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Civil Rights

Every individual should have the right to live free from discrimination and pursue their dreams regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As the son of a Civil Rights lawyer who wrote much of the enforcement language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this issue is a top priority for me. Since the Civil Rights Movement, we have made great progress toward equality, but our work is not over. We must continue to fight against efforts to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and I actively support legislation to restore this landmark legislation. I am also an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act. This legislation would update the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to give the LGBTQ community the same protections under the law. Currently, there is no federal law that protects against discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations such as hotels and restaurants for individuals in the LGBTQ community.

My Work on Civil Rights

Oct 20, 2017 In The News

Almost 200 people came out to Congregation Beth Shalom in Naperville for the Faces of Our Community: Interfaith and Anti-Hate Forum.

Illinois Representative Bill Foster led a panel of community members and religious leaders for an evening to discuss how to oppose prejudice, hate, and bigotry.

“This shows that people understand that there’s a problem in the United States and that the best solution happens at the local level,” said Foster. “To have everyone stand up and say, “this is not us.”

Oct 18, 2017 Press Release

NAPERVILLE, IL - Last night, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) hosted an interfaith panel discussion on how our communities can effectively oppose hatred, prejudice, and bigotry.

More than 200 people were on hand to hear from a panel of local religious leaders and members of the Naperville community.

Aug 31, 2017 In The News

For Metea Valley High School Principal Darrell Echols, true diversity is something that schools still need to keep working on.

At an event at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora Wednesday that focused on diversity, Echols shared a story that shows how far society needs to go to truly embrace differences among people.

Echols said his grandson came home from school following the November presidential election and said that a student had told him to "go back to Mexico."

That type of behavior isn't unusual, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) said.

Jul 27, 2017 In The News

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Democrat representing the 11th District of Illinois, fired back after President Trump's Wednesday morning tweets announcing a ban on transgender people in the military. In a series of messages posted around 8 a.m. Central, the president said transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

Jul 26, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement on President Trump’s proposed ban of transgender individuals in the military:

Jul 15, 2017 In The News

Nancy Mullen has seen lots of positive changes in her 20-year career as an advocate for the LGBTQ community, but so much more needs to be done, she told an audience Saturday.

Mar 6, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. - “Once again, the Trump administration has unleashed another poorly thought out and misguided executive action. This new ban on individuals from six predominantly Muslim countries targets individuals simply because of their country of origin and religion. As a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security explained, the largest threat to Americans comes from ‘homegrown’ terrorists who have been alienated and radicalized by exactly the kind of hatred and bigotry that Trump's statements and executive actions amplify.

Feb 11, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Congressman Bill Foster spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to recognize the life and contributions of Dr. St. Elmo Brady, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Video of Foster’s speech can be found here.

Text of Foster’s remarks as prepared is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Dr. St. Elmo Brady.

Dec 2, 2015 Press Release

Washington, DC –Today, Congressman Bill Foster spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to call for justice for Laquan McDonald.

Video of Foster’s speech can be found here.

Text of Foster’s remarks as prepared is below:

Mr. Speaker, we’ve seen an uproar over the death of Laquan McDonald, and rightfully so.

But sadly the injustice for Laquan goes much deeper.

Jul 24, 2015 In The News

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster has asked for a federal probe into the death of Naperville's Sandra Bland in a Texas jail.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Foster, a Naperville Democrat, asks for a "full and thorough" investigation into a traffic stop and Bland's death in a Waller County, Texas, jail.