Legislative Black Caucus: Rauner no friend to black communities

LBC presser 062018

During an on-air interview Tuesday, Bruce Rauner repeatedly boasted with WVON’s primarily black audience that, “But especially, I’ve been great for Black businesses and African American schools. No governor’s done more than me.”

Leaders of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus presented a reality check today in response to Bruce Rauner’s claims. The coalition of lawmakers highlighted the governor’s record of distasteful and insensitive cuts to social services, community safety and economic opportunity.

State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the ILBC

“And here I thought Bruce Rauner, as a white man, wasn’t going to have anything else to say about race. Well, since he brought it up, a true friend of the black community wouldn’t have slashed funding for Chicago State University, wiped out childcare assistance, grossly underfunded Teen REACH, waged a war against the students and teachers in Chicago Public Schools and vetoed an increase in the minimum wage.

“Perhaps the self-proclaimed protector of the black community forgot that black-owned businesses didn’t get paid during his impasse.

“Maybe he needs to be reminded that African-American women get breast cancer, too, and benefit from the screenings he tried to eliminate.

“And, in the midst of all this exaggeration, let’s not forget that under Bruce Rauner’s watch the African-American unemployment rate in Illinois is the highest in the nation.

“Some friend he is.

“Next, he’s probably going to tell us he really liked Black Panther, too.

“That movie contains more truth than Rauner’s claims.”

State Representative Camille Lilly, House Chair of the ILBC

“Over the past three years Bruce Rauner has not served the communities that I represent, he has hurt them,” said Lilly. “He put child care funding in jeopardy, decimated funding for social services like summer programs and Teen Reach, and jeopardized the MAP program for our students.

“I’m baffled as to why this governor would make such a statement when the black community in the state he leads has the highest unemployment rate in our nation during his tenure. Black families in Illinois are being shut out from economic opportunity, living below the poverty level and losing too many of our children to gun violence. We deserve better than this from Bruce Rauner.”

State Senator Toi Hutchinson, Senate Chair of the ILBC

“With a front-row seat to the largest budget impasse in state history, words cannot express the devastation that African-Americans across this state have been subjected to when politics trumps governing and heartlessness is promulgated by using the levers of the state to keep people from succeeding.

“I have said time and again that the budget is a moral document. Don’t tell me what you believe in – show me. And African-Americans have felt it for the last three years under this governor. We know exactly where we stand.”