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Meet Terra

Terra Costa Howard is a lawyer, a small business owner, a wife, a mother, and a tireless advocate for children and people in need.

Advocating for Children and Families

Born and raised in DuPage County, Terra has lived in the 42nd district for more than 20 years. After earning a B.A. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a law degree at DePaul University, Terra worked in the DuPage County Public Defender’s Office, where she represented children and parents living in poverty. She proved herself to be a fierce and determined champion, standing up for people who were vulnerable and speaking out on behalf of her clients and their families.


In 2003, Terra opened her own legal practice, where she fights for the rights of children, elderly people, people with disabilities, and families caught in custody and visitation disputes.

Standing Up for Public Education

Terra believes public education is the cornerstone of our communities. Her experience as an active, involved parent in her school community gave her a firsthand look at the positive, lasting impact that Glen Ellyn’s exceptional school system has on children’s lives.

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Putting her passion for education to work for her community, Terra served two terms on the Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education, including two years as Board President. While on the school board, Terra helped to forge contract agreements that met the needs of teachers and school support staff – and taxpayers – while making sure the school district’s budget remained balanced.

Building a Successful Business

Terra worked alongside her husband, Nick, to start up a software development company based in Glen Ellyn. Through her experience in helping to build a new venture, she knows the many ways that small businesses contribute to our communities and local economies, and she understands the difficulties that can confront Illinois small business owners – and their employees. She also has proven that it’s possible for a business to achieve great success while paying employees a fair wage and providing health coverage.

Your Voice in Springfield

When she first ran for State Representative, Terra took on the special interests – and she won. Now she is fighting in Springfield for the values we all share: Strengthening our schools, defending women and reproductive health care, lowering the tax burden on working families, and making quality health care affordable for everyone.

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