My values have led me to do big things that have a lasting impact on people’s lives, and since taking office in 2019 as Governor of Illinois I’ve been working every day to put our government back on the side of working families.
Together, we raised the minimum wage to a living wage; launched the largest program to build roads, bridges, schools, and broadband in Illinois history; expanded health care, child care, and early childhood education; made college more affordable; enshrined protections for reproductive rights into law; and put Illinois back on the path to fiscal stability — in addition to navigating the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic.
I’m proud of the progress we have already made, and there is so much more to do for working families. As we continue to tackle this pandemic and overcome issues working families are facing, I’m confident in our ability to meet the challenge and continue to get big things done for the people of Illinois.
Since I first met MK more than 30 years ago, she has been my partner in everything, and I’m so happy that the love of my life is helping to make our state a better place to raise a family. We’re very proud of our two children, and we’re reminded every day that the work we do right now is about making a better life for generations to come.
Before becoming Governor, I led the creation of 1871, a non-profit business incubator that has helped create over 11,000 jobs and made Chicago one of the top tech hubs in the world. As Governor, I’ve added nine new innovation hubs to help entrepreneurs build new businesses, expanded Small Business Development Centers, grown skills training programs to prepare Illinoisans for the jobs of the future, brought tax relief to small businesses, and implemented the nation’s largest infrastructure plan creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs. During the COVID crisis, my administration stepped up where the federal government failed, creating the nation’s largest grant program to help small businesses get through the pandemic.
I’ve always stood up for a woman’s right to choose, and as Governor I was honored to sign legislation to protect reproductive rights in Illinois even if the US Supreme Court tries to overturn Roe v. Wade. MK and I have been supporters of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, which has become a national leader in overturning wrongful convictions of the innocent. When we legalized cannabis in Illinois, we created the most equity-centric law in the nation to guarantee investment in communities hit hardest by the war on drugs, and I have pardoned over 11,000 people convicted of low-level cannabis offenses. The Lieutenant Governor and I worked with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on their four pillars, and together we enacted historic reforms to tackle inequities in criminal justice, education, economic opportunity, and health care.
I’ve been a national leader in supporting early childhood education, and I’ve worked tirelessly to make historic investments in these programs to help kids across the state and expand access to preschool services to thousands more children. And when COVID struck, I’m proud that Illinois led the nation with a grant program to help reopen child care centers.
When COVID hit, we were forced to face many tough decisions over the last year and a half. Every decision we made was guided by science and by the advice of medical professionals. And through it all, it’s been the people of Illinois — the doctors and the nurses, friends and family, neighbors and even strangers — who came together to take on this pandemic.
I’m proud to fight for Illinois alongside Juliana Stratton, my partner in governing. She’s been a champion for criminal justice reform, gender pay equity, and stood by my side during one of the most challenging years facing the state of Illinois.Meet Juliana