The Chasity Wells-Armstrong file
Mayor of Kankakee
Personal: Age, 49. The daughter of Steve and Leona. Both still live in Kankakee. Both are retired state employees. He was a supervisor in the Department of Public Aid. Steve served in the Army during the Vietnam War and finished a career in the Army Reserves. She worked with individuals with developmental disabilities, in corrections and as an educator.
Married to Keith for 27 years. He was the first African-American to complete the apprenticeship for Ironworkers Local 465, before it merged with Ironworkers Local 444 in Joliet.
Two children and two grandchildren.
Education: Stopped attending her high school during the first semester of her senior year, but finished with her class and graduated from Kankakee High in 1987. Attended her 30-year class reunion as mayor. A self-described bookworm and honor roll student.
Associate degree in liberal studies from Kankakee Community College. Bachelor of social work and master’s of social work from Governors State University. Baccalaureate Program Directors Policy Fellow. Recipient of numerous scholarships. Outstanding Social Work award. President of the Social Work Student Organization. Certified alcohol and drug counselor.
Profession: Worked for U.S. Rep. Bill Foster as his deputy district director. Worked for U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson as her constituent services director. Additional positions include: Gateway Foundation, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Indian Oaks Academy, Kankakee School District and Shapiro Developmental Center.
Professional affiliations: National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter — served as Calumet District chair; also vice president; and was named Social Worker of the Year in Illinois in 2016.
On the Social Work Advisory Board for three colleges, Trinity Christian, Chicago State and Governors State. Adjunct professor at Chicago State.
Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency Board of Directors. Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau. National League of Cities: Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee; Small Cities Council; and Leaders Lab Mayors Cohort. In Mayors Leaders, Cities United.
Community: Vice president, Kankakee County Chapter of the NAACP. Bishop McNamara School Board. Vice president of Harbor House Board. Tyjuan Hagler Foundation.
Hobbies: Travels to beaches and shores with husband. Lifts weights at FitBodyU. Loves to read. Reading “Policy Walking” by John Calhoun. Just finished: “Mayor: The Best Job in Politics ”by Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia.