Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch visits New York General Assembly
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - More than 900 hundred miles from the Illinois Statehouse, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch made a visit to the New York General Assembly, returning a visit made by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in March of this year.
He was joined by House representatives Marcus Evans (D-Chicago) and Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) as well as some legislative staff in his first trip to Albany as speaker. He said he made the trip to emphasize the importance of Democratic-led statehouses working together to “uphold the values of this nation” according to a press release, especially considering the role reproductive rights will play in the upcoming legislative sessions.
Following the racism-fueled mass shooting that killed 10 in Buffalo, New York, Welch expressed the need to stand against hate speech and rhetoric as public figures.
“We have to say in unison, as Democrats and Republicans, hate has no home here,” Welch said. “Hate has no home here, in New York, in Illinois, in LA, anywhere in this country.”
Heastie and Welch are also the first Black speakers of their respective chambers. Welch visited with the Democratic, Black, Latino, Puerto Rican, and Asian caucuses before making his remarks to the full house.
The mass shooting has been attributed to the white supremecist-driven “Replacement Theory.” Heastie said Welch reached out to him personally following the attack, saying he was grateful for a friendship that arose out of a few visits and conversations in March.
“He texts me just to say ‘hey, the state of Illinois is thinking about you.’ A friend does that,” Heastie said. “It wasn’t anything about government, he’s just like ‘Hey, the people in Illinois are thinking about you guys in New York.’”
Beyond their condolences, they traded jobs over staples like pizza styles and local landmarks that draw tourists in.
Welch will return to Illinois tomorrow. According to a release from his office, no state dollars were used to pay for expenses of this trip.
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