The Girl Talk: Getting Sh*t Done in Springfield Edition

The Girl Talk: Getting Sh*t Done in Springfield Edition

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth

Tue, June 25, 2019

6:30 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL

$10

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The Girl Talk
The Girl Talk
The Girl Talk is a monthly show at The Hideout featuring powerful and influential Chicago women you should know. Each month, we tackle an issue facing our city, state and country and learn from the women working to make things better.
Getting Sh*t Done in Springfield Edition
At the last show, we heard from experts about the prospects for legal weed in Illinois. Fast forward to just one month later, and it’s become a reality, thanks, in large part, to Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who will be joining us this month along with one of her partners in badass legislative action, Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth.

Kelly, by all accounts, was a force of nature this year in Springfield, leading the way in groundbreaking legislative progress on legalization, the Reproductive Health Act, sexual harassment, a fair income tax that actually makes rich people pay their fair share, and more. Representatives Cassidy and Gordon-Booth will join us for the real story behind how they and their fellow legislators made it all happen after so many years of zero good things happening in the Capitol. See you there!
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy
Kelly Cassidy is currently serving her fourth term as the State Representative for Illinois’ 14th House district. She currently serves as Chair of the Appropriations Public Safety Committee. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Criminal Committee, Vice Chair of the Restorative Justice Committee and is a member of the Labor & Commerce, Economic Opportunity, Human Services and Tourism & Craft Industries committees as well as serving on the House Sexual Discrimination & Harassment Task Force.

Prior to her appointment in 2011 Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy was a community activist and organizer. She served as district office director to Senator John Cullerton and worked in the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney working towards a smarter criminal justice system.

Over the past 20 years Representative Cassidy has worked on behalf of the community in the non-profit and government sectors. As one of three openly gay members of the General Assembly, she has helped passed progressive legislation involving criminal justice reform, the rights of women and the LGBTQ community and more. This includes the Youth Mental Health Protection Act which bans conversion therapy to change youth sexual orientation and HB 1464 which ensures pregnant women being detained pre-trial, are not forced to give birth in detention centers. Cassidy’s work on criminal justice reform has resulted in significant changes to our criminal justice system, including the Uniform Civil Enforcement of Cannabis law that eliminates arrest for possession of small amounts of cannabis and significant reentry reforms including removal of permanent barriers to employment for those with felony records.

Representative Cassidy has devoted the last two decades to making government more accessible, efficient and effective. Her combination of non-profit sector, state, and local government experience provides her with a unique perspective, expertise and understanding that empowers her to serve as an outstanding representative for the 14th district.

Representative Cassidy lives in Rogers Park with her spouse, Candace Gingrich, three sons and their cat, Ginsburg.
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth
Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth is a community activist, mother and full-time legislator serving the people of Illinois’ 92nd district. She is a proud daughter of Peoria and the first African-American woman ever to be elected to represent the central region of the state in the Illinois General Assembly. In January of 2015, she became, again the first African-American woman from Central Illinois to serve the state as Assistant Majority Leader of the House Democratic Party. Rep. Gordon-Booth is still a proud resident of Peoria where she lives today with her best friend and husband Coach Derrick Booth and their two year old daughter, Jianna. Among her colleagues Rep. Gordon Booth is regarded as kind, level-headed, and they even dare say “bipartisan.”

Before she ever served in the House, Rep. Gordon-Booth lived out her platform of making quality education real and accessible through her work. After graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she served as one of District 69's youngest school board members. It’s because she truly understands that communities are willing to work for them. So, she has. In the General Assembly, she’s been working to pass legislation aimed at advancing educational opportunity for kids across the entire state of Illinois with a host of bills that have been signed into law.

Fully understanding the work needed to effectively deal with the issue of safety and mass incarceration Rep. Gordon-Booth passed the largest and most comprehensive criminal justice reform bill, SB 2872--The Neighborhood Safety Act in 2017. While she always had the goal of making communities stronger and safer, her work extends far beyond education and criminal justice reform. Understanding the importance of industry, production and public-private partnerships, Rep. Gordon-Booth negotiated the first Historic Tax Credit in the state of Illinois’ history. The credit has already created hundreds of jobs and spurred development projects to revitalize parts of Peoria's community.

Currently, pushing for a state budget and reforming and revitalizing our state’s outdated criminal justice system is Rep. Gordon-Booth’s primary focus. It is her commitment, as a legislator, to preserving people's dignity and their ability to contribute to their communities which have kept her motivated and pushing for reform in areas of: education, tax code, sentencing regulation, re-entry programming, and economic opportunity. In the past, Rep. Gordon-Booth has crafted state legislation that served as a nationwide model for public policy. With the folks of Illinois in mind, this time, she hopes to do it again.

Rep. Gordon-Booth absolutely dislikes listening to her own bio. But she has invited each of us, and she invites all of you who are passionate about what you heard and who want to help build our communities to reach out to her. To get and stay involved in the work that she’s doing. You can follow her on Facebook at RepJehanGordonBooth, or Instagram at JehanGordonBooth.

Rep. Gordon-Booth wrote once that if there’s anything her mother Annie Jo Gordon taught her, it's that “bettering a community take’s everybody's help.” So she appreciates you, and every day she hopes to make her service a thank you for what you are doing.
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