illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker was sworn in for his second term in office in a ceremony held in Springfield, Illinois. Bus loads of supporters drove in from Chicago and around the State to hear the Governor’s remarks. He noted the challenges brought on by the GOVID pandemic and reminded citizens of his ongoing commitment to early childhood education and free college education.
Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton expressed gratitude to voters for their confidence in her leadership, noting that she made history as Illinois’ first black female Lieutenant Governor. She observed the progress made over the last several decades and praised her staff for their diligence and hard work during conditions that created tough times for the entire nation.
illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul praised the dedication of his family and his staff for being his source of inspiration as he sought to be a voice for justice during his term in office. He noted the issues he faced as Attorney General and promised voters to keep working to eliminate corruption anywhere it exists in Illinois..
Newly elected Secretary of State Alexander (Alexi) Giannoulias honored outgoing Secretary of State Jesse White for his many years of service. Mr. Giannoulias previously served as the 72nd Illinois Treasurer from 2007 to 2011. He said his top priority is to restore the public's trust in government and its elected leaders. Photo by Naimah Latif
Susana Mendoza is the 10th Comptroller of Illinois, serving since December 2016. A member of the Democratic Party, she formerly served as Chicago City Clerk. She reminded voters that since her election as Comptroller, she has always made sure those doing business with the state were paid on time. Photo by Naimah Latif
CHICAGO - Reproductive healthcare advocates spoke with lawmakers and government leaders attending a roundtable discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris at the University of Chicago on Friday September 16, 2022. Among those present were Governor J.B. Pritzker, Mayor Lorie Lightfoot, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Congressman Danny K. Davis. Panel members expressed concerns over certain State in the U.S. where there may be a criminalizing of abortion.
CHICAGO - Securing Federal funds to complete the modernization of the 95th Street train terminal was the aim of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Illinois Congressional team that toured the facility with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Friday July 21, 2021.
"A lot has been done but there's a lot more work to do," stated Congressman Bobby Rush. He, and Secretary Buttigieg, along with Cong. Robin Kelly, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., answered questions regarding legislative support for funding and the expected timetable for the project's completion.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joins DOT Sec. Buttigig along with Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Bobby Rush as Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval Carter, Jr. explains plans for completion of the modernization of the 95th street CTA terminal. Photo by Marcus Robinson.
After officials toured the 95th street terminal, Senator Durbin stated that legislation will soon be introduced to finance such projects, and he and his colleagues in Washington must be prepared to vote in support of it.
"This is an amazing project, it will be here to serve future generations," Senator Durbin said.
Senator Duckworth noted that accessibility is a key component in rebuilding America's infrastructure."It means investing in our transit systems so that all are wheelchair accessible."
In his first trip to the Chicagoland area since his election, President Joe Biden came to promote the benefits of his American Families Plan in strengthening the American economy. He spoke to an audience at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake Illinois, a Northwest Suburb of Chicago explaining the economic benefits of affordable higher education, proposing two years of free community college education. During his remarks President Biden recognized the work of Democrats in Illinois, praising U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood. Photo by Marcus Robinson.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle meet briefly with President Biden as he arrives at O'Hare Airport. The President was briefed about recent incidences of gun violence in Chicago and pledged Federal support to help alleviate the distress families face in inner city communities. His American Families Plan is currently being reviewed in Congress. His visit is intended to encourage more support among Republicans. Photo by Parthenia Luke.
President Biden promised more manufacturing jobs in areas needed to improve the environment and the U.S. infrastructure, such as the installation of new pipes and the construction of roads and bridges. His American Families plan faces opposition from Republicans in Congress. His visit to Crystal Lake, an area that favored Donald Trump in the last election, was intended to drum up Republican support by focusing on the economic benefits to residents. Photo by Marcus Robinson
SPRINGFIELD, IL - House Bill 3653, introduced by Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D) Illinois 17th District, outlines provisions aimed at better police training and accountability. Among those provisions are a ban on the use of chokeholds, increased training in crisis intervention, more mental health screening for officers, and requirements that officers submit data to an FBI database on the use of force. Whistleblower protections are increased and the right to make phone calls and access their personal contacts before police questioning is codified.
Detainees, prisoners and all those who interact with police officers will have the expectation of prompt medical care while in custody, with special accommodations made for pregnant women.
