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Lightford: A drop of justice in a history full of injustices

lightford 082418CHICAGO- Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement following a guilty verdict in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

“My heart goes out to Laquan’s family as they continue to grieve his loss. This is only a drop of justice in a history full of injustices against Black people and people of color. We still have a lot of work ahead of us in reforming policing, criminal justice, human services and creating opportunities for underprivileged communities.

“Let us continue to organize, continue to let our voices be heard and participate in our democracy wherever and whenever we can.”

Black Caucus: Van Dyke verdict should bring about solidarity

lightford 082018CHICAGO- Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement as the jury in the Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Trial deliberates in the trial of the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

“As we await a decision from the jury, I would like to make it clear how important this trial is to our communities throughout the state of Illinois. The last time a Chicago officer was convicted of murder was nearly 50 years ago, and there are many who feel justice has not been served time and time again in Chicago and across the country.

Lightford: Bridge programs create opportunity for students who may have a tougher time adjusting to college

lightford 053118SPRINGFIELD – While obtaining a college degree is increasingly vital to career advancement, low-income, racial minority and first-generation college students often struggle to transition into a college or university’s culture.

A plan led by Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was signed into law on Friday seeks to ease the transition into college by allowing Illinois’ public universities to establish bridge programs. These programs would provide access, academic support and financial aid to underrepresented students.

“Our universities should be equipped to ensure the success of all students,” Lightford said. “Bridge programs create an opportunity for students who may have a tougher time adjusting to college by offering them support in areas often overlooked.”

House Bill 5696 requires each public university that establishes a bridge program to designate a full-time program director to establish guidelines and manage the program.

“Access is the first step to academic success that transforms lives. At the University of Illinois System, we are proud to provide the access to life changing experiences at our three universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield,” said University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen. "We're proud to stand with Senate Assistant Majority Leader Lightford, House Higher Education Committee Chairman Welch and the broad coalition of legislators who shepherded this bill through the legislature."

Bridge programs will be open only to Illinois residents, and priority will be given to applicants whose life patterns have been characterized by historical economic or cultural deprivation.

The law goes into effect immediately.

Lightford law makes pilot parenting course a part of high school curriculum

lightford 082418SPRINGFIELD – A proposal from Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that would implement a pilot program to make parenting courses part of the health education curriculum for high school students was signed into law on Thursday.

“We currently do not offer courses that teach young people about raising children and having healthy relationships as adults,” Lightford said. “These lessons are important in making sure our young people are making responsible decisions.”

House Bill 4442 requires the State Board of Education to administer a three-year pilot program providing support to school districts that utilize a unit of instruction on parenting education.

The program would begin with the 2019-2020 school year, and is encouraged to include:

  • Family structure, function and management
  • Prevention of child abuse
  • Physical, mental, emotional, social, economic and psychological aspects of interpersonal and family relationships
  • Parenting education competency development

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Sen. Lightford

lightford-2014-150

4th District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served:
1998 - Present (Senate) 

Committee assignments: Assignments; Executive; Education (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Executive Appointments; Energy and Public Utilities; Labor.

Biography: Full-time senator; B.A. in communications, Western Illinois University; M.A. in public administration, University of Illinois Springfield; village of Maywood trustee; employee for Secretary of State, Department of Corrections and Central Management Services; longtime champion in the Senate for education, working families and women's issues; lives in Maywood with her son, Isaiah.

Associated Representative(s): Emanuel Chris Welch, La Shawn K. Ford