79th House District Race

Larry Kerkstra at the Labor Day parade on Chicago’s South Side.

Dear Friends and Supporters:

The Illinois State Board of Elections has ruled that my name will not be on the primary ballot for the Illinois House of Representatives, 79th District.  In many instances, prospective candidates are removed due to not enough or invalid signatures being filed. However, with your help, we turned in 350 more voter signatures than the required 500 valid signature requirement.  In my case, it was due to a technical filing issue with one of my forms.

It would have been an honor to represent you at the state level.  However, it was great to connect with voters at the doors and at labor events across the 79th District.  To that end, be sure to vote.  As it has been explained so many times, the 2024 election at every level of government; state, federal and local, could possibly be the most important in terms of the preservation of our democracy.  

I indeed feel fortunate that I can continue to represent you at the County Board level.  I firmly believe we must build from the bottom up, and I will continue to advocate for the people of our community, and the County as a whole.  I will continue to be an activist member of the County Board.  I will continue to urge the Board to encourage and listen to community input.  I will also advocate for the Board to become more transparent about the issues and decision that affect all our lives.

Again, I urge everyone to stay involved and to encourage their families and friends to vote on March 19th.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank the many people including my labor brothers and sisters who helped me these past months – walking to get petition signatures and giving me encouragement along the way. Although my name will not be on the ballot, I still believe there is an urgent need for better representation for all the people of the 79th District. I implore everyone to stay involved and to encourage their families and friends to vote on March 19th, or take advantage of the convenience of early voting.

Always in solidarity,

Larry Kerkstra

Campaign Kick-Off

Every dollar is appreciated!

As I gear up for this race, I am inviting you to a campaign kick-off to be held Wednesday, August 23 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Family House Restaurant, 312 Kennedy Drive in Bradley. Tickets are $30 each or 2 for $50.  We have two sponsorship brackets to choose from.  Supporter levels are $250, $500 and $750. Host committee levels are $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000. Tickets can also be purchased online at LarryKerkstra.com/donate.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.

In Solidarity,

Larry Kerkstra

Campaign Announcement

Abraham Lincoln statue in front of the Illinois State Capital Building in Springfield, Illinois


Larry Kerkstra believes we need better representation in the 79thState Legislative District 

BRADLEY, Ill. – Kankakee County Board member Larry Kerkstra from Bradley announces that he has formed a campaign committee to run for State Representative for the 79th District. Members of his campaign committee include retired and active union members, as well as current and former elected officials throughout the District.

Kerkstra is a recently retired Millwright and has a long history of working in the community. He was a union steward for nearly 40 years in two different trades.  Kerkstra’s guiding principle has  always been to put the needs of people and their community first, instead of being driven by political ideology.  ‘That is the only way the District can flourish for everyone”, says Kerkstra.

Since 2020, Kerkstra has served his County Board constituents well by first, attending virtually every committee meeting including those which he is not appointed to. Some of the votes he has taken include; supporting funding for dredging the Kankakee River, advocating for expanded mental health services, and supporting the Illinois Pre-Trial Fairness Act, which would positively impact indigent residents throughout the District. 

“What I would like to see is an equitable distribution of resources throughout the 79th District”, Kerkstra says.  “I’ve seen communities neglected, both urban and rural, throughout the District.” “As we try to increase infrastructure investment; the precursor to economic development, we must not neglect our most vulnerable populations who need those vital social service connections to uplift their lives and our District as a whole”.      

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Food Pantry on December 18th

Whole chickens, large boxes of fresh produce, Pepsi products. Also, while supplies last; toys, Pajamas, t-shirts, socks, underwear, kitchen tools & accessories, etc. Hosted by Still I Rise and others. Starting at noon on Saturday, December 18 at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market grounds (250 South Schuyler Avenue – on the corner of South Schuyler and Station Street).

Prevailing Wage Database Allows Public to Monitor Wages Paid on Projects

SPRINGFIELD – Beginning January 1, 2022, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) will be responsible for maintaining a database that allows the public to search certified payrolls submitted by construction contractors on public works projects subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act. This is the result of Public Act 102-0332 that was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pritzker.

“This is a step toward transparency in public spending that will help keep employers accountable,” said Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik. “It will also allow public bodies to monitor the wages paid on projects they initiate.”

In 2020, IDOL began accepting certified payroll submissions from construction contractors on public works projects subject to the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act. Contractors are required to file those certified payrolls by the 15th of each month. This is done to ensure contractors are complying with the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.

