Harold Washington Archives & Collections. Illinois State Representative Records

Dates: 1957 – 1976 (Bulk dates, 1970 – 1976)
Size: 3.25 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: H00020
Provenance: The records were acquired by the Chicago Public Library after Harold Washington’s death.
Access Researchers, please request this material 24 hours in advance of use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to satisfy all copyright and privacy laws when copying or using material found in this collection. Some files marked with an asterisk have been redacted or separated for privacy reasons. Please see the archivist on duty for access.
Citation: When quoting from this collection the preferred citation is: Harold Washington Archives & Collections, Illinois State Representative Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Special Collections staff, circa 1995

Historical Note

Harold Washington was sworn in to the Illinois House of Representatives on January 6, 1965, representing the 26th district of Illinois. He served there until 1976 when he was elected to the Illinois Senate. Harold Washington had a reputation as an outstanding legislator. As a State Representative, Washington is credited with the Consumer Credit Reform Act of 1965, the Witness Protection Act of 1972, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Law of 1973, the Public Contract Laws of Fair Employment Practices Commission of 1974, and the Medical Malpractice Insurance Revision of 1975.

Biographical Note

Harold Washington was the first African American mayor of Chicago, elected in 1983.

Harold Washington was born on April 15, 1922, at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. His parents, Roy Lee and Bertha Jones Washington, divorced when he was young, and he lived with his father in Chicago and attended boarding school in Milwaukee. Washington entered Chicago’s DuSable High School in 1939, served in the Civilian Conservation Corps for six months, enlisted in the military from 1943 to 1946, and returned to DuSable High School to graduate in 1946. After earning a bachelor degree at Roosevelt University in Chicago and a law degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Washington enjoyed a career as a practicing attorney before he turned to politics.

Washington’s political career encompassed roles at the municipal, state and national levels of government. He served as Illinois State Representative for the 26th District from 1965 to 1976. He then became Illinois State Senator for the 26th District from 1976 to 1980. Washington ran for mayor of Chicago in 1977, but lost. In 1980, he became a U.S. Congressman for the 1st District and served in that post until 1983. Washington again ran for mayor in 1983, winning the Democratic primary election in February of that year and the general election in April. He was inaugurated on April 29, 1983 and was re-elected in 1987. Harold Washington died at 1:36 PM on November 25, 1987 of a cardiac arrest, just a few months into his second term as mayor. He is buried in Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery.

Scope and Content Note

This collection reflects Washington's activities in the State Assembly, most notably the legislation noted above. Formats include reports, copies of House Bills, minutes, memos, news clippings and correspondence. For photographs, please see the Pre-Mayoral Photograph Collection.

Arrangement/Series Description

Where possible the original organization has been maintained. The records are arranged into seven series:

Legislative Series, boxes 1 – 3a

These records contain reports, correspondence and copies of House Bills. The records are organized alphabetically, and then chronologically where appropriate.

Committee and Caucus Series, box 4

These records include materials on the Judiciary I Committee, the Legislative Committee on Minority Group Employment in State Government, and the Policy-Number Game Study Committee. The records are organized alphabetically, and then chronologically where appropriate.

Constituent Series, boxes 5 – 6

Arranged alphabetically, these records include index cards and correspondence from constituents.

Campaign Series, box 6

These files are arranged alphabetically.

Press and Publicity Series, box 6

Arranged alphabetically, these files contain mainly news clippings.

Administrative Series, box 6

These records are arranged alphabetically.

Artifact Series, box 6, Pre-Mayoral oversize box

Artifacts are gathered according to physical size.

Related Materials

Harold Washington, Illinois State Senate Records
Harold Washington, U.S. Congressional Records
Harold Washington, Mayoral Campaign Records
Harold Washington, Pre-Mayoral Photograph Collection
Harold Washington, Asian American Advisory Committee Records
Harold Washington, Central Files Records
Harold Washington, Chief of Staff Records
Harold Washington, City Council Proceedings Records
Harold Washington, Community Services Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Development Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Finance and Administration Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Infrastructure Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Legislative Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs Records
Harold Washington, Office Manager/Supervisor of Clerical Staff Records
Harold Washington, Press Office Records
Harold Washington, Public Safety/Regulatory Sub-Cabinet Records
Harold Washington, Real Estate Committee Records
Harold Washington, Schedules and Evaluations Records
Harold Washington, Videotapes
Harold Washington, Commemorative Year Archives
Harold Washington, Political Education Project Records

Subject Headings

Washington, Harold, 1922-1987--Archives.
Washington, Harold, 1922-1987.
Illinois. Fair Employment Practices Commission.
Illinois. General Assembly. House of Representatives. Judiciary Committee.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
Physicians' malpractice insurance--Law and legislation--Illinois.
Politics and government.
Illinois--Politics and government--Sources.

