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welch 011421 1200SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) issued the following statement congratulating Representative Emmanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Westchester) on his historic election as the first Black speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives:

“I want to congratulate Chris Welch on becoming the first Black speaker of the Illinois House in our state’s more-than-200-year history. His election marks another important step forward for Black Illinoisans in our long march toward equality. Coupled with the passage of much of our agenda to rid the state of systemic racism, this has been an incredible week for African Americans in Illinois.

“On a more personal note, I want to congratulate Speaker Welch as my state representative, my constituent, and my friend. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you to advance the progress of our state, the Black community, and the residents of our shared district.”