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Illinois Senate Majority Leader Lightford to discuss career, state issues in virtual forum

Illinois Senate Majority Leader Lightford to discuss career, state issues in virtual forum

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CARBONDALE — Illinois State Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford, the first Black woman to serve as the state’s Senate Majority Leader, will discuss a variety of topics including her career and next month’s elections during a virtual conversation next week hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

The virtual discussion, part of the Simon Institute’s “Understanding Our New World” series via Zoom, is at 2 p.m. Oct. 20. Lightford, D-Maywood, and John T. Shaw, Simon Institute director, will also touch on the Illinois General Assembly’s fall veto session and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus reform agenda.

“Sen. Lightford is one of the most experienced, tough-minded and savvy legislative leaders in Springfield,” Shaw said. “She has been at the center of major legislative efforts to overhaul education, health care and worker protections. Sen. Lightford is also one of the architects and engineers of the reform agenda crafted by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.”

Recognized for her work for education reform, increases to the state’s minimum wage, worker protection measures, payday loan industry protections and improving health care access, Lightford has served in the state legislature since becoming the youngest Black woman elected to the state senate in 1998. Her district includes more than a dozen suburban communities in Cook County.

Lightford has served on the State Senate Education Committee for 21 years. She became assistant majority leader in 2009 and has held her present post since January 2019.

Registration for the free Zoom meeting is available in advance. After completing registration, participants will receive an email confirmation with information about joining the meeting, along with the meeting ID and password.

Participants have an opportunity when they register to submit a question to Lightford by email at paulsimoninstitute@siu.edu or by including it in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form.

More information about registration and other Simon Institute events is available at paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/event-information.

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