Container List

Legislative Series, 1971 - 1976

Box 1 Folder 1 Area Development Bills, 1973-1974
Box 1 Folder 2 Area Development Bills, 1975-1976
Box 1 Folder 3 Beauty Culture Act Amendment (HB 45), 1973-1975
Box 1 Folder 4 Currency Exchange Law (HB 1850), 1974-1975
Box 1 Folder 5 Department of Labor, Annual Report, [1975]
Box 1 Folder 6 Detrimental Business Practices Act (HB 46), 1974-1975
Box 1 Folder 7 Explanatory Report on Recommendations for Permanent Rules of the House of Representatives, 1975-1976
Box 1 Folder 8 Fair Employment Practices Commission: Background Paper, 1976
Box 1 Folder 9 Fair Employment Practices Commission: Court Appeals, 1974-1975
Box 1 Folder 10 Fair Employment Practices Commission: US Department of Labor Ruling, 1974
Box 1 Folder 11 Health Care Licensing Transfer Act of 1976
Box 1 Folder 12 Illinois Fairness in Lending Act (HB 2350), Correspondence, [1975]
Box 1 Folder 13 Illinois Industrial Development Authority Act Amendment (HB 1974), 1975
Box 1 Folder 14 Illinois Small Construction Business Act (HB 2010), 1975
Box 2 Folder 1 King, Martin Luther, Birthday (HB 5): Birthday Dinner, 1973
Box 2 Folder 2 King, Martin Luther, Birthday (HB 5): Proposed Bill (HB 005), 1972
Box 2 Folder 3-5 King, Martin Luther, Birthday (HB 5): State Holiday Bill, Petitions, 1974
Box 2 Folder 6 Mass Transportation Bills (HB 2820 and 2426), 1975-1976
Box 2 Folder 7 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Bills, 1975-1976
Box 2 Folder 8 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): June 1975
Box 2 Folder 9 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): 1976
Box 2 Folder 10 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): News clippings, 1975
Box 2 Folder 11 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Notes, undated
Box 2 Folder 12 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Report of Judiciary I Committee, First Draft, 1976
Box 2 Folder 13-14 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Report of Judiciary I Committee, Second Draft, 1976
Box 2 Folder 15 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Report of Judiciary I Committee, Update, 1976
Box 3 Folder 1 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Reports, 1975
Box 3 Folder 2 Medical Malpractice Act (HB 1267 and 3545): Reports, 1976
Box 3 Folder 3 Misuse of Police Authority in Chicago. “ Hearings report, Blue Ribbon Panel of Congressman Ralph H. Metcalfe, 1972
Box 3 Folder 4 Office of Minority Business Enterprises, Program Proposal Report, 1973
Box 3 Folder 4a Police Reform, Miscellaneous Resolutions, undated
Box 3 Folder 5 Probation (HB 1056), 1975
Box 3 Folder 5a Provident Hospital (HR 557, HB 4020), 1972, 1976
Box 3 Folder 6 Small Business Purchasing Act Amendment (HB 818), 1975
Box 3 Folder 7-9 Small Business Purchasing Act and State Finance Act Amendment (HB 1766), 1975
Box 3 Folder 10 Small Community Problems, Report, 1972
Box 3 Folder 10a Stop and Frisk Repeal (HB 004), "Stop and Search": Bills, Correspondence, 1972-1973
Box 3 Folder 10b Stop and Frisk Repeal (HB 004), "Stop and Search": Reports, News clippings, 1972-1974
Box 3 Folder 11 "Toward a Theory on Black Legislative Politics", [1973]
Box 3 Folder 12 Veto Analyses of Senate Bills, 1975
Box 3 Folder 13 Voting Record and Record of Sponsored Legislation, 1971-1975
Box 3 Folder 14 Miscellaneous Legislation: Memoranda, 1973-1974
Box 3 Folder 15 Miscellaneous Legislation: Working Notes, [1975]
Box 3a Folder 1 Transcripts of Debates: Oct-Nov 1971
Box 3a Folder 2 Transcripts of Debates: Nov 1971, May-Jun 1972
Box 3a Folder 3 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1972, Jan-Feb 1973
Box 3a Folder 4 Transcripts of Debates: Feb-Mar 1973
Box 3a Folder 5 Transcripts of Debates: Apr 1973
Box 3a Folder 6 Transcripts of Debates: Apr 1973, May 1973
Box 3a Folder 7 Transcripts of Debates: May-Jun 1973
Box 3a Folder 8 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1973
Box 3a Folder 9 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1973, Jun-Jul 1974
Box 3a Folder 10 Transcripts of Debates: Jan-May 1975
Box 3a Folder 11 Transcripts of Debates: May 1975
Box 3a Folder 12 Transcripts of Debates: May-Jun 1975
Box 3a Folder 13 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1975
Box 3a Folder 14 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1975, Nov 1975
Box 3a Folder 15 Transcripts of Debates: Nov 1975, Apr-Jun 1976
Box 3a Folder 16 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1976
Box 3a Folder 17 Transcripts of Debates: Jun 1976
Box 3a Folder 18 Transcripts of Debates: May-Jun 1976
Box 3a Folder 19 Transcripts of Debates: Jun-Dec 1976

