To better inform policymakers on the root causes of poverty and economic insecurity, State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) has been appointed to the Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security. Keicher’s appointment was made August 21 by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).
The commission consists of four members of the General Assembly, a member of the judicial branch and 20 members of the public, including people who have experienced deep poverty and advocates for youth, veterans, mental health, education equity, those experiencing homelessness, those differently abled and others. Jennifer Groce, Northern Illinois University’s Director of Community Promotions, is one of the other community leaders who has been appointed to the commission.
“I am eager to get started on the important work we’ll be doing through this commission, partnering with communities in need to engage in a collaborative effort with stakeholders throughout Illinois,” Representative Keicher said. “Our work to develop solutions that can create generational change, eliminate poverty and reduce economic disparities across our state are perhaps some of the most impactful work we can be focused on. Being raised by a single mother waiting tables, I know firsthand that a helping hand up can make all the difference in our collective futures.”
NIU’s Jennifer Groce offered her perspective on being appointed to serve alongside Keicher on the Commission: “I take the opportunity to contribute to our state’s efforts to eliminate poverty and ensure economic security to heart. I look forward to engaging campus and community stakeholders to help connect lived experiences and valuable expertise to this critical statewide effort,” Groce said.
The commission is tasked with educating policymakers on the impact poverty has on other measures of economic stability and economic outcomes, including educational attainment, rates of incarceration, lifetime earnings, access to health care, health care outcomes, and access to housing. The Department of Human Services will provide support for the commission to complete its work to produce a strategic plan that addresses poverty and economic insecurity in Illinois by November 30, 2021.
The Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security was signed into law by Governor Pritzker in June as part of Public Act 101-636.