. Her simple philosophy: "Be fair, be effective, and respect the taxpayer."

All of us are being forced to tighten our belts, and local government must learn to do more with less. Paula knows how to balance budgets. The answer is not more taxes, it’s better, smarter government. We must partner with developers, municipalities, state and federal funding sources to attract the kind of economic growth that will broaden our tax base, bring us good-paying jobs, and ensure a diverse, sustainable business environment.

“Men and women of good will can work together to solve problems and make our county and local governments serve the public effectively.”

COVID-19-FlyerDuring this unprecedented time of crisis for the world, Paula has continued her involvement with local organizations who are making a difference. She's helped senior citizens learn how to be safer during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she has worked with county government to deliver much-needed funding to local non-profits.