2016 ILBC Newsletter

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation 2016 NEWSLETTER INSIDE: Letter from the Chairman, LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES ILBC FIGHTS FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY This year, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus has fought tirelessly for the concerns of Black Illinoisans. The inequities in our community are evident in the rising crime and unemployment rate. The Black Caucus advanced a comprehensive agenda that addresses several issues in Black communities throughout the state. ILBC HOST BLACK HISTORY MONTH SOIRÉE ILBC HOST YOUTH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT DAY PATHWAY TO APPRENTICESHIP Rep. Carol Ammons Sen. James F. Clayborne Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins Rep. Monique Davis Rep. Will Davis Rep. Kenneth Dunkin Rep. Marcus Evans Rep. Mary Flowers Rep. LaShawn Ford Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth Rep. Sonya Harper Sen. Napoleon Harris III Sen. Mattie Hunter Sen. Toi Hutchinson Rep. Eddie Jackson Sen. Emil Jones III Rep. Thaddeus Jones Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford Rep. Camille Lilly Rep. Rita Mayfield Rep. Christian Mitchell Sen. Kwame Raoul Rep. Pamela Reeves-Harris Rep. Al Riley Rep. Elgie Sims Rep. Andre Thapedi Sen. Donne Trotter Rep. Arthur Turner Sen. Patricia Van Pelt Rep. Litesa Wallace Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch For nearly two decades, the formula that Illinois has used to pay for education rewards affluent school districts and punishes poorer districts. The way we fund education determines our children’s likelihood of receiving the support they need to become future leaders. The ILBC worked with education leaders to re-tool our Illinois funding structure to ensure our children are receiving the resources they need to reach their fullest potential. The ongoing budget impasse has had devastating effects on the black community. The governor withheld funds for the Child Care Assistance Program, which provides deserving families with funds to pay for child care. Social service agencies have been forced to reject those in need, leaving many programs in our community that give children and parents with no other options some alternatives. Our college students were especially victimized by deep cuts that almost specifically targeted the Black community. The Black Caucus fought against these inequities and worked to pass meaningful legislation to fund these programs. Not to be forgotten, the issue of racially lopsided arrest rates in communities around Illinois needs to be addressed as well. African Americans are six times more likely to be arrested than whites. One in three African-American men between the ages of 16 and 24 will be convicted of a felony. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus worked on several initiatives to ensure our young men and women are respected in the judiciary process and while incarcerated. The Black Caucus also championed reforms to ensure proper representation in the election process while also expanding opportunities for our youth to experience civic engagement. Best Regards, Senator Kimberly A. Lightford Assistant Majority Leader