By AARON GETTINGER
Hyde Park–Kenwood’s representatives in Springfield and Washington, D.C., have been assigned to committees as the new General Assembly and congressional sessions get underway.
Illinois Reps. Curtis Tarver (D-25th) and Kam Buckner (D-26th) have both been assigned to the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee. Tarver, who has repeatedly stressed the importance of early childhood education in interviews, called that assignment “pretty significant.” Both men are also on the Childhood Accessibility and Early Childhood committees.
Tarver is on the Civil Judiciary Committee, and Buckner is on the Criminal Judiciary Committee. Buckner, a former Chicago State University board member, is also on the Higher Education Committee.
Illinois Sen. Robert Peters (D-13th) is on the Criminal Law, Financial Institutions, Human Services, Local Government, Telecommunications and Information Technology and Veterans Affairs committees.
“We need to reimagine safety and dignity in our communities,” Peters said, explaining that he views his assignments as “systematically connected.” “This means improving the ives of working class young people with an expansion in social services and improving community schools instead of more incarceration. This means making the lives of returning citizens easier by building up community around them and removing the barriers that isolated them in the first place.”
U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush (D-1st) and Robin Kelly (D-2nd) have both been appointed to the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee as well as its Health and Energy subcommittees, the latter of which Rush now chairs. Kelly has been appointed to its Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee.
Kelly is also on the Oversight and Reform Committee and its Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and National Security subcommittees.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D), the Minority Whip, has been appointed to the committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Appropriations (ranking member of its Defense Department subcommittee), Rules and Administration and the Judiciary.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D) has been appointed to the Armed Services, Commerce, Science and Transportation, Environment and Public Works and Small Business and Entrepreneurship committees.