Bidding farewell to Springfield

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

After more than two decades serving the 1st Senate District, Assistant Majority Leader Antonio “Tony” Munoz (D-Chicago) will finish his career at the end of the 102nd General Assembly. Growing up in the Pilsen and Little Village communities, Munoz knew he wanted to better the lives of his family and others at an early age. “I was taught at a young age that hard work and determination is the key to success,” Munoz said. “I have applied this to everything I have accomplished, especially as a state senator.”

Munoz joined the Senate in 1999, serving as assistant majority leader since 2009. Over the years, he has sponsored nearly 2000 bills, with more than 800 signed into law. In addition, Munoz has chaired the Licensed Activities, Transportation, Executive Appointments and Veterans Affairs Committees. Practical legislation rather than political agendas has marked Munoz’s tenure in Springfield. He is well known as a Senator who can work with members on both sides of the aisle.

Forty years ago, Munoz served in the United States Army with the 82nd Airborne Division. Munoz maintained his fight for the armed forces and veterans throughout Illinois by spearheading laws that ensure military service members have rights and protections. A veteran himself, Munoz worked to give them every opportunity available when returning to civilian life and having sufficient resources for their mental and physical health. In 2021, Munoz was appointed to the Veterans’ Advisory Council to review and study the most significant issues and concerns that Illinois veterans face and advises the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs on how to address the issues and concerns.

As a former Chicago police officer, Munoz saw firsthand that crime and gang activity were tearing apart his community. Over the years, he worked to keep children in school and off the streets by fighting for funding for after-school programs. He also passed a law making it a crime for street gangs to recruit on school grounds and making it illegal for a sex offender to live within 500 feet of a school, park, daycare, or child facility. “When I look at the youth in our community, I remember what I was taught in the military and I want to remind them that ‘motivation and dedication are the keys to graduation,” Munoz said.

For the people living in the 1st Senate District, Munoz always advocated for his constituents’ needs. Over the years, Munoz hosted annual holiday drives, handing out turkeys and children’s toys. He also organized numerous fishing derbies, health and back-to-school fairs, took seniors to the White Sox stadium and led dozens of other community events. “It has been an honor serving as state senator to the 1st District,” Munoz said. “I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this journey and the residents who put their trust in me for more than two decades. As I finish out my term, I promise to continue listening, advocating and working for the people of the 1st District.”

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