By the 16th day of each month following the month work was performed, IDOL will make relevant information available to the public.

That information includes each worker’s classification, skill level (such as apprentice or journeyman), gross wages paid in each pay period, number of hours worked each day, start and end times of work each day, hourly wage rate, hourly overtime wage rate, and hourly fringe benefit rate.

The database shall be searchable by contractor name, project name, county in which the work was performed and contracting public body.


Illinois Department of Labor press release – December 6, 2021

Food Pantry on November 20

Stop by for turkeys, large boxes of fresh produce, soda, etc., at the next Still I Rise: Community Food Giveaway in collaboration with Top Box Foods. The event takes place on Saturday, November 20th, 2021 at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market grounds (250 South Schuyler Avenue – on the corner of South Schuyler and Station Street) starting at 12:00pm. Hosted by Still I Rise along with the American Diabetes Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and various sponsors.

Still I Rise is a dynamic and innovative leadership development non-profit that empowers youth and young adults to create a positive change in society.

Harbor House Donation Drive

Sometimes Harbor House’s needs grow to the point of quick trips to the store on a Sunday afternoon to buy towels and comforters for survivors coming into our emergency shelter. All of their programs, including emergency shelter, have seen significant increases in the number of survivors they are serving. However, the emergency shelter is the most expensive of the programs. If you’re wondering how you can help support survivors, the Community Commission to End Domestic Violence is hosting a donation drive this month to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

On Saturday, November 20 from 8 a.m. to noon, you can drop items off at their Administrative Facility at 430 W Merchant, Kankakee. Or, if you prefer, you can purchase items directly from our Amazon Wishlist at https://a.co/89PQC4h to be shipped directly to Harbor House. To register for the next Commission meeting to learn about the effects of domestic violence on children, go to harborhousedv.org/events

Summer Meet and Greet

Join us at the new Uplifted Bistro on Schuyler Avenue in Bradley. Individual tickets are $10 which includes finger foods and a drink ticket. Beer and wine also included.

Donate online via ActBlue. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kerkstra

  • Friend Sponsorship: $50 (one ticket)
  • Raffle Prize Sponsorship: $125 (two tickets)
  • Beverage Sponsorship: $250 (three tickets)
  • Food Sponsorship $500 (reserved table 4 tickets)
  • Event Sponsorship $1,000 (reserved table 4 tickets)

Email [email protected] or call/text (815) 214-9734 with any questions.

Every dollar is appreciated. Thank you for your consideration.

Live, Local and Progressive in Kankakee County

Tune into AM 820 for the Joan Esposito Show or watch Facebook Live. Guests on the Joan Esposito Show include: State Central Committeeman Al Riley and Congresswoman Robin Kelly. Meet local Kankakee County Democratic candidates: Charlene Eads for State Representative and Dondi Maricle for Kankakee County Circuit Clerk.

Support the Bradley American Legion

Visited the Bradley American Legion Post 766 to add some flags to their Memorial in honor of those who gave their service and ultimate sacrifice. The kitchen isn’t open but stop by and have a beer to support them. Nickel and dimes help but dollars are needed to save this historic building. Please consider donating to their Go Fund Me page

Riverside’s RX Mobile Food Pantry

Getting healthy food to those who need it is another way Riverside Healthcare is caring for the communities it serves. Riverside Healthcare is partnering with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to provide healthy food options for families in need and those with chronic medical conditions.

The RX Mobile Food Pantry will be set up monthly from 3 to 5 p.m. at Youth For Christ City Life Center, located at 1820 E. Court Street in Kankakee.

The Mobile Food Pantry is available: September 24, October 23, November 25, and December 23.

Clinical experts from Riverside including registered dietitians will be available to help participants shop and provide educational support for making a menu.

To learn more about Riverside’s RX Mobile Food Pantry, please visit riversidehealthcare.org/foodpantry.

Back To School Fair

Hosted by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet

Preparing students from low-income households in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties for a successful new school year! In order to ensure safe social distancing, participants will receive school supplies in a drive-thru and will not exit vehicles at any point.
Online pre-registration is required at catholiccharitiesjoliet.org. Registrants will receive a ticket and a specific time to attend the Fair. Register in English here: https://conta.cc/3eLZQra and in Spanish here: https://conta.cc/2CZOSAB