Lisa Stone, a human rights activist and Former Trustee of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, has made it her mission to remind Big Business (otherwise known as government) and ordinary folks alike of one thing: leadership means something. Despite the blatant corruption she’s faced in Illinois — and despite the fact that telling the truth isn’t even expected anymore in today’s world — Lisa advocates for government transparency with every fiber of her being.
It all started when Lisa became politically active during the 1990s. She quickly realized how important it is for elected officials to be upfront with their constituents. The health of a democratic society ultimately depends on elected officials treating their constituents as equals, listening to them, and not withholding information that relates to their safety. The concept sounds simple enough, and yet every day in just about every state, one can find at least a handful of “career politicians” who are in it for all the wrong reasons. Lisa is a committed activist, and she works hard to make sure government at all levels is open and responsive to citizens.
Government transparency is vital to a healthy society. Lisa Stone says, “Any person is vulnerable to justifying wrongdoing. However, transparency ensures that human nature won’t undermine a fair democracy.” Unfortunately, transparency doesn’t just happen. Citizens have to demand it of their elected officials and make them understand that if they fail to be transparent, there will be consequences. “It is important to hold our government leaders accountable. Without transparency this becomes impossible.”
Lisa Stone learned firsthand the importance of government transparency while serving on the Buffalo Grove Board of Trustees. Unfortunately, Lisa found that transparency is sorely lacking. While there are laws that promote transparency, these laws are often abused by those in power. Again, this is another reason why it is necessary for citizens to remain aware of their elected officials—so that they can be held accountable for their actions or inaction.
Government transparency (or lack thereof) singularly drives the clean water issue that is ongoing to this day in Lake County. In 2010 Lisa helped create the Lake County-Vernon Township Coalition for Safe Drinking Water & *The Clean Water Act. While Lisa served on the Buffalo Grove Board of Trustees, she learned about the concern of toxic water after a community member alerted her of noxious fumes forcing employees to go home sick. The Lake County-Vernon Township Coalition for Safe Drinking Water & The Clean Water Act helped raise awareness of the issue and encouraged leaders to come up with a solution for the problem.
Lisa championed the cause even as she quickly became aware that the government would rather disguise their harmful practices and silence her from bringing them to light. Lisa had sworn by Oath to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the people that trusted her to be a leader, and she would not allow corruption or intimidation to sway her from the fundamental truth and inalienable right that people deserve clean drinking water. Even when she was recalled from the Board, Lisa knew the fight wasn’t over — and the more she can inspire others to discover governmental shortcomings and insist on full transparency, the more progress we can make as a society.
Regardless of the issue that you care about, Lisa believes that it’s important to join with others in order to make a difference. A solid base of committed individuals who are concerned about the same issue can have a positive impact on society. Lisa also believes that speaking out as often as possible is essential to spreading awareness and getting elected officials to listen.
Some of the other issues that Lisa was the trailblazer and feels strongly about is the Heroin Epidemic and how to stop it, mental health, and women’s rights. When she is not working to promote human rights issues, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, playing backgammon, and video editing.