CHICAGO, Ill. – State Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, is building upon her record as a tireless advocate for healthy food access, equal opportunity and diversity in agriculture and environmental sustainability with her appointment to chair the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee during the 103rd Illinois General Assembly. Harper is the first person of color to chair that committee.

“For a lifelong advocate of local healthy food systems and sustainable agriculture, this is very exciting news,” Harper said. “Creating more prosperous and thriving neighborhoods is a key part of energizing any state’s economy and supporting our agricultural economy while ensuring local healthy food access for all residents helps us do just that. I look forward to the opportunity to deliver smart and forward-looking policies for communities, families and farmers across Illinois.”

Harper’s legislative work has helped the state develop a brand-new, equity-focused approach to both the agriculture industry and food access. Recent laws Harper passed have resulted in a number of policies and programs beneficial, not only for the overall economy, but especially for urban farmers, farmers of color and residents of areas classified as food deserts:

  • The Agriculture Disparity Study tracks food deserts and promotes additional benefits and enhanced access to various forms of assistance for farmers of color, including urban farmers;
  • The Agriculture Equity Commission will soon begin its work promoting diversity and combatting the effects of historical disinvestment and discrimination in the agriculture industry;
  • The Healthy Food Program is beginning development, and will soon be helping to promote access to healthy groceries including fresh fruits and vegetables in communities that lack local access to them;
  • The Right to Garden Act is now in effect, protecting residents who grow food on their properties from local government interference.

“I look forward to continuing working on these issues and others to make our state’s top job producing industry even better, more inclusive and to eventually produce more food in our state for families that need it.”

Harper’s office is reachable at 773-925-6580 or

Rep. Sonya HarperRep. Sonya Harper

6th District

Visit Rep Harper’s website

Springfield Office:
274-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5971

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX