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Glitter Political: The picturesque life of Karen Crouch

Photo: Jade Esteban Estrada, License: N/A

Jade Esteban Estrada

It’s very, very hard to slow Karen Crouch down


Well, this is her hope.

Like iCivics.org founder and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Crouch feels today’s government classes aren’t up to par. She vividly recounts the enthusiasm of her German-born, high school government teacher. “He instilled that passion in people,” she says gently shaking her fists. “I think that one of my strengths is to take a complicated subject and simplify it.”

Women, she feels, still grapple with “the gender issue” and thus are her target audience. Recently, an insurance provider called and requested to speak to Flores because the legal jargon was “probably a little too complicated” for Crouch. When Flores asked why the agent wanted to speak to him, Crouch patiently replied, “Because they want you to give me permission to deal with it.’”

Although still recovering from “accident issues,” like the hole in her back “about the size of a 50-cent piece,” she feels “more herself” than she did in 2012 when she lost her judicial bid to Laura Salinas in the 166th District Court Democratic primary.

This year, she won 51 percent of the Republican primary vote and there’s a sudden proliferation of her strategic signage on the Southeast Side. “There are very few areas where we have that much of a stronghold,” she says, referencing Flores’ former position as assistant principal at the area’s Highlands High School.

Custom-made photo albums, which could easily be mistaken for flipbooks, cover the coffee table. “You know me, I’m a pictureholic,” she says. “My children are a gift from God. I’m determined to document their milestones.”

She also cares for her mother, mother-in-law and her brother (who has a mental illness and lives in an independent living facility). “Family is first,” she says. “We’ll deal with the other things as they come.”

One of those other things is Election Day.

“I’m making memories with my family,” she says pointing out a photo of her children in a cave in Sicily known as the Ear of Dionysius. “I could be here today and gone tomorrow.”

She turns a page.

“You never know.”

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