Illinois State Representative Jeff Keicher of Sycamore is joining the state's Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security. The body is tasked with examining the impact poverty has on other economic outcomes such as educational attainment and lifetime earnings. Keicher said this is particularly important when COVID-19 is exacerbating poverty.
“We need to make sure that we’re in a position to give a hand up," he said. "The best way to do that is to have an informed legislature on what those tools can be to best serve helping families in poverty.”
Joining Keicher is Jennifer Groce, the Director of Community Promotions at Northern Illinois University. She has a history of working in various community and economic development organizations in the DeKalb area and said she's eager to get started.
“This is really going to take all of us rolling up our sleeves together and crossing boundaries and lines and being very honest and transparent about the needs that our people are facing," she said, "and I take that work to heart."
The commission was signed into law in June by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, and is meant to inform lawmakers of the ways poverty impacts economic stability and other outcomes. Members of the group are tasked with forming a strategic plan to address economic insecurity by the end of November of next year.