Saturday, January 20, 2018

Thank you Sen. Donne Trotter

Illinois state capitol - Springfield
In portions of Chicago's 9th Ward Donne Trotter's 34 state senate district covers and area north and easy of the Bishop Ford/Calumet Expressway. So that means he covers Chatham, Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, Roseland Heights, & Pullman.

On Friday he announced his retirement from the Illinois state senate effective immediately. Rich Miller who writes the Capitol Fax blog and newsletter wrote this for the Sun-Times yesterday:
He was the Senate Democrats’ top point person on appropriations for years, and that “budgeteer” status gave him the access and the power to help shape the government in incremental measures with every new state budget. His contributions cannot be minimized. From KidCare, to things like clean needle exchanges, mental health programs, HIV programs – pretty much anything whatsoever to do with improving the health of people in Illinois – Trotter (who has a master’s degree in Health Policy of Jurisprudence from Loyola Law School and was an administrator at Cook County Hospital) has been part of it.

Trotter is also well known for his mentorship of young African Americans. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched him stop a conversation among older people to make sure a young black person’s voice was heard.

Rep. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) is probably one of his most successful mentorships. Sims served on the Senate appropriations staff under Trotter, then became the caucus’ budget director and, after law school, became a state representative who is now chairman of the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee.
As reported over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham, there is an expectation that Elgie Sims may be Trotter successor to the 34th district seat in the state senate. Continuing:
Sen. Trotter got his political start with Congressman Ralph Metcalfe’s 1974 campaign. Later, Trotter helped register tens of thousands of voters for Harold Washington’s 1983 mayoral campaign. The late Chicago political expert Paul Green used to tell the story about how Mayor Washington was duly impressed when only two voters in Trotter’s assigned precinct cast their ballots for one of the other mayoral candidates.

Trotter thought his big move to the Illinois General Assembly would happen in 1986, when then-Rep. Carol Moseley-Braun decided to run for lieutenant governor. He backed out of the race when the future U.S. senator decided not to run statewide. Instead, Trotter wound up being elected to the House in 1988, after Moseley-Braun was elected Cook County recorder of deeds.

The new legislative district map in 1991 forced him to run for the Senate the following year, where he has served ever since. Trotter turned out to be far more suited to the Senate (he often chafed under House Speaker Michael Madigan’s rule) and quickly became an indispensable member of Senate Democratic Leader Emil Jones’ team. When Jones was elected Senate president, Trotter’s power increased exponentially.
Below is the post from Concerned Citizens of Chatham and we have at least 30 days for Democrat bosses in 34th district to determine who will succeed Trotter.