263-S Stratton Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1739 (fax)
District Profile & Map
sponsorship and committee information courtesy of the Legislative Information
As she completes her fifth term as State Representative of the 7th District, which includes Chicago’s west-side and Proviso western suburbs, Rep. Yarbrough chairs the Appropriations-Public Safety Committee, which has the oversight of twenty-four state agencies. She also serves on the Insurance Committee (Vice-chair), Elementary & Secondary Education, Environmental Health, Computer Technology, Appropriations-Higher Education; Cities & Villages; Public Policy & Accountability and Railroad Industry Committee.
In 2009 she helped pass the most significant package of ethics reform in many years, getting to the heart of the “pay to play” apparatus that allowed our former governor to sell Illinois to the highest bidder. She also passed the first comprehensive public works program in ten years to create jobs and stimulate the economy through infrastructure improvements.
Karen’s legislative themes have been public health and public safety. She has been a stalwart fighter to increase assistance for those incarcerated, and funding for programs that provide a “Second Chance.” She has been the leading spokesperson in Springfield for Cease-Fire, the innovative anti-violence program that relies on cooperation and community involvement rather than police force and violence. In 2007, Karen successfully fought the tobacco lobby as the chief sponsor of “Smoke Free Illinois” and made Illinois the first Midwestern state to go “smoke-free.” She’s taken on powerful real estate interests in her pursuit of “source of income” legislation that prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to those on subsidies. Recently she sponsored “Quality of Life,” a bill using lottery money to fund groups that treat individuals with HIV-AIDS.
Karen and her husband, Henderson, the Mayor of the village of Maywood, have a blended family of six and share twelve grandchildren.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS