Representative Connie Howard was born on December 14, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Woodlawn. She graduated from Hyde Park High School. Representative Howard graduated from Chicago Teacher's College with a B.A. in liberal arts and earned a Master's Degree from Chicago State University in Correction and Criminal Justice. Representative Howard was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1995 to represent the 34th District on the Southside of Chicago, which includes a major portion of the southeast side of Chicago as well as the southern suburbs.While in the Illinois House of Representatives, she has been a passionate voice to fund the fight against AIDS in the African-American community, supports legislation to advance the field of computer technology and worked on many criminal justice issues.She passed a law in the Illinois legislature to make expungement possible in the state of Illinois. Expungement is the erasing of a conviction of an ex-offender who has committed a less severe offense or a misdemeanor, as well as those persons who were falsely accused, convicted, and subsequently found to be innocent by DNA or other evidence and/or a court trail.She is also passionate about making certain that all citizens, especially African-Americans, have access to computers and information technology.As a result of her initiative and other leaders, African American usage of high-speed internet has soared from 14 percent in 2005 to 40 percent in 2007, according to a study released by the Pew Foundation. During the spring 2005 session of the Illinois General Assembly, Howard introduced legislation allowing prostitutes to sue pimps. The intent of the legislation is to empower men, women and children trapped in desperate situations. Under the measure, prostitutes would have to prove in court that the pimp profited from the sex trade, recruited prostitutes or trafficked and maintained them.The pimp could be held accountable for his victim's financial losses, personal injuries, diseases and mental and emotional anguish.She is also a sponsor of the Ticket-for-A-Cure Breast Cancer model legislation which allows lottery ticket purchaser to select breast cancer as one of their options when purchasing a lottery ticket.
Representative Howard has a solid history as a political strategist, campaign worker and community leader. She served as a District Coordinator in the 1983 and 1987 campaigns of Mayor Harold Washington. In 1992, she coordinated the South Side Chicago office of Moseley-Braun for U.S. Senate and Clinton for President campaign. The late Senator Cecil Partee and Mayor Harold Washington appointed her to the position of Democratic State Committeeman as the female representative from the First Congressional District in 1984. She was also elected as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984 and 1988, and served as a member of the Rules Committee for the 1996 National Convention in Chicago.
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