June 19, 2021

Duckworth Commemorates Juneteenth in Chicago


Senator calls for allies to continue pushing for a more just America

[CHICAGO IL] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today commemorated Juneteenth in Chicago, first attending the second annual March for Us Juneteenth Rally at Daley Plaza, where she was joined by Reverend Jesse Jackson and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, and later joining Chicago Alderman Michelle Harris and local community members in Chicago’s Avalon Park neighborhood at a block party to recognize the holiday, which marks the end of the enslavement of Black Americans in the United States. Throughout the day, Duckworth emphasized the importance of policies that help Black families as well as communities and she encouraged racial justice allies to not only learn and recognize our country’s history, but also to push for a more just union for all. Photos from the events can be found here.

“Black communities have long celebrated the importance of today – the day that, finally, marked the end of centuries of enslavement of Black Americans and their families,” said Duckworth. “But as allies, today is not only about learning and recognizing the history of our country, but it is also a call to action for us all to keep pushing, prodding and dragging our nation until we’re all not just created equal, but treated equally as well. For me, this means working to pass the Justice in Policing Act, bringing long-overdue reforms to our country’s police departments. It means protecting and strengthening voting rights. It means finding ways to reduce our rising maternal and infant mortality rate – which disproportionally affects Black moms. I hope all allies in these efforts use today to reflect on our privilege and to think of the ways we can work together to support our Black family, friends and neighbors.”

Duckworth helped introduce the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, and build trust between law enforcement and communities. The bill includes provisions of Duckworth’s legislation, the Police Training and Independent Review Act, which would reward states that enact laws requiring independent reviews, criminal investigations and when necessary, prosecutions of police officers who commit violent crimes. The Senator is also a co-sponsor of the For the People Act—a sweeping package of comprehensive reforms that aims to restore the promise of American democracy by guaranteeing every American citizen full access to the ballot by addressing voter intimidation and suppression, which are among the biggest examples of systemic racism in America.

Duckworth has also been a long-time supporter of maternal health and for the past two congresses, she, along with U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), have introduced the bicameral Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA’s) Act, which seeks to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, especially for women and babies of color. Duckworth, as well as Durbin, are co-sponsors of a resolution recognizing Black Maternal Health Week, “to bring national attention to the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women and birthing persons.” U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) also introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives.