Notepad: Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport

"The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens."

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

View The Portrait

Gov. Pat Quinn was Illinois' 41st Governor, and he served for 2,175 days as Governor from January 29, 2009 to January 12, 2015. The goal of this portrait is to promote democracy and civics education in the context of recent Illinois political history.

The interactive learning component of this portrait at enables visitors to learn about watershed battles and major issues raised in Illinois politics and government since the 1970s, especially in the years that Pat Quinn served as Governor.

Each of the portrait’s 44 “found items” represent laws, issues, events, friends, colleagues, veterans, everyday people, and family members who have impacted Gov. Pat Quinn’s life as an elected official, consumer advocate, political reformer, and family man.

By going to the website and clicking on any of the found items, the visitor unlocks a gateway to Illinois issues and history. The visitor can learn about important issues, view historical documents, and watch videos.

Hopefully, this interactive portrait will educate and activate visitors to pursue careers and causes they care about in order to “let the will of the people be the law of the land.”

The State of Illinois now requires high school students to take classes in civics education. The curriculum includes learning about the process of democracy, government institutions, current and controversial issues, and service learning opportunities.

The purpose of civics education is to prepare all of us to be responsible citizens and participants in the democratic process.

Listed below is the key for the 44 “found items” on this website:

1.  Lincoln portrait: “Government of the People”
2.  Minimum wage referendum photo
3.  Wedding photo of Gov. Quinn’s parents
4.  Notepad and pencil with eraser
5.  Love Is Us book
6.  Gift of Peace book
7.  Everybody In, Nobody Out book
8.  Juntos Podemos book
9.  Gov. Quinn’s tie
10. Gov. Quinn’s flag pin
11. Gov. Quinn’s Bible
12. Photo of Gov. Quinn’s brothers
13. Photo of Gov. Quinn’s sons
14. P.A. 79-1333: Advance Pay Abolition
15. P.A. 83-945: Citizen Utility Board
16. P.A. 87-662: Whistleblower Law
17. P.A. 92-853: Inspector Misconduct Act
18. P.A. 92-886: Military Family Relief Act
19. P.A. 96-35: Illinois Jobs Now!
20. P.A. 96-555: Governmental Ethics
21. P.A. 96-958: Budgeting for Results
22. P.A. 96-1498: Economic Recovery
23. P.A. 96-1543: Death Penalty Abolition
24. P.A. 97-8: Education Reform
25. P.A. 97-652: Economic Fairness
26. P.A. 97-710: Honoring Veterans
27. P.A. 98-91: Helping People with Disabilities
28. P.A. 98-104: Decent Healthcare
29. P.A. 98-597: Marriage Equality
30. P.A. 98-774: Criminal Justice Reform
31. P.A. 98-782: Clean Water
32. P.A. 98-1050: Protecting Workers
33. P.A. 98-1171: Expanding Democracy
34. Baseball
35. Cutback Amendment book
36. Recall Amendment book
37. Illinois Jobs Now book
38. Home book
39. Miniature wind turbine
40. Gold Star banner
41. Isaiah 6:8 book
42. Clipboard
43. Petition and Referendum book
44. Pencil cup

Illinois Issues: Civics Class In An Uncivil Time.

Civics class required for high school graduation will push the envelope.

Debate over civics: Should it be required for graduation in Illinois?.

New state law enforces civics requirement for high schoolers.

State group pushing to overhaul civics education.