SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, Joint Caucus Chair for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC), issued the following statement regarding the election of state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, as the first African American Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives:

“Today’s election of Speaker Welch to lead the Illinois House is historic. As the first African American to lead the Illinois House, Speaker Welch has reached a pinnacle not just of his own making, but of generations of African Americans before him who fought for equality and justice.

“Here in Illinois the Legislative Black Caucus is extremely proud to have had several members who represent historic firsts, a list that now includes Speaker Welch. Former ILBC member Carol Moseley Braun served Illinois as the first Black, female U.S. Senator in the history of our nation and former ILBC member Barack Obama served our country as the first African American president. As a member of the Black Caucus and as a member of the House who has worked alongside Speaker Welch, I am confident that he will have the same tradition of forward-thinking service as President Obama and Sen. Moseley Braun.

“I look forward to working with Speaker Welch to help achieve justice and equality for all and on behalf of the members of the Black Caucus, I salute him on this historic achievement.”

Rep. Sonya HarperRep. Sonya Harper

6th District

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