|Illinois State Senate District 13|
|2004 - Present|
|January 12, 2013|
|Years in position||10|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 6, 2012|
|J.D.||Chicago-Kent College of Law (1993)|
|Birthday||September 30, 1964|
|Place of birth||Chicago, Illinois|
|Religion||United Church of Christ|
Raoul graduated with his Bachelor's Degree from DePaul and his Juris Doctorate degree from Chicago-Kent Law. Before becoming a full-time Senator, Raoul was the President of Relationship Strategies International LLC.
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Raoul has been appointed to these committees:
- Committee of the Whole, Illinois Senate
- Criminal Law Committee, Illinois State Senate, Vice Chair
- Financial Institutions Committee, Illinois State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, Illinois State Senate
- Pensions and Investments Committee, Illinois State Senate, Chair
- Redistricting Committee, Illinois State Senate, Chair
- Subcommittee on Pension Reforms, Vice Chair
- Subcommittee on Special Issues (Criminal Law), Chair
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Raoul served on these committees:
At the beginning of the 2011 session, Raoul sponsored a proposal that will appeal the death penalty in Illinois. He faced opposition from the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association.
Raoul cited 10 years of studies that demonstrate a broken criminal justice system.
“There’s got to be a point where you try and solve a problem,” said Raoul. “I think it’s high time the Illinois justice system catch up.”
In 2000, former Gov. George Ryan placed a temporary moratorium on the death penalty, which has since been upheld. Three years later and two days before leaving office, he commuted the sentences of 167 Death Row prisoners.
Sheldon Sobol, Grundy County state's attorney and president of the Illinois State's Attorneys Association, said that the legislation was rushed through committee and that victims didn’t get a chance to be heard by lawmakers.
“When this bill is taken by the Legislature, they have not heard from the most important people that are impacted by this decision,” said Sobol.
On January 6, 2011, the House narrowly passed the bill to abolish the death penalty. The measure now moves to the Senate, where it will be considered when that chamber returns to the Capitol next week.
Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 3539 with the required 60 votes after waging an earlier emotional, hour-long debate. However, the $20 million annual cost of death penalty cases that convinced state Rep. Patrick J. Verschoore to change his previous “no” vote to “yes.”
“I was on both sides of this issue. But then you think of the potential cost savings of this bill, and the state needs all of the savings we can get,” Verschoore said. “Besides, my wife was on me to vote for it.”
“Let’s instead put that money where it really matters,” said state Rep. Karen Yarbrough. “Let’s give law enforcement some training that they need to wage the fight against crime. Let’s give victims of these heinous crimes the support and services that they long deserve.”
Former FBI agent and state Rep. Jim Sacia could not be swayed. He recalled that Brian Dugan confessed to the 1985 killing of 7-year-old Melissa Ackerman in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
“We wouldn’t have had information on the heinousness of this crime had we not had the tool of the death penalty,” Sacia said.
Rep. Robert W. Pritchard said issues of life and death aren’t that cut and dried.
“I agree there are cases that we’d like to have that perpetrator put to death,” Pritchard said. “But it’s arbitrary how and who we pursue in those cases.”
Rep. William Burns agreed and noted that the death penalty has often been biased in its implementation.
“If you’re an African-American who kills a white victim, you’re more likely to be sentenced to death than a white person who kills a black person,” Burns said. “That if you’re low-income, if you are uneducated, you’re more likely to be sentenced to death than someone who has more education and more money.”
Sen. Raoul said the level of transparency during the mapmaking process in 2011 was unparallelled. The legislature hosted hearings before and after the redistricting map was drawn. The current proposed map was posted online.
"As soon as we had a proposed map, we put it out on there," said Raoul.
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2010
|Illinois State Senate, District 13 (2010)|
|Kwame Raoul (D)||52,254||100.0%|
Raoul ran unopposed in the Democratic primary election on February 2nd.
|Illinois State Senate, District 13 (2006)|
|Kwame Raoul (D)||49,616|
|Charles Kinzer (R)||5,743|
In 2006, Raoul collected $311,665 in donations.
Listed below are those that contributed most to his campaign.
|Citizens for Emil Jones Jr.||$25,000|
|Illinois Trial Lawyers Association||$17,100|
|Friends of Clayborne||$10,000|
|Friends of Will Burns||$8,600|
|Illinois Credit Union League||$6,170|
|Barbara Flynn Currie for State Representative||$5,560|
|Timothy J. Rand||$5,000|
|Northern Trust Co.||$4,250|
|Construction & General Laborers District Council of Chicago & Vicinity||$4,000|
|Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association||$3,850|
|Illinois Realtors Association||$3,650|
|Ariel Capital Management||$3,550|
|Chicago Teachers Union||$3,500|
|Illinois Venture Capital Association||$3,500|
Raoul represents Illinois Senate District 13. District 13 includes Chicago Skyway Region.
Kwame is married to Kali Raoul. They have two children and reside in Chicago, Illinois.
- Sen. Raoul's website
- Biography from the Illinois General Assembly
- Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Raoul's facebook
- Raoul's LinkedIn
- Campaign Contributions: 2008, 2006, 1996
- "Illinois General Assembly" List of Illinois Senate Committees, July 28, 2009
- "Local prosecutors: Don’t rush death penalty vote," Illinois Statehouse News, January 4, 2011
- "House narrowly approves abolition of death penalty," Illinois Statehouse News, January 6, 2011
- "Dems on redistricting defensive," Illinois Statehouse News, May 22, 2011
- 2010 Illinois General Election Results
- 2010 Illinois Primary Election Results
- Illinois Senate election results for 2008
- Raoul Campaign Donors
- "Illinois Chamber of * Commerce Committee, Illinois State Senate, Northeast Illinois Legislative District Maps, July 29, 2009
|Illinois Senate District 13
| Succeeded by|