Earlier this year, Governor Blagojevich signed a law that created a state poverty commission. The commission is charged with creating a plan that will reduce poverty in the state by 50 percent.
In told in this article, found in the Lincoln Daily News the summit hopes to kick the commissions work into high gear.
As part of the ongoing effort to help Illinoisans through the tough economic times, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced Monday that his administration will convene the first Illinois Poverty Summit, entitled "Opportunities for Change: Taking Action to End Extreme Poverty in Illinois," on Dec. 9 and 10. The summit will be hosted in partnership with Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research in Evanston. People interested in attending the summit can register online at www.illinois.gov/povertysummit.
The summit, co-sponsored by the Illinois Department of Human Services and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights and hosted with Northwestern University, will bring together leaders and advocates to develop recommendations to bring about a substantive decrease in the numbers of Illinoisans living in extreme poverty.
"With the tough economic times, many families are now in crisis; those in extreme poverty live their daily lives in crisis," Blagojevich said. "The Illinois Poverty Summit will be a positive turning point with regard to the levels of extreme poverty in Illinois."
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, who has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for over 30 years, will serve as keynote speaker in the summit’s opening plenary session. She is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller "The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours" and has released her new book, "The Sea is So Wide and My Boat is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation." She is also the winner of many awards for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, a Heinz Award and a Niebuhr Award. In 2000, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings.