SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR)- The killing of George Floyd continues to be on the minds of many including those here in Illinois. Governor Pritzker made several stops around Central Illinois Tuesday. While he was in Springfield, he met with the young people who led demonstrations at the capitol last week. He thanked organizers here for paving the path for the future and talked about where the state goes from here.
“The reason that we are here, honestly, it’s because of the three of you,” the governor said referencing three Springfield teenagers.
17 year-olds Nykeyla and Nykeia Henderson and 18-year-old Derrick Roberts organized events bringing thousands out to the capitol last week, helping young people express their feelings and catching the attention of state leaders.
“I want you to know how much you have moved people with your actions, when you take that in Springfield and you add it to the collective of what’s happening in the country that’s how you facilitate change. That’s how you do it and you did it! Now keep doing it, keep doing it,” Senator Andy Manar said.
The teens said they never expected their call for people to act impact so many. “It’s a blessing,” said Roberts. “It’s really surprising because we didn’t think we’d have all this support,” the Henderson sister said.
Pastors and the leader of Springfield’s Black Lives Matter chapter also gave their input about how to solve the crisis facing the nation. Governor Pritzker said the process won’t happen overnight but it begins with solid leadership.
“There are people who are still trying to take away people’s rights to vote in this country. So it takes a long time to move some people’s minds but I would still say the people of Illinois have the values that are required to drive us forward in a progressive way and I’m going to hope to help lead that,” Pritzker said.
As far as policy changes go, the governor said he wants to focus on police accountability, criminal justice reform and continuing to reinvest black and brown communities.