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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