SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, has been appointed House Democratic Conference Chair in recognition of her leadership, strong bipartisan relationships and track record of advancing legislation that uplifts women and disadvantaged communities.
“I am appreciative of the trust that my colleagues have in me, and look forward to the opportunity of serving in a leadership capacity for our caucus,” Greenwood said. “I want to thank Speaker Welch for the privilege, and am excited to join in leadership efforts on our shared vision of building a stronger, more diverse Illinois that leaves nobody behind.”
In addition to being named to the leadership post, Greenwood passed a responsible state spending plan Tuesday that outlines the state’s ongoing response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with prioritizing health care-related funding, the budget targeted investment in areas important to recovery including education, job training programs and essential services that seniors and the most vulnerable depend on.
“While our state continues to move in a positive direction with getting this pandemic under control, the reality is we will continue to face long-term challenges from the human and economic toll it took,” Greenwood said. “The pandemic disproportionately impacted communities of color, and it’s critically important we support these areas in the coming months by preserving essential human services and investing in job training and school programs to help people get back on their feet.”
Greenwood also took an active role in recent months with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in passing overdue reforms regarding criminal justice, education, workforce development, economic access and other priorities. Of note, Greenwood helped lead the effort to pass the Health Care and Human Services Reform Act, a culmination of years of advocacy to address inequities in the state’s health care system.
“It has always haunted me that the inequities and disparities in our health system meant that a person’s skin color impacted their health outcomes,” Greenwood said. “This was particularly noticeable when it came to maternal health. By increasing access to doula services, establishing implicit bias training with medical staff and enacting other overdue recommendations, I am hopeful that we will save lives. As with our pandemic response, the General Assembly must remain ready to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges that lie ahead. As we leave Springfield, I look forward to continuing to work with local officials and advocates to build a stronger Illinois for everyone.”