Westmont – Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery released the following statement on today’s historic vote to elect Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch as the first Black House Speaker in Illinois.
“Today, the Illinois House of Representatives made history by electing its first Black Speaker, Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch. On behalf of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, I congratulate Speaker Welch on his momentous victory. As a state representative, Speaker Welch has been a friend and ally in protecting middle-class families from devastating cuts to public services and healthcare and an ardent supporter of public education. I have stood with him as he organized grassroots support for the safety of school children. Chris is a true public servant and will make an excellent Speaker. “We look forward to working with Speaker Welch to protect collective bargaining for all workers and to strengthen public education for all children and educators of Illinois.”
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The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.