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On Day Before Women's March, A Rare Sound in Illinois House: 'Madam Speaker'

Barbara Flynn Currie
Illinois House Democrats

Women from across Illinois are expected in Springfield Tuesday for a march and rally at the Statehouse.

The event is drawing a long list of Democratic officials and activists. Senate President John Cullerton and other state politicians will be joined by three gubernatorial candidates, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Even the Illinois House of Representatives seemed to be getting in the spirit Monday when a woman put in a rare turn as presiding officer: Democratic Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie.


REP. STEVE ANDERSSON: “Thank you Madam Speaker. I really like saying that. I’m happy to have you in the chair. Long overdue.”

CURRIE: “Thank you.”

LEGISLATOR (OFF MIC): “Hear, hear! Woooo!”

CURRIE: “Carry on.”

Organizers say Currie is among the dozens of politicians and a hundred groups who’ve endorsed the march. They're coming together to rally for a variety of liberal causes, like abortion rights, a higher minimum wage, and the Equal Rights Amendment.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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