|Illinois State Senate District 13|
|2004 - Present|
|January 11, 2017|
|Years in position||11|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 8, 2016|
|J.D.||Chicago-Kent College of Law (1993)|
|Date of birth||September 30, 1964|
|Place of birth||Chicago, Illinois|
|Religion||United Church of Christ|
- 1 Committee assignments
- 2 Issues
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Scorecards
- 6 Personal
- 7 Recent news
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Raoul earned his Bachelor's from DePaul and his J.D. from Chicago-Kent Law. His professional experience includes working as the President of Relationship Strategies International LLC.
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Raoul served on the following committees:
|Illinois Committee Assignments, 2013|
|• Committee of the Whole|
|• Criminal Law, Vice-Chairperson|
|• Judiciary, Chair|
|• Labor and Commerce|
|• Public Pensions & State Investments, Co-chair|
|• Public Health|
In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Raoul served on these committees:
|Illinois Committee Assignments, 2011|
|• Committee of the Whole|
|• Criminal Law, Vice Chair|
|• Financial Institutions|
|• Pensions and Investments, Chair|
|• Redistricting, Chair|
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Raoul served on these committees:
|Illinois Committee Assignments, 2009|
|• Consumer Protection|
|• Criminal Law|
|• Pensions and Investments|
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, 2012
Raoul won re-election in the 2012 election for Illinois State Senate District 13. He was unopposed in the Democratic Primary on March 20 and was unopposed in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.
|Illinois State Senate, District 13, General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Kwame Raoul Incumbent||100%||74,295|
- 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|
Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.
In 2010, Raoul received $327,011 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.
|Illinois State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Kwame Raoul's campaign in 2010|
|Rogers Jr, John W||$6,000|
|Illinois Trial Lawyers Association||$6,000|
|Nyhan Pfister Bambrick Kinzie & Lowry PC||$5,500|
|Total Raised in 2010||$327,011|
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|
Illinois Opportunity Project
The Illinois Opportunity Project, "an independent research and public policy enterprise that promotes legislative solutions in advance of free markets and free minds," annually releases its Legislative Vote Card, grading all members in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on the basis of their support of "pro-growth economic policies that increase personal freedom and reign in expansive government."
Raoul received a score of 14.29 out of 100 in 2012 for a grade of F according to the IOP’s grading scale. His score was tied for the 47th highest among all 59 members of the Illinois State Senate included in the Vote Card.
Kwame and his wife, Kali, have two children.
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Kwame + Raoul + Illinois + Senate
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Biography, bills and committees at the 98th Illinois General Assembly
- Campaign website
- Profile at Illinois Senate Democrats
- Social media:
- Summary, biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Profile at Wikipedia
- Campaign contributions at Follow The Money
- "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
- Illinois State Board of Elections "Candidate List," December 5, 2011
- Illinois State Board of Elections, "Official 2012 Primary Results"
- Illinois State Board of Elections, “Official Vote - November 6, 2012 General Election,” accessed December 31, 2012
- 2010 Illinois General Election Results
- 2010 Illinois Primary Election Results
- Illinois Senate election results for 2008
- Follow the Money - 2010 contributions
- Raoul Campaign Donors
- Illinois Opportunity Project, "The Project," accessed February 21, 2013
- Illinois Opportunity Project, Legislative Vote Card home page, accessed February 21, 2013
|Illinois Senate District 13
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