Legislative Black Caucus

  • Lightford appalled by low proficiency rates among Black children

    kindergarten 092520

  • Senate committee hearing to focus on Black Caucus’ education agenda

    black college student 092320JOLIET– To continue efforts to address structural racial inequality in Illinois, the Senate will hold a joint Education and Higher Education Committee tomorrow.

    “As chair of the Higher Education Committee, I've learned that the foundation for successful post-secondary education is built early in one's life,” said Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill). “Tomorrow's hearing will explore how to provide that foundation for every Illinois child.”

    The committee serves as another step in building the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Education is one of four major policy areas the ILBC is targeting this year, along with criminal justice, health care, and economic access.

  • Black Caucus agenda to take on racial disparity in education and workforce development

    black student 091620CHICAGO—In response to longstanding racial disparities in early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, and other forms of workforce training, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will discuss their developing agenda to provide equitable resources to students in Black communities throughout the state at a press conference at Chicago State University on Wednesday.

    Education is the second of four major policy pillars the Black Caucus is focusing on to develop their legislative agenda. They include:

    • Criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability
    • Education and workforce development
    • Economic access, equity and opportunity
    • Health care and human services

    A virtual joint hearing on education and higher education will follow the press conference at noon on Wednesday. The Black Caucus plans to have a series of hearings for each of the pillars. A hearing for the first pillar was already held. It focused on police accountability.

    Who:Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

    When: Sept. 16, 10 a.m.

    Where: The press conference will be held at Chicago State University located at 9501 South King Dr., in the 4th floor auditorium of the Gwendolyn Brooks Library. It can also be viewed on www.blueroomstream.com, a subscription-based service.

  • Lightford reinstated as ILBC Chair

    lightford 041120CHICAGO –Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) has been reinstated as Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus after a vote that rejected her resignation that was submitted in May.

    “Since I initially offered my resignation as Chairman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the world has changed.

  • Sims urges high school graduates to apply for Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship

    sims 060319CHICAGO – To help students who are seeking post-secondary education, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) is encouraging high school graduates to apply for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) Scholarship. 

    “We aim to give students the boost they need to further their education,” Sims said. “I hope students will take full advantage of this opportunity and ease some of the financial pressure of going to college.” 

    The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship has been a catalyst for many low-income students who would not be able to afford certain expenses upon arriving at the higher learning facility. 

    The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Thursday, June 4. Students who are applying for the scholarship must be an Illinois resident, and if awarded, they will receive $1,000.

    “We want to sow a seed in the futures of our young people,” Sims said. “There is so much potential yet to be unlocked. This resource is a great start to help students achieve their dreams.”

    Students who want to apply for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship can complete the application here

  • Lightford steps down as Black Caucus Chair after five years

    lightford 052819SPRINGFIELD –Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after stepping down as Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Sunday.

    “It has been an honor to serve as the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair for the last five years. I worked very hard to lay a foundation that will be passed on and built upon. The ILBC is strong and will continue to advocate for the Black community across the state. 

    “My time to move on from this leadership role has come, and I am proud to pass the torch to the next legislator chosen to carry on the work I began with this phenomenal group of legislators. I am committed to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and its mission, and will remain a supportive, engaged leader.

  • Harris encourages high school graduates to apply for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship

    harris 041420DOLTON – To help students who are seeking post-secondary education, State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey) is encouraging high school graduates to apply for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) Scholarship. 

    “Many of our student’s families are not able to pay for college,” Harris said. “College is costly, so students should take advantage of this scholarship, especially since many have extra time on their hands right now.” 

  • Black Caucus: Governor’s vision sets state on path to help black communities

    black caucus budget 2020SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address on Wednesday.

    Black Caucus leaders discussed areas within the governor’s budget proposal that specifically affect black communities, including early childhood education, economic development and public safety.

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the ILBC:

    “I am thrilled Governor Pritzker has a significant plan for education from birth to college. I share his enthusiasm for educating our young people because it is proven that their success lies in the quality of their education.

    “Educating our young people has always been a central focus of the Black Caucus. We understand that in order for communities to grow and advance, they need to be educated. We look forward to joining the governor in the fight for equitable funding and access to education.”

  • Black Caucus: State has made great strides, but there’s work still to be done

    blackcaucus 012920SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s State of the State address on Wednesday.

    Leaders of the Black Caucus discussed key issues brought up by the governor’s address that specifically affect black communities throughout the state, including early childhood education, health care and criminal justice reform.

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the ILBC:

    “The governor’s address highlighted some areas where we were finally able to see progress for our communities under his leadership, including a new capital plan to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure and create jobs that are desperately needed in our communities, and additional funding for K-12 and early childhood education.

