Lightford appointed as co-chair of the Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security

lightford 022019CHICAGO – To better inform policymakers on the root causes of poverty and economic insecurity, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was appointed co-chair of the Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security.

“I believe we have come to the precipice of a moment that can make the changes necessary to put us on track to eliminate poverty across Illinois,” Lightford said. “That effort starts with getting to the root causes of poverty, a major one being systemic racism, and no longer being shy about the way we approach them.”

The commission will consist of four members of the General Assembly, a member of the judicial branch and 20 members of the public, including people who have experienced deep poverty and advocates for youth, veterans, mental health, education equity, those experiencing homelessness, those differently abled and others.

“I look forward to the important work we’ll be doing through this commission, and even more to engaging my colleagues in a conversation that can create generational change, eliminate poverty and economic disparities across our state,” Lightford said.

The commission is tasked with educating policymakers on the impact poverty has on other measures of economic stability and economic outcomes, including educational attainment, rates of incarceration, lifetime earnings, access to health care, health care outcomes, and access to housing. The Department of Human Services will provide support for the commission to complete its work to produce a strategic plan that addresses poverty and economic insecurity in Illinois by November 30, 2021.

Lightford: Welcome to the movement

lightford 061220As I made my way to Cicero and Monroe on Thursday, I saw block after block of boarded up store fronts and empty lots and buildings in disrepair. Then, it dawned on me that parts of the West and South Sides of Chicago have looked like this since I could remember — destroyed and abandoned.

When I arrived, the area was surrounded by local residents who, quite frankly, were not interested in yet another spectacle in their neighborhood filled with empty promises and photo opportunities. And I agree with them.


Lightford joins Black elected officials at West Suburban Day of Action

lightford 061120MAYWOOD - In solidarity with protestors across the nation, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) welcomed colleagues of the Caucus of Black Elected Officials to the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center Sunday.

“I have been that angry Black woman for 21 years, and I am not going to stop being that angry Black woman until we have access to resources,” Lightford said. “For those of us who have experienced institutional racism and sexism, do not give up. Do not give in. Do not feel oppressed. Find someone like Representative Welch, Clerk Karen Yarbrough or Mayor Thompson that will fight with you.”

The event was the fourth in a series of events that came together shortly after a weekend of unrest across Chicago that resulted in the looting of a number of local businesses. Lightford was joined by Gov. JB Pritzker, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, Senate President Don Harmon, Rep. Chris Welch, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, local mayors and trustees, and other West Suburban leaders.

“We are here in Maywood, a stop on the Underground Railroad 400 years ago as our ancestors sought freedom,” Stratton said. “And today, we are still seeking freedom.”

Those who attended received food, hand sanitizer, census information and other helpful resources. They also heard from legislators about the issues in the Western Suburbs and what changes they expect to see.

“There is not justice without police accountability. There is not justice without criminal justice reform. There is not justice without reversing the disinvestment and instead making significant investments in our Black communities,” Pritzker said.

Legislators continue to support peaceful protests as they work on an agenda that answers the call to action.

Lightford: This budget begins to reimagine our state

lightford 052020SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after Governor JB Pritzker signed the Fiscal Year 21 budget, found in Senate Bill 264, providing funding for services that will put Illinois on the road to recovery from the health and economic stresses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“When we approved this budget, we did not think we would be in the middle of a movement today. I am proud of the work we did to bring much-needed funds to minority communities that were placed in the path of the COVID-19 storm as a result of decades of systemic racism.

“This budget is only the beginning of reimagining our state. We will continue to fight boldly for basic human rights through a path that not only recognizes the wrongs of the past, but turns the tide once and for all. I look forward to continuing this important work alongside Governor Pritzker and my colleagues in the General Assembly.”

Sen. Lightford

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Senate Majority Leader
4th District

Years served: 1998 - Present (Senate) 

Committee assignments: Assignments (Chairperson); Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Subcommittee on Gov. Operations (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Charter Schools (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: B.A. in Communications, Western Illinois University; M.A. in Public Administration, University of Illinois Springfield; former Village of Maywood trustee; former employee at Secretary of State, Department of Corrections and Central Management Services; longtime champion in the Senate for education, working families and women's issues; lives in Maywood with her family.

Associated Representatives:
La Shawn K. Ford
Emanuel Chris Welch