Illinois Senate President John Cullerton: Democracy and the Upcoming Elections
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has been a member of the state’s General Assembly for more than 30 years, serving as president since 2009.
A Democrat representing Illinois’ 6th Legislative District, Cullerton talks about solutions to the state's pension crisis, as well as the upcoming elections, during this talk at Elmhurst College.
Cullerton was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1978. In 1991 he was appointed to the Illinois Senate to fulfill the term of state Senator Dawn Clark Netsch, and in 1992 was elected to represent the state Senate’s 6th District, which includes Chicago’s wealthy Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods.
Shortly after his inauguration as Senate president in January of 2009, Cullerton’s immediate challenge was to manage the historic impeachment trial of then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Cullerton worked to research and negotiate the rules of the trial that ultimately led to Blagojevich’s removal from office.
As a lawmaker, Cullerton has placed a priority on vehicle safety issues. He passed the state’s Child Passenger Safety Act, and has pushed for tougher licensing requirements for young drivers, to ensure safer Illinois roads.
In dealing with the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis, Cullerton says a large part of the solution must include bringing opposing voices together. During his inaugural address he said, “The atmosphere here has deteriorated and we have lost a sense of camaraderie that we can—and must—restore.”
Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts college located eight miles west of Chicago. The College’s mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,400 full- and part-time students are enrolled in its 23 undergraduate academic departments and nine graduate degree programs.
Recorded Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at Elmhurst College.