Committee and Caucus Series, 1957 - 1976

Box 4 Folder 1 Judiciary Committee: Bill Synopses and Committee Comments (HB 126-HB 1686), 1975
Box 4 Folder 2 Judiciary Committee: Bill Synopses and Committee Comments (HB 1709-HB 2980), 1975
Box 4 Folder 3 Judiciary Committee: Cumulative Committee Legislative History, 1975
Box 4 Folder 4 Judiciary Committee: House Rules for Committees, 1975
Box 4 Folder 5 Judiciary Committee: Memoranda, 1975
Box 4 Folder 6 Judiciary Committee: Subcommittee Assignments List, undated
Box 4 Folder 7 Judiciary Committee: Subcommittee to Investigate Slumlord Activities, Report, 1974
Box 4 Folder 8 Judiciary Committee: Subcommittee to Study Amendments...Speedy Trial Provisions, 1975
Box 4 Folder 9-11 Legislative Committee on Minority Group Employment in State Government Correspondence, 1969-1972
Box 4 Folder 12 Policy-Numbers Game Study Committee: “Brief History of Gambling in Illinois", undated
Box 4 Folder 12a Policy-Numbers Game Study Committee: "The Policy Game in Chicago", 1957
Box 4 Folder 13 (HB 3932), 1976
Box 4 Folder 14 Report, 1975
Box 4 Folder 15 Report, 1975

Constituent Series, 1972 - 1976

Box 5 Folder 1 Names of Constituents - Index Cards, [1973]
Box 6 Folder 1 Constituent Correspondence: 1972*
Box 6 Folder 2 Constituent Correspondence: Jan-May 1973*
Box 6 Folder 3 Constituent Correspondence: Jun-Dec 1973*
Box 6 Folder 4 Constituent Correspondence: 1974-1976*
Box 6 Folder 4a Constituent Correspondence: 1975*
Box 6 Folder 5 Englewood Board for Rehabilitation and New Construction..., By-Laws and Notes, [1973]
Box 6 Folder 6 House Contracts Compliance, Correspondence, 1972-1973
Box 6 Folder 7 Military Academy Nominations, Ralph H. Metcalfe, 1972-1974*
Box 6 Folder 8 Prisoner Petitions, 1972-1973*
Box 6 Folder 9 Schools and Scholarships, Correspondence, 1972-1973*
Box 6 Folder 10 26th Legislative District Business and Service Directory and District Boundaries, 1974
Box 6 Folder 11 United Private Detective and Security Association et. al, vs City of Chicago, Correspondence and Legal Brief, 1975
Box 6 Folder 11a WVON, Wesley South (HR 524), 1975

Campaign Series, 1974

Box 6 Folder 11b Statement of Harold Washington to Committee for a Black Mayor, 1974
Box 6 Folder 11c Volunteers for Rep. Harold Washington: Forms, Correspondence, 1974

Press and Publicity Series, 1964 - 1977

Box 6 Folder 12 Correspondence to Media, 1973
Box 6 Folder 13 News clippings: 1964: National Party Presidential Nominations
Box 6 Folder 14 News clippings: 1973-1977
Box 6 Folder 14a News clippings: May 1976: Black Panther Cover up Investigation
Box 6 Folder 15 News clippings: Nov 1977: Chicago Magazine
Box 6 Folder 16 Newsletters and News Releases, 1973-1975
Box 6 Folder 17 Speeches at DeKalb, 1973
Box 6 Folder 18 Invitations, Engagements, Correspondence, 1972-1973
Box 6 Folder 19 Questionnaires, 1972

Administrative Series, 1972 - 1975

Box 6 Folder 20 Form Letters, 1972-1974
Box 6 Folder 21 Invoice Regarding Photograph Printing, 1974
Box 6 Folder 22 Mailing Labels, undated
Box 6 Folder 23 Postal Service Law 91-375
Box 6 Folder 24 Resumes *
Box 6 Folder 24a Vouchers, 1975

Artifacts Series, 1974

Box 6 Folder 25 Stationery, 3-ring binder title sticker, "Softball for the Summer" Advertisements, undated
Pre-mayoral o/s Folder 1 Award Certificate: "Four Flag Award for Legislative Excellence, Illinois AFL-CIO,” Oct. 1, 1974
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