SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam released the following statement regarding the governor’s executive orders and the law that were signed yesterday.

“After four years of attacks on working people from our previous governor, it is refreshing and long overdue that we enact progressive policies to better their lives,” Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “With these executive orders and the signing of SB 203 into law, Governor Pritzker has demonstrated that he is on the side of Illinois’ working families.”

Executive Order 2019-02 will no longer require potential State of Illinois employees to disclose their salary history due to salary disadvantages women have previously faced. It will also direct the Illinois Department of Labor to expedite all cases of wage theft in an effort to protect workers and hold malicious actors accountable.

In addition, the governor signed SB 203, a vital piece of legislation that protects workers’ wages and promotes diversity in companies that are contracted by the state. The Illinois Department of Labor will be required to release reports on the diversity of those employed on public works projects, and will be asked to make recommendations on how to increase employment of women and people of color.

“I appreciate the fact that the governor included pay equity and wage theft among his top priorities. I look forward to working with both my colleagues and the governor to enact other progressive policies, including the establishment of a $15 minimum wage in Illinois.”

Category: Press Releases

IMG 7338SPRINGFIELD – Asian-American leaders statewide today announced plans to unify their voices and advance issues that are vital to Asian-American communities throughout Illinois.

The leaders, including state legislators and local government officials, formed the Joint Asian-American Leaders Caucus
“Ten years ago, there were no Asian Americans elected to major political offices in Illinois. Today, there are dozens, from the U.S. Senate to local municipal offices throughout the state,” said caucus chair Josina Morita. In 2016, she became the first Asian American elected to a countywide board in Illinois.

Two new Asian-American state legislators are set to begin terms in the General Assembly: Illinois’ first Asian-American state senator, Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), and the state’s second Asian-American state representative, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview).

“Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in Illinois. It’s time we have the political representation our communities need,” Gong-Gershowitz said. She is the second Asian American elected to the Illinois House and the first to represent the suburbs.

“Today is a new day. We have an Indian-American state senator and two Chinese-American state representatives,” said State Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago), the first Asian American elected to the
Illinois General Assembly. “One day, we will see the true diversity of Illinois’ Asian-American communities represented across Illinois government.”

“I’m excited to get to work in Springfield, but I’m more excited that Asian-American communities have a seat at the table,” said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), the first Asian American elected to the Illinois Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Ram VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – Ram Villivalam was sworn into office Saturday evening in Skokie. Senator Villivalam was sworn in by Judge Colleen Daly while surrounded by his wife, Elizabeth, their son, Rohan, as well as his mother, family and friends. He took his oath on a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book, bought for his mother by his late grandfather.

Villivalam is the first Asian-American to be elected to the Illinois Senate and the first South Asian member of the Illinois General Assembly.

“I am honored to represent our communities in the Illinois Senate,” said Villivalam, a Democrat from Chicago. “I look forward to bringing progressive, proactive, and effective representation to the 8th District.”

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Category: Press Releases

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District Office
3851 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(872) 208-5188

Springfield Office
Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring St.
Section C, Room E
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5500

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