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State Sen. Kwame Raoul

Illinois' 13th Legislative District

Kwame Raoul

Biography

State Senator Raoul was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 30, 1964, to Haitian-born immigrants Janin Raoul, M.D. and Marie Therese Raoul Senator Raoul has served the people of the 13th Legislative District since November 6, 2004. Raoul, who is a lifelong resident of the Hyde Park/Kenwood area, was tapped to fill the vacancy left by former State Senator Barack Obama's election to the U.S. Senate.

A leading progressive voice in the Illinois Senate, Raoul has allowed real life experiences to shape his legislative philosophy. Since his arrival in Springfield, Raoul has championed legislation on criminal justice reform including the recent historic legislation that abolishes the death penalty , legislation creating the Torture Inquiry Commission and legislation promoting diversion programs for non-violent offenders.. He also championed legislation aimed at breaking the code of silence by deterring intimidation of those who cooperate with law enforcement officers.

As chairman of the Senate's Pension and Investment Committee, Sen. Raoul has fought hard for pension ethics reform and has led efforts to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned financial service firms and ridding the State's pension systems of corruption. As chairman of the Senate's Redistricting Committee, Sen. Raoul introduced legislation that created the Illinois Voting Rights Act to protect racial and language minorities in the legislative redistricting process. In addition, Raoul serves as Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee and a member of the Judiciary and Financial Institutions Committees.

Raoul has supported efforts to create and retain jobs in the State of Illinois including convention center reforms and a multibillion dollars capital bill. He has been the chief sponsor of legislation to extend the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit to companies in order to retain and create jobs in our state. He recently championed the effort to pass comprehensive workers compensation reform that will save Illinois employers in excess of half a billion dollars.

As chairman of the Senate's Pension and Investment Committee, Sen. Raoul has fought hard for pension ethics reform and has led efforts to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned financial service firms and ridding the State's pension systems of corruption. As chairman of the Senate's Redistricting Committee, Sen. Raoul introduced legislation that created the Illinois Voting Rights Act to protect racial and language minorities in the legislative redistricting process. In addition, Raoul serves as Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee and a member of the Judiciary and Financial Institutions Committees.

When not serving in Springfield, Raoul serves as a partner with the law firm of Quarles & Brady. Raoul previously served as a prosecutor with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and as in house counsel for the City Colleges of Chicago.

Raoul is a graduate of DePaul University (B.A., Political Science) and the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is a resident of the Hyde Park community in Chicago where he lives with his wife Kali and his two children Che (13) and Mizan (11).