The mission of the Democratic Women of the South Suburbs is to unite, promote, encourage, recruit and support Illinois women of the Democratic Party specifically in the South Suburbs of Cook and Will Counties.


Valerie Jarrett with DWSS members (2012)


Founding President Sheena Patton speaking at an Obama for America rally (2012)


DWSS going strong! (Quinn for IL 2014)



The 2008 presidential campaign was an exciting experience for people in the south suburbs. The energy and commitment generated in that campaign was not lost because it founded the Democratic Women of the South Suburbs (DWSS).

In August 2010 amidst the frustrations of the upcoming midterm elections, Sheena Patton and Alan Cottrell met and decided what could be done in the south suburbs to bring Democrats (especially women) together in preparation of the 2012 elections. As a result, nineteen women from four different townships were on hand for the inaugural meeting of the Democratic Women of the South Suburbs on September 20, 2010 at the Flossmoor Station Restaurant.

Members heard from Senators Toi Hutchinson and Maggie Crotty about their roles in government and what they were trying to accomplish. They addressed stumbling blocks they encountered while running for office and also suggested helpful goals and objectives that assisted in building a base foundation for our organization. It proved to be a very fruitful meeting resulting in the Democratic Women of the South Suburbs (DWSS) organization being officially formed.

Zaveola Coleman

Zaveola has a long history of service, whether as the Hazel Crest Veteran Commissioner, as an educator, or in her 24 years of military service. Currently a retired veteran, she is an officer and member of the 8th Infantry National Guard Association of Illinois.

Hattie Hester

Hattie Hester is a retired elementary school teacher and librarian and founding member of DWSS. She graduated from Chicago State University, formally Chicago Teachers College, with a BS in Elementary Education and later received a MA in Political Science from Governors State University.

Sharon Morrissette

Sharon Morrissette has a MA from Chicago State University, and is a retired educator of Chicago Public Schools. She has done extensive work in the education field, working as a participant on Chicago Board Of Education Social Science Framework writing team and as well as the Task Force revision team.