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  WINDY CITY TIMES

First openly gay Black Illinois General Assembly member is sworn in
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2019-01-03

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Lamont J. Robinson Jr. became the first out African-American LGBTQ Illinois General Assembly member following his swearing-in ceremony as the 5th district representative Jan. 2 at Matthew House.

Matthew House is, according to its website, "a nonprofit community-based organization that provides food, shelter, housing and supportive services to individuals who are homeless or about to become homeless."

Robinson's swearing-in came a week ahead of his and the rest of the General Assembly members being sworn in for the new term Jan. 9. Robinson won the seat vacated by Juliana Stratton Dec. 31, 2018 ahead of her own swearing-in ceremony as Illinois' lieutenant governor alongside Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker Jan. 14.

Ahead of the ceremony, the 5th Representative District committeemen, led by Committeemen Pat Dowell, unanimously approved of Robinson filling this vacancy.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville Jr. administered the oath of office for Robinson, 36, whose mother, Mary Robinson, held the Bible.

Robinson thanked his family, staff, Stratton and the community for their support. He also recognized Matthew House Executive Director Dr. Sanja R. Stinson for the work she and her staff does to help those in need.

"It was important for me to have my swearing-in ceremony at Matthew House to bring notice to this great organization that is a safety-net in our community," said Robinson. "It is important to me to bring resources to organizations like Matthew House so they can continue their work."

Robinson said his number-one priority is to bring economic development and jobs to the 5th District. He also emphasized the need to put money into the local public schools and the ongoing pension crisis.

Also in attendance were Cook County Board President and mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle, former Illinois Appellate Judge John Steele, state Sen. Mattie Hunter, Ald. Michelle Harris and Ald. Sophia King.


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