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December 12, 2009

Governor Quinn Appoints New Chair to Human Rights Commission
Attorney, Advocate and Community Leader Marty Castro to Lead Commission Charged with Fighting Discrimination in Illinois

CHICAGO – December 12, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the appointment of Marty Castro as Chair of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Castro is a distinguished lawyer and prominent Latino community advocate.

“I am honored to appoint Marty Castro to the lead the Human Rights Commission,” said Governor Quinn. “He will bring a strong voice for the rights of Illinois residents to this important panel.”

Governor Quinn announced the appointment at the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago.

Castro is currently the president of Castro Rioja Enterprises. Before launching his own business, he was an attorney at Baker & McKenzie for twelve years until 2000. He then worked as partner at a number of other firms, including Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal. (Background Information)

“It is an honor to be appointed chairperson of the Illinois Human Rights Commission,” said Castro. “The American dream is premised on equal opportunity under the law and the Illinois Human Rights Commission provides Illinoisans with a forum to ensure that the reality of that dream is accessible to all.”

Castro graduated with a B.A. from DePaul University in 1985 and J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1988 and has been dedicated the serving the community throughout his career thereafter. In 1995, he was presented the Community Service Award by the Illinois Bar Association; in 2006, he received the Cesar Chavez Humanitarian Award by the Hispanic National Bar Association; and in 2007, he was awarded a recognition plaque for Service from the Board of Trustees of DePaul University.

The Human Rights Commission arbitrates complaints of civil rights violations in housing, employment, public accommodations and financial credit. The Commission issues rulings on whether there has been unlawful discrimination based on the Illinois Human Rights Act.

The Commission consists of thirteen Commissioners and a staff which includes an Executive Director, a General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel, a Chief Administrative Law Judge, Hearings and Motion Judges and administrative operations staff.

For more information on the Human Rights Commission, please visit www.state.il.us/ihrc.


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