GURNEE, Ill. – State Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, issued the following statement on Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s election to serve as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives:

“As we begin our first legislative session as the 102nd General Assembly, we do so knowing we have many unique challenges ahead. We are a diverse group of legislators who represent a wide variety of constituencies, and successfully addressing the problems that lie ahead will require tough decisions, compromise and cooperation from lawmakers from every corner of the state. Now more than ever, we need strong leadership to guide us through this difficult time, and Speaker Welch is the right person for that job.

“Speaker Welch has represented his community with honor for nearly a decade. During his time in the legislature, he has been a steadfast advocate for the needs of his constituents and worked tirelessly with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve positive change for his district and our state. I know his legislative experience, in-depth understanding of Illinois government and unwavering commitment to doing what is right will serve our statehouse well. 

“And more than 200 years after the Illinois House of Representatives first convened in 1818, Speaker Welch has made history as the first Black legislator to serve in this role. Our government should always be as diverse as the communities it represents. Speaker Welch’s election brings us one step closer to that goal and marks another important milestone in our journey to create a more just and equal Illinois.

“During such a challenging moment, I am thankful to have a leader like Speaker Welch at the helm. I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Speaker Welch and wish him the best in his new role. I look forward to the progress we will achieve for the people of this state under his strong and capable leadership.”


Rep. Joyce MasonRep. Joyce Mason

61st District

Visit Rep. Joyce Mason’s website

Springfield Office:
247-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8151
District Office:
36100 Brookside Dr.
Suites LL 60
Gurnee, IL 60031
(847) 485-9986