SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) has been reinstated as Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus after a vote that rejected her resignation that was submitted in May.

“Since I initially offered my resignation as Chairman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the world has changed.

“We find ourselves at a moment in time that will be well recorded in our history books. Black voices are at the front lines of a movement demanding an end to systematic racism and oppression across our country, sometimes putting their livelihoods, and in some cases their lives, in jeopardy.

“And here in Illinois we too have a historic opportunity before us to bring about change, but it will not last forever.

“I am proud that there are many young members and strong leaders who will be in a position to take the reins of leading our caucus in the near future, but for now I have agreed to rescind my resignation as Chairman. I’m humbled to accept the support of my fellow members to step back in as their chairman.

“Our caucus is more united today than ever. We are ready to work together and build a comprehensive plan to address laws and policies throughout state government that were built on a foundation of systemic racism and have disproportionately impacted the communities we serve.

“And while we are state senators and representatives, we are Black men and women first. We know better than anyone of the deep-seeded inequities that face our communities. The pandemic exposed deep cracks in our system for all to see, ones that we live with every day. Now we find ourselves at an unprecedented time where we can leverage the exposure of these deep cracks to bring about change during veto session and beyond.

“We are united in addressing four pillars of issues where change is desperately needed:

1. Criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability
2. Healthcare and human services
3. Economic access, equity and opportunity
4. Education and workforce development

“I will be working to lead our caucus in developing this comprehensive plan and see it through veto session, while preparing to pass on the baton by the end of the year. I'm proud to have spent my legislative career fighting for change and taking on tough and difficult issues facing Black communities. This moment in time has renewed my passion for this kind of work in a profound way and I am very excited to get down to business with our caucus to see this through. I want to thank every member for the time they are committing to put into this work and for their graciousness in welcoming me back into this role.”

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