Charges of resisting arrest must cite a justification for the origin of arrest that was allegedly resisted against under the measure as well. The purchase of military equipment like .50 caliber rifles and tanks by police departments would also be banned.
Courts will also see changes under the legislation including an end to the practice of cash bail as well as an end to revoking drivers licenses for nonpayment of fines.
The changes are a question of accountability, transparency and humanity, said John Rakowski of the Illinois State Bar Association in his testimony in favor of the legislation. He stead that the structural problems in the criminal justice system require a bold response.
“This Bill is.a bold response,” Rakowski said. “Now is not a time for incrementalism.”
The wide-ranging legislation came about in the months following the tragic death of George Floyd and increased calls among citizens and activists for a comprehensive approach to reforming the criminal justice system.
Sims and other members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus lead the effort in the Illinois General Assembly by convening nine public hearings in the months following the demonstrations of the summer of 2020. In all, Sims lead more than 30 hours of committee hearings soliciting input from law enforcement professionals, trial lawyers, prosecutors, community members and many other groups.
“A measure this transformative would not be possible without the heightened interest and vocal support of Illinoisans whose consciences have been shaken by years of misconduct without meaningful consequences,” Sims said. “Change, when it comes, always seems as if it has come too late but I know that our successes here today are not an end, but a beginning to uplifting our communities and better supporting law-enforcement in ways that improve our criminal justice system.”
House bill 3653 passed the Illinois House and awaits the governor’s signature to become law. Once signed, it will be effective immediately.
Photo by Parthenia Luke
Issued Wednesday, December 1, 2021
“Today, at my direction, the City’s Department of Law voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit against the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 without prejudice.
“This Verified Complaint for Injunctive Relief was initially filed in response to the president of FOP Lodge 7, John Catanzara, repeatedly calling for his members to engage in an illegal work stoppage or strike—which is strictly prohibited under Illinois Law. The past few weeks have shown what I have said from the beginning to be true: that our brave police officers are smarter than their FOP leadership, and care more about their city, their fellow Chicagoans, and upholding their sworn oath to protect and serve, than they do Catanzara’s frivolous demands to stop working.
“It should be noted, that should the FOP or John Catanzara take any further action toward encouraging an illegal work stoppage or strike, we can and will immediately refile this action.
“From day one when this requirement was announced in August, this entire process has been and will continue to be about protecting the lives and safety of all Chicagoans. The data shows that we are succeeding in that mission, and that police officers recognize that protecting and serving in the times of global pandemic means ensuring that that they are vaccinated against COVID-19. The number of officers who have come into compliance with the City’s vaccine reporting mandate, as well as the mandatory vaccination policy, have continued to grow since October 15th, and I have complete confidence that the entire Department will be in compliance with City policy in the near future.”
CHICAGO - Standing in front of an impressive skyline on the lakefront, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was joined by Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and many others who contributed to the efforts for Chicago to win the bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. The announcement that Chicago will host the convention was made Wednesday April 12, 2023, at a press conference held at the Shedd Aquarium at 1200 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.
Democratic National Convention Chair Jaime Harrison recalled being inspired at at he age of 12 by Rev. Jesse Jackson's message of hope as he spoke at the 1988 Democratic Convention,. Chairman Harrison reflected on how he is now, at the age of 47, preparing to Chair the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He noted that the process of selecting Chicago over the other three contenders was very thorough and involved much examination of all the factors involved.
"I can't wait to bring the world to Chicago and Chicago to the world," stated Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth. She noted that the Democratic Party's values of family and respect for the diversity of communities will be recognized by voters,. as they are urged to re-elect the Biden-Harris team in 2024. "We know that valuing human life means passing tough but common sense gun legislation t that makes all of us safer. And that's why Chicago makes sense for the DNC."
Newly elected Mayor Brandon Johnson noted that Chicago is a world class city that reflects Democratic values. He thanked all the officials involved in securing the DNC convention for Chicago and stated, "I'm eager to continue to work with this partnership and to work with the DNC to make this the best Convention this country has ever seen."
Illinois has a history of supporting values of respect for the Nation's diversity, asserted Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, stating, "We were the first State to ratify the 13th Amendment,." He stated that Illinois was also the first State to support women's reproductive rights. "This is a exciting time for America, the Midwest and the entire Nation."