Linda Chapa LaVia

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Linda Chapa LaVia
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 83rd district
Assumed office
January 2003 (2003-January)
Preceded by Brent Hassert (redistricted)
Personal details
Born (1966-08-16) August 16, 1966 (age 48)
Aurora, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Vernon
Children Two Children
Alma mater Northern Illinois University
Profession Full Time Legislator
Religion Roman Catholic

Linda Chapa LaVia is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 83rd District since 2003. The district covers part of Kane County, including the city of Aurora. She was first elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2002 defeating Bob O'Connor, an Aurora Alderman-At-Large, becoming the first Hispanic to win a seat in the state legislature outside of Cook County.

The daughter of Texas cotton pickers, Linda attended Northern Illinois University and enrolled in the R.O.T.C. program, later graduating and becoming an officer in the United States Army.[1]

Chapa LaVia served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[2]

Chapa LaVia, her husband and two children live in Aurora.


During a debate on the House floor about charter schools, Chapa LaVia made a point about minority parents and said, “So, listen to me, minorities. I’m over here [on the Democrats' side] because we’re all over on this side, right?” Republicans protested, and Chapa LaVia remarked, “Wait,” pointed towards the Republican side of the chamber, “We have a half. We have a half.”[3] After the fact a local newspaper, the Daily Herald, interpreted the statement to a reference to Republican John D. Anthony, who is biracial.[4]

Later Chapa LaVia apologized, but claimed that the comment was taken out of context. She explained that her comment "We have a half." was an effort to allow the dissenting Republican representatives to “let (her) talk to this (Democratic) half (of the floor).”[5]


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