State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) voted to pass multiple measures last week to advance the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus agenda, hoping to improve racial equality throughout the state of Illinois.
“My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly for the last several months to create a plan that gets to the root of systemic injustice and rectifies the inequities facing our community piece by piece,” Hunter said. “I’m grateful to see that many of our ideas will soon come to fruition, and I’m excited to see our communities benefit.”
Following the tragic death of George Floyd last May, the Black Caucus began working on a transformative plan to address the deep racial injustices in Illinois’ state structures, addressed in four pillars:
I. Criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability
II. Education and workforce development
III. Economic access, equity and opportunity
IV. Health care and human services
This plan included provisions to increase police accountability and crisis intervention measures, modernize sentencing laws, expand the Black History curriculum in K-12 schools, ensure equal pay regardless of race or gender, increase procurement and employment opportunities for minority-owned businesses, and make quality health care more accessible for all.
“The changes we’re making to Illinois law will save lives,” Hunter said. “Our main goal was to rid our state’s systems of the racist policies that inhibit the mental, physical and economic well-being of Black Illinoisans. Black people deserve the chance to flourish, just like everyone else.”
Legislation addressing the first three pillars passed both chambers of the General Assembly and await the governor’s signature. Legislation on the fourth pillar, health care and human services, is expected to be reintroduced and renegotiated in the 102nd General Assembly.