SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As part of efforts to bring a greater voice to Assyrian-Americans, state Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, recently joined his colleagues in the founding of a new Illinois Assyrian Caucus designed to better understand and prioritize the issues of the Assyrian community.
“Illinois is really fortunate to be the home of diverse, vibrant peoples from around the globe,” Walker said. “I’m proud to represent a community with many wonderful Assyrian-Americans, and I view the creation of this caucus as an opportunity to better prioritize their issues and concerns.”
The Illinois Assyrian Caucus includes members from the Illinois House and Senate, and aims to elevate the voice of Assyrians in state government by increasing visibility and creating a better understanding of the community’s needs. Assyrian people are indigenous to parts of modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. According to the Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation, upwards of 100,000 Assyrians call Chicago and its surrounding suburbs home.
“It’s important that our work in Springfield reflects and represents everyone,” Walker said. “We’re the first state in the country to create an Assyrian caucus, let’s use it for positive action that can help our neighbors.”