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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2006

Governor Blagojevich praises Senator Miguel del Valle and declares today Miguel del Valle Day
Senator del Valle steps down to serve as the first Latino City of Chicago Clerk

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today praised State Senator Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago) for his devotion and service to Chicago and the State of Illinois, and issued a proclamation dedicating November 30, 2006 as Miguel del Valle Day.  Senator del Valle has served with distinction for 20 years in the State Senate, and steps down today to assume an appointment as the first Latino City Clerk for the City of Chicago.
 
“Senator del Valle has worked hard to make sure the people from his district have a strong voice in Springfield.  The City of Chicago will benefit from the same values that made him well-respected in the state’s Capitol – a commitment to equal opportunity and making sure government is working for people.  I am pleased to declare November 30 as Miguel del Valle Day in his honor,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “I want to thank Senator del Valle for all he has done for the State of Illinois and Chicago in particular.  Our children and the Hispanic community are better off because of his outspoken advocacy on their behalf.”
 
Senator del Valle was the first Latino elected to the State Senate and has served there since 1987, representing a district with vastly diverse neighborhoods, including Logan Square, Hermosa, Humboldt Park and West Town.  He was also the first Latino to serve as Senate assistant majority leader, and has served as co-chairman of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, which he co-founded, and vice-chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
 
On October 5, Senator del Valle became the first Latino ever to be appointed as City Clerk of Chicago by Mayor Richard M. Daley.  The City Council confirmed his appointment on November 8.  In addition to his new duties as City Clerk, Mayor Daley said he also plans to rely on Senator del Valle as an adviser for education issues.
 
Senator del Valle has been a leading advocate for enhancing the education of all our children, and he was the first to champion the free breakfast and lunch programs in Illinois schools.  Some other important issues Senator del Valle has tackled during his public career include housing, health care and employment.
 
A native of Puerto Rico, Senator del Valle grew up in the West Town and Humboldt Park neighborhoods.  He graduated from Tuley High School, now known as Roberto Clemente Community Academy, and Northeastern Illinois University, where he received Bachelors and Master’s degrees in education and guidance.
 
Before election to the Senate, Senator del Valle worked as the unit director of Barreto Boys and Girls Club and as the executive director of Association House.
 
Senator del Valle and his wife, Lupe, have four children.
 
The text of the proclamation Gov. Blagojevich issued proclaiming today Miguel del Valle Day in recognition and celebration of Senator del Valle’s service follows:
 
WHEREAS,                 on November 30, 2006, Senator Miguel del Valle of the 2nd District is retiring from his 20-year career in the Illinois Senate and will become the first Latino to serve as the City Clerk of the City of Chicago; and
 
WHEREAS,                 Senator Miguel del Valle has led an honorable and distinguished career in public service.  He has served on the Illinois Democratic State Central Committee, as the Unit Director of Barreto Boys and Girls Club, as the Executive Director of Association House, and as a full-time State Senator since 1987; and
 
WHEREAS,                 born on July 24, 1951 in Puerto Rico, Senator del Valle grew up in the West Town and Humboldt Park areas of Chicago.  He graduated from Tuley High School (now Roberto Clemente High School) in 1969 and went on to Northeastern Illinois University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and his Master’s degree in Counseling; and
 
WHEREAS,                 as the first Latino elected to the Illinois Senate, Senator del Valle was also the first Latino to serve as Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois Senate, where he has been an outspoken advocate for Latino representation in all levels and branches of government.  His leadership in redistricting cases in 1981, 1992, and 2001 led to the creation of Latino majority districts on the City, County, and State levels; and
 
WHEREAS,                 as a leading advocate for enhancing the education of all our youth, Senator del Valle was the first to champion the free school breakfast and lunch programs in Illinois schools and he continues to be a strong proponent of providing comprehensive health coverage for every child in Illinois; and
 
WHEREAS,                 Senator del Valle is the founder of the Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees (IAHSE).  He also co-founded numerous other Latino organizations, including the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, of which he is a co-chair; the Illinois Latino Advisory Council on Higher Education (ILACHE); the Alliance of Latinos and Jews; the Illinois Hispanic Democratic Council (IHDC); and he developed the annual Department of Children and Family Services Hispanic Families Conference; and
 
WHEREAS,                 the State of Illinois congratulates Senator Miguel del Valle on his 20-year career in the Illinois Senate, and wishes him well in his new role with the City of Chicago and in all his future endeavors:
 
THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim November 30, 2006 as MIGUEL DEL VALLE DAY in Illinois, and thank Senator del Valle for his dedicated service in the Illinois Senate.


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