Lightford060520MAYWOOD – To continue providing services that help curb violence in Proviso and Leyden Townships, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) supported funding for Proviso Leyden Community Council in the budget recently approved by the General Assembly.

“Proviso Leyden Community Council has been an important resource for communities across my district and beyond for more than 50 years,” Lightford said. “Their work is even more valuable during these times and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of our investment.”

Organizations across the state are poised to receive grants to support violence prevention and reduction through programs and services. Under Senate Bill 264, PLCCA will receive a $788,500 grant to continue their mission to promote community development and empower people through education, training and supportive services.

Proviso Leyden Community Council provides family services from cradle to adulthood, behavioral health services and supportive services, like job readiness, utility programs and more.

For more information on PLLCA and they services they offer visit

Category: News

Lightford06042020CHICAGO —The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus hosted a day of action on the West Side of Chicago to help rebuild communities. While many peacefully protested to end injustice and systemic racism after racial acts of violence, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, others took advantage of the moment by damaging many businesses and properties.

Together the Black Caucus, governor and lieutenant governor came together at the event to discuss how to move forward both in terms of rebuilding communities and providing equitable resources for black communities going forward.

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) made it clear that the Black community has never been treated fairly, and that’s about to change.

“We want everything that has been owed to us for many years,” Lightford said. “Racism has been within our institutions and in our government for as long as it has existed, but I want African Americans to know that you have a group of black legislators that have been fighting on your behalf for many years. We finally have a governor who will listen, and we will continue to work with him to provide desperately needed resources, including quality jobs, health care and education. The state owes us, and we’re ready to receive it.”

This was the first of four days of action. The upcoming days of action include:

Friday, June 5: South Side, 63rd and Halsted, 3-5 p.m.

Saturday, June 6: South Suburbs, 1550 Sibley Blvd., Calumet City, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, June 7: West Suburbs, 300 Oak St., Noon to 1 p.m.

The Black Caucus will join the governor in a press conference for each of the coming days of action.

Category: News

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

‘Burned out storefronts and looted shops’ can’t be monument to George Floyd, leaders say

Capitol News Illinois
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Lightford060320SPRINGFIELD — Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus detailed their ongoing fight for racial equality and made calls for the end of looting at a news conference held at a recently-looted strip mall Tuesday on the south side of Chicago.

“What we are seeing is pent up anger and frustration and neglect manifest itself in a very ugly way, but pain is ugly, and when people have had enough, it comes out in all forms,” state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, said at the event. “But don't get me wrong, I do not condone destruction of property, especially in our own communities, where you lay your own head.

“But I understand the sense of hopelessness that people are feeling. And I'm tired of people telling me, and us in the Black Caucus, what to do instead of simply providing opportunities for us and our people.”

The lawmakers made their call amid ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died May 25 in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground for nearly nine minutes with a white police officer’s knee on his neck.

Read more ...

Category: News

For many people, the danger, loss and economic devastation that came with the COVID-19 emergency are new. But poverty and racism have been killing African Americans and other minorities at inordinate rates since the inception of our country. The truth remains that these communities harbor deep suspicion of the government telling them what’s best for their lives.

Yet, our current situation requires all of us to observe science and follow public health guidelines. I wear a mask, practice social distancing and have worked to bring information and resources to all people, especially those disproportionately affected by this health care pandemic and economic crisis.

I have spent the last two decades pointing out inequities and working on legislation that attempts to give poor people and racial minorities a fighting chance, but for every step forward, it feels like there is a hundred more to go. So here we are again, in the middle of another tragedy whose effects overwhelmingly rest on the shoulders of marginalized people.

In our state’s recent history, I witnessed students lose out on a quality education because of their ZIP code until we stepped in and changed the school funding formula. I witnessed the lopsided effects of a budget impasse when the legislature was at odds with Governor Rauner over funding for social services and workers’ rights. Now, I am witnessing Black and Latino people contract and succumb to COVID-19 at higher rates than other ethnicities. That is no accident. It is the result of years of intentional racism.

However, I will not let the overwhelming devastation we are facing be paralyzing. When I heard that nearly a third of our state’s students were unaccounted for since remote learning began, I pushed the Illinois State Board of Education to tighten their attendance guidelines and process for wellness checks.

When I saw the disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Black community, I worked with Governor Pritzker and led the Black Caucus to expand testing in our communities across the state. When outbreaks began at senior homes and police departments, I personally distributed disinfectant and masks to local entities across my district to help keep them safe.

Last week, the General Assembly passed a budget that protected social services and drove CARES Act funding to communities who need it the most. We secured aid for small businesses, day cares, renters and homeowners, and expanded Medicaid to cover undocumented seniors. Furthermore, I passed a measure that protects retail workers, who have become our front line of enforcement.

At a time when we are all tasked with finding the bright side of things, I take this opportunity to extend an invitation to join me in the fight for equity, basic human rights and keeping local businesses afloat. We can all play a part in our recovery by helping a neighbor, making a donation, buying local and supporting one another.

The novel coronavirus is the great highlighter of the continued inequities in our society. In a short period of time, it has underscored almost every aspect where we fall short. We owe it to the vulnerable seniors, children falling through the cracks and displaced workers to do better.

My agenda as a senator and community leader belong to them.

Senator Kimberly A. Lightford is the Illinois senate majority leader and represents the 4th Legislative District.

Category: News

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