Senator Kwame Raoul Bio

State Senator Kwame Raoul has served the people of the 13th Legislative District since November 6, 2004. Raoul, who is a lifelong resident of the Hyde Park/Kenwood area, was tapped to fill the vacancy left by former State Senator Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate.

A leading progressive voice in the Illinois Senate, Raoul has allowed real life experiences to shape his legislative philosophy. As a prosecutor, Raoul represented the interest of abused and neglected children and victims of crime. Later, in his private practice, he zealously represented many low-income clients in a variety of areas including civil rights, education, employment and public benefits.

Since his arrival in Springfield, Raoul has successfully advanced legislation promoting civil justice, early childhood education, domestic violence prevention and political reform. In his first year in the General Assembly, Raoul established a progressive agenda. His work led to the passage of laws expanding access to early voting in Illinois, and the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program and a crack down on the Pay Day loan industry.

As chairman of the Senate’s Pension and Investment Committee, Sen. Raoul has fought hard for pension ethics reform that would protect public employees’ retirement funds from those who’ve tried to use them as their personal piggy bank. Raoul has sponsored legislation which has ridded the state’s pension system of Blagojevich appointees and brings transparency to the process.

As Chairman of the Senate’s Pension and Investment Committee, Raoul has worked towards reforms to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned financial service firms and ridding the State’s pension systems of corruption.

Senator Raoul continues to serve as the Chairman of the Senate’s Pensions and Investments Committee and also serves as Chairman of the Redistricting Committee. In addition, Raoul serves as Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee and a member of the Committees on Judiciary, Consumer Protection and Telecommunications & Technology. When not serving in Springfield, Raoul works as a member on a multitude of the taskforces and is active providing constituent services to his neighbors in the 13th Legislative District.

Raoul is a graduate of DePaul University (B.A., Political Science) and the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Sen. Kwame Raoul

Senator Kwame Raoul

13th District

Years served: 2004 - 2018

Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Committee on Restorative Justice (Co-Chairperson).

Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; has two children.