A Leader in Social Justice Issues

  • Authored and passed House Resolution 468 (96th GA) with bipartisan sponsorship urging that social justice be the guiding principle in decision making in the House of Representatives
  • Authored and passed House Resolution 95 (98th GA) with 108 votes which creates the Distressed Counties and Communities Task Force to find and create innovative means to address and meet the numerous needs of those who receive State social services and develop a legislative and administrative agenda that can serve as a national model for developing a successful anti-poverty agenda
  • Introduced and passed House Resolution 48 (98th GA) which urges the Governor to create a commission to confront the economic problems that still plague African-American communities
  • Introduced and passed House Resolution HR 0909 (95th GA) which urges Congress to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to make all its provisions permanent
  • Chief House Co-Sponsor of legislation that became law creating the Racial and Ethnic Impact Research Task Force to determine a practical method for the standardized collection and analysis of data on the racial and ethnic identity of arrestees by State and local law enforcement agencies (Public Act 097-0433)
  • Chief House Sponsor of legislation that became law as the Criminal Identification Act that requires ethnic and racial data be gathered at many points when a person encounters the criminal justice system (Public Act 098-0528)

A Leader in Civic Issues

  • Introduced successful legislation entitled the National Popular Vote Act, stating the State of Illinois ratifies the agreement among the states to elect the President by National Popular Vote, to ensure that the candidate with the most votes is elected President of the United States – this is an interstate agreement that would guarantee that the winner of the national popular vote is elected president. This act would award Illinois’ Electoral College votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote, provided that enough states equaling a majority of electoral votes also ratify the agreement. Signed into Law April 7, 2008.  (Public Act 095-0714)
  • Introduced successful legislation designating each March 25 as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Public Act 096-0930)
  • Introduced a House Resolution calling for an amendment to the State constitution stating that no voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure related to voting, shall be imposed or applied by the State or any political subdivision in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the State to vote on account of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, or status as a member of a language minority. (HJRCA0039, 98th GA – tabled – see HJRCA0052 below)
  • Chief Co-Sponsor of House Joint Resolution which passed both Houses which proposes to amend the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Constitution and provides that no person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, sex, sexual orientation, income, national origin or religion. (HJRCA0052, 98th GA)
  • Introduced and passed House Joint Resolution 0089 through both Houses which designates the portion of Cicero Avenue, beginning at Roosevelt Road and ending at West Grand Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, as Mandela Road in honor of Nelson Mandela; dedication of Mandela Road with signage in place on July 18, 2014, Nelson Mandela’s birthday (HJR 0089, 98th GA)
  • Introduced the Prisoner Census Adjustment Act in the 97th GA and again in the 98th GA (HB 62) proposing that for purposes of creating election districts and redistricting, requires that State and local governmental bodies use census figures adjusted to reflect the pre-incarceration addresses of persons imprisoned in State or federal facilities in Illinois; passed the House, to be reintroduced
  • Introduced House Resolution (HR 0610 – 97th GA) urging support for the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights by Occupy protesters – resolution lost on a House vote
  • Conducted Redistricting Bootcamp as legislative boundaries were redrawn based on the 2010 Census, working with the Lawndale Alliance, other community-based organizations and other elected officials
  • Hosted (in 2011 and 2012) more than 500 middle school students at Malcolm X College on February 1 to kick off Black History Month in a program called College is an Option, to learn about programs at the City Colleges of Chicago