State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1                          SENATE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are  saddened
 3    to  learn  of  the  death  of  James  L.  Wright  of Chicago,
 4    Illinois, who recently passed away; and

 5        WHEREAS, James L. Wright was went to work  in  a  farming
 6    equipment  factory  in Kentucky after his return from the Far
 7    East, where he had served as a part of the United States Army
 8    during World War II; Mr. Wright persuaded his bosses  in  the
 9    factory  to allow him to operate a forklift, which led to his
10    desire  to  help  other  African-Americans  advance  in   the
11    workplace; and

12        WHEREAS,  James  L.  Wright went on to become a leader in
13    the new union movement forming in the factory; he  eventually
14    left Kentucky and began organizing labor movements full-time;
15    and

16        WHEREAS,  In  1980  he  became the first African-American
17    elected to head region 4 of the United  Auto  Workers  union,
18    which  includes  Illinois and parts of three other states; he
19    was re-elected to his position in 1984 but stepped  down  due
20    to illness; and

21        WHEREAS,  James L. Wright was also president of the UAW's
22    political arm in  Illinois  and  headed  the  regional  civil
23    rights  department  while serving as the head of region 4; he
24    was a board member of numerous civil rights organizations and
25    State commissions,  including  the  Urban  League,  Operation
26    PUSH, the Illinois International Port District, the Secretary
27    of  State's  Merit  Commission,  and  the  Illinois  Board of
28    Regents; and

29        WHEREAS, James L. Wright is survived by his wife, Gladys;
30    his  son,  Lewis;  his  five  grandchildren,  and  his  seven
31    great-grandchildren; therefore, be it
                            -2-                LRB9107528KBkb
 2    ASSEMBLY  OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along with
 3    his family and friends, the death of James L. Wright; may all
 4    that knew this caring and dedicated man find comfort at  this
 5    time of loss; and be it further

 6        RESOLVED,  That  a  suitable  copy  of this resolution be
 7    presented to the family of James L. Wright.

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