MaxHallaron05262017Max Hallaron, who will be a fifth-grader at Rochester Intermediate School in the fall, joined Senator Andy Manar at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield for Manar’s senator for the day program.

Hallaron, 10, is the son of Scott and Becky Hallaron of Rochester.

He visited the Capitol on May 26 and accompanied Manar to committee hearings, meetings and onto the Senate floor where lawmakers debated legislation. He also met Senate President John Cullerton.

Hallaron’s favorite subject in school is science, and he is a big fan of Star Wars movies and his two dogs, Jem and Scout.

Manar interviewed Hallaron about his interests while he was at the Capitol.


Category: People of the 48th

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Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and members of the Illinois Senate on Thursday recognized the legacy of Roger Walker, the first African-American sheriff elected in Illinois.

The Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating Illinois 48 between Elwin Road and East Mound Road in Decatur as the Sheriff Roger E. Walker Jr. Memorial Road to memorialize Walker’s public service and his personal and professional achievements.

Roger Walker 150Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), whose district includes Decatur, sponsored the resolution and said it is difficult to believe it was as recently as 1998 that Illinois saw the election of its first African-American sheriff.

“I was a young Senate staffer in 1998, assigned to the late Senator Vince Demuzio. I still recall hearing of Roger’s election and reading for the first time in The State Journal-Register that he was the first African-American in the entire state to be elected sheriff,” Manar said.

“The power behind that, the meaning behind that, doesn’t belong with just one man. It belongs with many people who helped him get to that point and beyond. I view this resolution as a very small part of what we can do to recognize the achievements of the great people who are among us as citizens in Illinois.”

Numerous senators spoke fondly of Walker, remembering him as a warm, funny and accomplished man who overcame many obstacles, but mostly they remembered him as a trailblazer and one of Illinois’ most remarkable citizens.

Walker, who died in 2012, was a Macon County native, a graduate of Eisenhower High School and Richland Community College in Decatur, and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He joined the Macon County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1972, and he rose through the ranks to become a patrol sergeant, detective and lieutenant.

In 1998, Walker made history when, in Macon County, he became the first African-American individual in Illinois to be elected to the office of sheriff. He was re-elected in 2002.

In 2003, he was appointed director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and he served in that position for six years. He also served on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board from 2009 until 2010.

Numerous Walker family members and friends were in the Senate chamber Thursday to watch the resolution’s passage and to meet with Manar, Senate President John Cullerton and other senators afterward.
Corey Walker, Roger Walker’s nephew and state president of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, thanked Manar for his work on the resolution.

“To me personally, this is a historic moment, and it is overwhelming to know someone who was living and breathing and had these kinds of accomplishments,” Walker said. “He was just a great person, and I think today speaks volumes about that.”

Pictured at top: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) pose for a photograph with family and friends of the Roger Walker family on Thursday, May 25, 2017, following the Senate’s unanimous approval of Senate Joint Resolution 37, memorializing the Sheriff Roger E. Walker Jr. Memorial Road in Decatur. Among the friends and family who attended Thursday’s Senate proceedings in Springfield were Corey Walker, Billy Clark, Kay Cook, Shalen Walker, Ralonda Walker, Hilda Walker, Antonio Brown, Courtney Carson, Arthur Lee Walker and Jim Taylor.

Pictured below: Roger E. Walker.

Category: People of the 48th

Manar Girl Scouts 05052017Members of Girl Scout Troop 6288 in Springfield joined State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) for Girl Scout Day at the Capitol.

The girls were among an estimated 1,700 scouts from throughout Illinois who marched to the Capitol on May 5 and met with their state legislators.

The Troop 6288 scouts who met with Manar included (pictured from left to right): Elizabeth Friedrich, daughter of Wendy Friedrich; Anastasia McFarland, daughter of Scott McFarland; and Brookelyn Wright, daughter of Katrina Ralston.

Girl Scout Day at the Capitol takes place the first Friday of May and has been annual occurrence in Springfield since 2004. The day is meant to offer Girl Scouts an opportunity to see state government in action, learn how to become active citizens and experience what it’s like to advocate for a cause or an organization.

Category: People of the 48th

Manar Dubois Students OAV 50022017Students from Dubois Elementary School in Springfield joined Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) for a tour of the Illinois Capitol and meetings with local lawmakers as part of the Our American Voice Summit this month.

Their May 2 visit was the culmination of a year-long program in civic engagement. They joined students from 15 other Illinois schools for the summit, now in its ninth year.

Our American Voice is a leadership program from students in elementary through high school. Through the program, students learn the fundamentals of American democracy and work to create positive change in their communities. Participants identify an issue in their school or neighborhood and work to solve the problem through a civics exercise.

The Dubois students chose to develop a school peer tutoring program, which they presented to Senator Manar.

Category: People of the 48th