MEET JOHN LAESCH:
Experienced Public Servant ~ Community Leader ~ Committed to the People
John Laesch was born and raised on the mission field in West Africa. His family moved to the Fox Valley area in 1986 when John was 12 years old. After serving as a military intelligence analyst in the Middle East and earning a Bachelors’ degree from Illinois State University, Laesch eventually settled in Aurora in 2008.
Former EA School Board Member:
John served on the East Aurora School Board from 2015-2019. During this period of service, Laesch was one of the early voices supporting the historic decision to get buses for East Aurora students. After a tumultuous period of high turnover, Laesch was a strong supporter to hire a long-term superintendent, and after 2 years of interims, he won the long-game. Laesch stood alone in advocating for a living wage for all district employees and the employees of subcontractors. He was the lone voice advocating for a gender-neutral bathroom when students requested one, and he continued to push for electric buses, an idle-free zone in front of schools, a green building curriculum, and a deep energy retrofit for the new administrative center.
Union Carpenter and Green Builder:
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and older brother, Laesch became a union carpenter. He is a “green builder” and has earned credentials as a BPI-certified energy auditor and envelope specialist. He understands the technical aspects of making commercial and residential living spaces energy efficient. He follows federal, state, and municipal legislative initiatives, and he understands the policy side of the green building world. In 2009, Laesch advocated for a green building program at the Carpenters' Elk Grove Training Center. The program was adopted and incorporated into their curriculum. John is a well-informed climate activist who will bring that level of experience to the city council.
Veteran Military Intelligence Analyst:
John served in the United States Navy as an Intelligence Analyst in the Middle East from 1995-1999. He earned numerous citations and developed useful research skills that will help him dig into important issues and find solutions for our city. He is a natural at uncovering pay-to-play schemes.
Standing Up for Working People:
Laesch is a community activist focused on empowering workers. As a volunteer organizer and steering committee member for Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice, he was one of the leaders who organized marches and rallies to support workers who were organizing a union at ATMI Precast, an Aurora-based company. Several of his neighbors worked for ATMI, so John saw it as a way to better his community. Following their successful organizing effort, Laesch saw how the union contract changed his neighbors’ lives for the better.
When another neighbor, a teacher, was facing a never-ending assault on public employee pensions from Springfield lawmakers, Laesch organized community meetings with teachers and elected officials to pressure the Illinois Legislature. John and other grassroots educators forced those officials to honor their constitutional obligation and adequately fund pensions. As a community organizer, John learned to listen to the people; a skill that will be invaluable as an Aurora Alderman.
Most missionary kids are “rootless,” and John is no different. By the time he was 30 years old, he estimated that he had lived in more than 24 homes. In October of 2008, Laesch moved to the East side of Aurora, bought a house at 710 S. 4th St., and planted a Burr Oak in the front yard, putting down roots. He chose the 116-year old house because it had character, needed a lot of work, and was a perfect candidate for a deep energy efficiency retrofit. He has methodically gone about making energy efficiency improvements, adding insulation and remodeling the inside. The improvements he made reduced home heating costs in the dead of winter from $500 per month to $100. John believes that we can do this to more Aurora homes, save people money and save the planet.