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Speaker Welch announces Committee Chairs at leadership retreat

ILLINOIS SPEAKER OF the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch (at the podium) announced the Democratic Leadership team on January 12, 2023. (Photo credit UIS)

For the first time in the history of the Illinois House of Representatives, Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch hosted a leadership retreat for the assistant leaders and deputy leaders of the House Democratic Caucus.

“I’m thrilled to host my first leadership retreat for this dynamic group of legislators,” said Speaker Welch. “My goal is to continue fostering a collaborative environment and finding ways for our members to focus on what’s most important to their communities. I have the privilege of serving with a talented group of lawmakers and this is a great opportunity for us to learn from one another and discuss emerging priorities for our Democratic Caucus.”

Welch’s retreat focused on individual roles in fostering a culture of collaborative leadership, and featured presentations from the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization providing training and development for lawmakers across the country.

Speaker Welch’s full leadership team consists of:

State Rep. Robyn Gabel – Majority Leader

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth – Speaker Pro Tempore / Chief Budgeteer

State Rep. Mary E. Flowers – Deputy Majority Leader / Dean of the Caucus

State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez – Deputy Majority Leader

State Rep. Jay Hoffman –
Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Natalie Manley –
Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Kam Buckner –
Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Aaron Ortiz –
Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Barbara Hernandez – Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Marcus Evans –
Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Robert “Bob” Rita – Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Kelly Burke –
Assistant Majority Leader

State Rep. Theresa Mah –
Majority Conference Chair

State Rep. Nick Smith –
Majority Officer / Sergeant at Arms

In addition to these leadership posts, Speaker Welch has called on members within the House Democrats to serve as caucus whips, which has been utilized as an emerging leaders program. These members will be charged with rallying various caucuses and members around legislation and priorities for the entire Democratic Caucus.

This team will include:

State Rep. Lakesia Collins – Black Caucus Whip

State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez –
Latinx Caucus Whip

State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz –
Asian American Caucus Whip

State Rep. Frances Ann Hurley – Mod Caucus Whip

State Rep. Lawrence Walsh Jr. – Downstate Caucus Whip

State Rep. Will Guzzardi –
Progressive Caucus Whip

State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray – Women’s Caucus Whip

State Rep. Nabeela Syed –
Freshman Caucus Whip

State Rep. Maurice West –
Assistant Floor Whip

State Rep. Ann Williams –
Assistant Floor Whip

State Rep. Katie Stuart –
Assistant Floor Whip

State Rep. Bob Morgan –
Assistant Floor Whip

Announcement of Committee Chairs:

This week, Speaker Welch also announced committees and their respective chairs for the 103rd General Assembly, empowering lawmakers to use their legislative experiences, professional backgrounds, and district priorities to help shape policy in key subject areas.

“I’m fortunate to have a caucus filled with members who have valuable expertise and experience in a variety of policy areas,” said Speaker Welch. “These committee chairs are passionate and education the topics that will come before them, and they will provide strong guidance as they vet and advance legislative priorities that are most important to Illinoisans.” 

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