compil black members 061120 CHICAGO—The Joint Caucus of Black Elected Officials hosted a series of days of action to spark change in the Chicagoland area. There were a total of four events, one each on the South Side, West Side, South Suburbs and West Suburbs.

Black leaders, the governor and lieutenant governor gathered for the West Side Day of Action at Cicero and Monroe on Thursday, June 4.

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) said 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 they have 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.”

The South Side Day of Action was held on Friday, June 7 at 63rd and Halsted St.

State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) urged legislators at every level of government to respond to the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing outrage with policy initiatives that go far beyond police reform, including solutions to educational inequity, economic disadvantages, the school-to-prison pipeline, and mental and primary health disparities.

“Now is the time to do away with this broken system that protects racist police officers over the basic human rights of our brothers and sisters,” Hunter said. “If we lived in a country that held police accountable for their actions, the man who murdered George Floyd would’ve never had the chance to kneel on his neck after 18 incidents of misconduct on his record. He would’ve been dealt with the first time he abused his power to violate the rights of another American.”

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) led efforts at the South Suburban Day of Action, which was located at 1550 Sibley Blvd in Calumet City on Saturday, June 6.

“The fight is not over until Black communities are finally prioritized and fear isn't felt in the presence of law enforcement,” Sims said. 

“Leaders on all levels have to come together to fix our broken system, so that it reflects that black lives do in fact matter. Our communities are entitled to fair resources and justice.”

The West Suburban Day of Action on Sunday, June 7 was the final event of the series at 300 Oak Street in Maywood. Majority 

Leader Lightford called on state legislators on both sides of the aisle to come together to create meaningful change in Black communities throughout the state.

“I’m pleading with my colleagues at this point. When you see the Black agenda placed in front of you, we need you to embrace it and get behind it,” Lightford said. “As long as we can’t see eye to eye, agree or sit down at the same table, we’ll never get anywhere. I know that we have the support of our governor and lieutenant governor, and as long as you elect me to be in this role, I am going to fight for you because Black lives matter.”