  • Black Caucus: Budget proposal great start to help black communities

    Illinois Legislative Black Caucus SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s first budget address on Wednesday.

    Leaders of the Black Caucus discussed some of the main issues facing black communities, ranging from criminal justice reform to higher education.

    State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Chairman of the ILBC:

    “The governor’s budget plan is a great start to tackle some of the key challenges we are facing including ensuring a living wage for working families and that students around the state receive a quality education.

    “His speech was very realistic about the hole that we are in and how we can climb out of it over time, while continuing to support crucial services like mental health support and violence prevention programs.

    “We look forward to working with our colleagues and the governor’s administration to guarantee that the issues facing the black community are prioritized in the next state budget.”

  • Black Caucus: Officers’ acquittal perpetuates systemic injustice

    blackcaucus 051718CHICAGO — Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement regarding the acquittal of three Chicago police officers, David March, Thomas Gaffney and Joseph Walsh, charged with covering up for a fellow officer, Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald:

    “Today’s decision is not only a slap in the face to Mr. McDonald’s family, but it negatively impacts the black community as a whole because it perpetuates a system that allows a code of silence to continue among police.

  • Black Caucus on Roberson’s death: State Police must be fair and transparent

    black caucus budgetSPRINGFIELD-The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement regarding the death of Jemel Roberson, a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room in the village of Robbins, who was shot by a Midlothian police officer early on Sunday:

    “Jemel Roberson’s death raises understandable concerns among the members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

    “Far too often a member of the black community has been killed at the hands of police.

  • 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.

  • Legislative Black Caucus: Rauner no friend to black communities

    LBC presser 062018

  • The Majority Report - Week ending May 18, 2018 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - May 18, 2018 - Mayors to governor: Hands off our share of income tax

  • Senate Black Caucus: The ‘Bruce Rauner Experiment’ has failed

    black caucus budget

  • Senate Black Caucus to Rauner: We need true leadership (VIDEO)

    sos black caucus

  • Senate Black Caucus Reactions to Amazon Bid

    ilbc amazonYesterday it was reported that an official letter was submitted to Amazon executives with an attached state and city bid signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the legislature’s top four leaders. Members of the Illinois Legislative Senate Black Caucus are cautiously optimistic about the potential of Amazon moving its second headquarters to Chicago. 

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, delivered a clear message: “Job creation is a top priority for the caucus, specifically in our impoverished neighborhoods where unemployment rates soar due to lack of sustainable jobs.

  • Lightford has “deep concern” over latest revelation of Rauner mismanagement

    Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    Failing $94 Million Online Healthcare Contract Excludes Minority Business Opportunity

    SPRINGFIELD — Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) today expressed deep concern over an Associated Press report that suggests that Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration took action to purposely exclude state guidelines aimed at encouraging minority-owned business opportunities in an effort to steer a nearly $100 million taxpayer-funded contract to a private company that is charged with creating online efficiency in state employee health insurance processing.

    The news story, published on Sunday, highlights that the system was hastily designed and has caused serious difficulties in managing health care records of potentially hundreds of thousands of public employees and retirees. In addition, the investigation exposes the Rauner administration’s efforts to award the massive contract to Georgia-based company Morneau Shepell in what appears to be a favored contractor:

    “Documents show CMS staff members were told to proceed without following guidelines for ensuring minority-owned business participation,” the AP story says.

    “Bruce Rauner might have purchased the Illinois Republican Party, but he doesn’t own the State of Illinois,” Lightford says. “It’s outrageous to discover that he thinks it’s perfectly legitimate to misuse the trust of taxpayers to skirt rules aimed at giving all qualified businesses an equal playing field.”

    Lightford says she is discussing the possibility of utilizing part of Governor Rauner’s 10-day Special Session mandate to conduct a hearing on the failures of the Morneau Shepell contract as well as the procedures and decisions for discarding procurement rules.  

    “I don’t care if Bruce Rauner doesn’t like the long-established requirements to include and consider minority and woman owned businesses, I care that he decided to simply discard them,” said Lightford. “There’s a need for accountability here and I suspect questions will need good answers. We should do that in a public hearing, not behind the Governor’s preferred closed doors.”

    Throughout the past six months a number of news investigations have highlighted serious flaws in the judgement of Rauner officials when it comes to hiring and contracting. Already, the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committees have held in-depth hearings on what appear to be multi-million dollar insider leasing schemes to store supplies like paper in private warehouses.

  • Senator Hutchinson speaks at a press conference

    Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.