Lightford021418 2CHICAGO- Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement following a guilty verdict in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

“My heart goes out to Laquan’s family as they continue to grieve his loss. This is only a drop of justice in a history full of injustices against Black people and people of color. We still have a lot of work ahead of us in reforming policing, criminal justice, human services and creating opportunities for underprivileged communities.

“Let us continue to organize, continue to let our voices be heard and participate in our democracy wherever and whenever we can.”

Lightford100418CHICAGO- Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement as the jury in the Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Trial deliberates in the trial of the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

“As we await a decision from the jury, I would like to make it clear how important this trial is to our communities throughout the state of Illinois. The last time a Chicago officer was convicted of murder was nearly 50 years ago, and there are many who feel justice has not been served time and time again in Chicago and across the country.

“I urge the public to react with solidarity regardless of the verdict. We need to come together and let our voices be heard for all of the times Black people missed out on their due justice. If you want to yell, yell. If you want to gather, gather. Let’s show how we feel in a peaceful and impactful manner.

“My hope is that we can take this moment to come together to heal Chicago and communities throughout Illinois that are longing for police officers that work for them and a criminal justice system that treats them fairly.

“Our work does not start or end here. We should not be deterred should this trial’s outcome not be in our favor.”

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Lightford062218During an on-air interview Tuesday, Bruce Rauner repeatedly boasted with WVON’s primarily black audience that, “But especially, I’ve been great for Black businesses and African American schools. No governor’s done more than me.”

Leaders of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus presented a reality check today in response to Bruce Rauner’s claims. The coalition of lawmakers highlighted the governor’s record of distasteful and insensitive cuts to social services, community safety and economic opportunity.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, Chair of the ILBC-

“And here I thought Bruce Rauner, as a white man, wasn’t going to have anything else to say about race. Well, since he brought it up, a true friend of the black community wouldn’t have slashed funding for Chicago State University, wiped out childcare assistance, grossly underfunded Teen REACH, waged a war against the students and teachers in Chicago Public Schools and vetoed an increase in the minimum wage.

“Perhaps the self-proclaimed protector of the black community forgot that black-owned businesses didn’t get paid during his impasse.

“Maybe he needs to be reminded that African-American women get breast cancer, too, and benefit from the screenings he tried to eliminate.

“And, in the midst of all this exaggeration, let’s not forget that under Bruce Rauner’s watch the African-American unemployment rate in Illinois is the highest in the nation.

“Some friend he is.

“Next, he’s probably going to tell us he really liked Black Panther, too.

“That movie contains more truth than Rauner’s claims.”

Read more: Legislative Black Caucus: Rauner no friend to black communities (VIDEO)

Thursday, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus held a press conference to highlight how the percent of state business going to minority contractors has fallen significantly under Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, said: “For Rauner to act like he’s been a champion for our community after the last three years is appalling. Bruce Rauner talks about improving opportunities for minority-owned businesses, but the numbers tell a different story. Under Bruce Rauner’s administration, minority contracting requirements have been waived and the percent of state business going to minority businesses has actually plummeted.”

Records show that in January 2015, Gov. Rauner announced an executive order studying barriers in contracting for minority businesses. Then, in November 2015, the Rauner administration secretly waived minority participation requirements for a $94 million state contract.

Read more: Black Caucus holds Bruce Rauner accountable for hurting minority contractors (VIDEO)

Lightford062218 2SPRINGFIELD — Members of the Illinois Senate Black Caucus to the governor’s unwillingness to support commonsense measures to curb gun violence and help sweep unregistered firearms off the streets.

Succumbing to pressure from the NRA, Gov. Bruce Rauner today vetoed the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which would have permitted the state to license and inspect gun dealers in an effort to assist the federal government in holding corrupt dealers accountable for illegal firearm sales.

Rauner vetoed the measure less than 24 hours before a national walkout to protest school gun violence and call on lawmakers to enact stricter gun laws.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, delivered a clear message: “Leave it to Governor Rauner to put politics before public safety. If his goal was to curb gun violence in our state he would have appointed a commission his first day in office, not over three years into his term. There is too much at stake to continue stalling for personal advancement.”

Read more: Senate Black Caucus to governor: Illinoisans should come before partisan politics, guns