Speech by the President of the House of Illinois City Club of Chicago

CHICAGO, September 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch outlines a vision to keep moving Illinois forward at a time of growing political polarization on Wednesday, addressing a sold-out crowd of 300 at the City Club in Chicago.

“Leadership is about serving people, and I’ve learned that great leaders have a few things in common,” Welch said during his speech at the City Club in Chicago on Wednesday, September 28. “Great leaders are civil, compassionate, and willing to compromise. Great leaders build strong alliances. And great leaders always remember their why.”

Welch urged leaders to focus on common motivations — our “why” — even when they disagree on policy details. Welch recognized the Cook County chairman Toni PreckwinkleIllinois Democratic Party chairwoman Lisa Hernandez, president of the Chicago Teachers Union Stacy Davis Gates as examples of people remembering their own.

“I want to help the poor, help the sick, help women, help children, help the elderly, help the most vulnerable among us,” Welch said.

Welch, who has been in his role as Illinois Speaker of the House said he wakes up grateful for the opportunity to shape policy. Including “fiery” rhetoric about women’s reproductive rights, marriage equality, banning phantom guns and corporate diversity. Although his personal beliefs did not change, he sought to find ways to unify, not divide, as Speaker of the House.

“It’s important that I continue to listen and learn from perspectives different from my own, because that’s how we craft truly transformative policy,” Welch said.

Welch recognized that a transformative policy requires a solid foundation. The Illinois House has prioritized rebuilding the state fiscally, with fiscally and socially responsible budgets. Pension debt has also been paid off and the backlog of unpaid bills has been eliminated. This saved more than $1 billion. The Rainy Day Fund was also rebuilt, which had not been done for two decades. There were also six credit upgrades.

“This budgetary stability has enabled us to put $1.8 billion into the pockets of working families, by reducing the food tax, freezing the gas tax, providing property tax relief and permanently expanding the earned income tax credit” , said Welch.

Welch repeated that Illinois’ great strength is its diversity. And that unity and the ability to work together is also what keeps the path moving forward.

“From our thriving rural communities to our vibrant, culturally rich cities, our diversity is truly what sets us apart,” Welch said.

Welch also spoke about division and the rhetoric that seeks to divide. He encouraged the public to take an active role in finding a solution to restore common comity and civil disagreements.

“We must uphold our democratic values ​​and always operate with mutual respect,” he said.

Welch said it is not good for democracy that there are people who poison the minds of their supporters by intentionally spreading lies and deceit. He said these attributes are not those of a great leader. Then he talked about the January 6 Committee and how there is more evidence of how people were radicalized by the former president of United States.

“Our democracy depends on our ability to stand up and speak out against all of this,” he said. “Spreading lies, misinformation and fearmongering is not the solution.”

He added, “Great leaders believe in civility, compassion. That’s how we move forward.”

SOURCE Illinois House Democrats

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