Equity and Inclusion

A group of people standing together in front of a brown wall

MWRD Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis honors former Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris at breakfast reception

October 29, 2023

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis honored former Democratic Illinois House Majority Leader Rep. Greg Harris at a breakfast reception and bi-monthly board meeting Oct. 19 at the MWRD headquarters in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Ahead…

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Studies show nearly 74% of people jailed in the U.S. are awaiting trial. Even when found not guilty, many lose their jobs, their homes, and even custody of their children. Illinois' Pretrial Fairness Act counteracts this by taking money out of the equation. Instead, judges will decide pretrial detainment based on a public safety evaluation.

Cash bail disproportionately impacts communities of color. Illinois is the first state to abolish it

September 14, 2023

CHICAGO (AP) — It took four and a half months for Shannon Ross’ life to unravel. Ross, who describes himself as Indigenous and a person of color, was arrested in Chicago in October 2019 on weapons charges and ultimately found…

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Itedal Shalabi, leader of the nonprofit Arab American Family Services, celebrates the addition of a the Middle Eastern and North African catagory for census data in Illinois. (Hank Sanders/Daily Southtown)

Middle Eastern community celebrates Illinois becoming first state to add its racial classification

September 6, 2023

With just a few short words, lawmakers passed a bill that, once signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, makes Illinois the first state to add the racial classification of Middle Eastern or North African for state data collection purposes. State senators,…

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A common myth about Illinois House Bill 3751 is that it will allow undocumented immigrants to become police officers. This claim is NOT true. HB 3751 will only allow those who are legally eligible to work in the U.S. to become police officers.

Fact Check-Illinois bill only allows certain non-citizens to become police officers

August 16, 2023

Illinois House Bill 3751 only allows non-citizens who are eligible to work in the U.S. and are authorized to possess firearms under federal law to become police officers. Contrary to confusion on social media, the bill does not extend this…

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Leader Barbara Hernandez was recently on News Nation to dispel the myths regarding a new bill she co-sponsored which allows eligible individuals to apply to become police officers in Illinois.

Illinois enacts bill allowing noncitizens to join police force

August 14, 2023

(NewsNation) — Amid an alarming shortage of police officers across the country, there’s a bold new proposal that might help solve the problem: filling police ranks with non-U.S. citizens. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill last week that would…

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Avg. Share of Board Members Women Graph

Illinois’ 2022 Corporate Board Diversity Report Shows Major Gains for Women

April 13, 2023

In 2019, legislation sponsored by House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch aimed at increasing the diversity of our corporate boards was signed into law. Today, Denominator reports the average share of women who hold a board seat has increased by 38%…

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The Illinois Senate will now consider a bill passed by the House of Representatives that honors the legacy of Native American citizens after they pass by returning their remains to their tribe or cultural home. (Shutterstock)

Arlington Heights Lawmaker Helps Pass Bill Honoring Native Remains

April 11, 2023

Democrat Mark Walker is behind a bill that would create a state process for the reburial and repatriation of remains of Native Americans. ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — An Arlington Heights lawmaker is attempting to pave the way for the remains…

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With a bipartisan vote of 75-32, the Illinois House of Representatives has now advanced legislation sponsored by Rep. Maurice West that would require Native American History be taught in our schools.

Illinois House Passes Legislation to Require Illinois Students to Learn Native American History

March 24, 2023

ROCKFORD (WREX) — The Illinois House of Representatives passed HB1633, on a bipartisan vote of 75 to 32 with one member voting present. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Maurice West (D-Rockford.) The legislation requires certain courses of American…

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Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, talking here with state Rep. Debbie Meyers-Martin, says minority rights must be protected when drawing the boundaries of legislative districts. | AP Photos

First Black Speaker of Illinois House Hints at Need for More Diversity in Legislative District Map

February 27, 2021

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch gave his standard reply to a question about redistricting reform last week when queried at the Chicago Economic Club, saying different people have different opinions about what a “fair map” actually is.

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