Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton:
You have created a model for the nation

Excerpts from opening remarks by Juliana Stratton
World Cafe Summit, Peoria, Illinois
June 27, 2019

I’m glad to be back here working with you, Ed [Wojcicki], and Teresa Haley, the President of the Illinois Statewide NAACP, as well as Robert Moore, chair of the [NAACP Illinois] Criminal Justice Committee. Thank you all for the invitation to be here today. I also want to acknowledge all of the elected officials that may be in the room today and thank all of you for being here to participate in this round table and understanding the importance of working in collaboration with each other. I also want to recognize all of the command staff that is here today.

Thank you for your presence that is so very important in this work. Together you have cohosted World Cafes in nine cities and held another forum in Oak Brook with more than 350 people combined attending the 10 sessions from 2016 to 2019; and that is huge. So congratulations to all who have played a part in making this happen.

I have been so proud to serve as your Lieutenant Governor, and by working alongside Governor Pritzker, we have been able to accomplish much over this last six months. … Quinn Rallins is here. Quinn is the director of the new Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, which is housed in my office, and actually, that was one of the first things Governor Pritzker did upon being sworn in. He signed an executive order creating the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative because we want to make sure a there is justice system in our state that better reflects the values that we have.

And that means not just thinking about criminal justice reform around what needs to be done to fix prisons, so to speak, but to think about how comprehensively we should be thinking about justice. We think about justice in terms of what happens in our communities. We think about justice from the standpoint of the relationship that can be formed between those who are working in law enforcement and those who are living in the community.

I’m so excited to be here today because you are bringing people together and you are building movements that will work alongside our Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative. The partnership between the NAACP and the Illinois Chiefs was created to build trust and is happening not just at the state level, but it is happening at the local level and many places all throughout Illinois. Together we are creating a model that will be an example not just throughout our state, but a model throughout our country. The Ten Shared Principles are historic because this is the first time that a statewide civil rights group and a chiefs’ association have adopted a document like this with a pledge to work collaboratively.

Juliana Stratton is the lieutenant governor of Illinois.