Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » The Balanoff SEIU era is coming to a close as state council gets its first Black president
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The Balanoff SEIU era is coming to a close as state council gets its first Black president

Monday, Dec 6, 2021

* Tom Balanoff has been president of SEIU’s Illinois State Council since 1995. He’s one of the most powerful union leaders in the state, but his union membership is overwhelmingly non-white…

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Illinois State Council swore in a new president this morning. Greg Kelley, current president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas is succeeding Tom Balanoff, becoming the first Black president in the Council’s history. The SEIU Illinois State Council represents 150,000 Illinois workers in health care, property services and public sectors through SEIU Local 1, SEIU Local 73 and SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas (SEIU HCIIMK) — the majority of whom are frontline, essential workers.

The historic announcement of Kelley’s leadership comes at an important moment for labor advocacy in Illinois, as workers across the state win higher wages, better conditions and stronger protections.

“It is a great honor to step up, especially at a moment when workers are fighting harder than ever to win racial and economic justice,” Greg Kelley said of the announcement. “We’re at a crossroads: Are we going to keep the status quo, where corporations have all the power and the economy is rigged against working people? Or are we going to build a future where all Illinoisans, no matter where you’re from or what you look like, can thrive? That’s what we’re fighting for as a union of working people, and I couldn’t be prouder to help lead us forward.”

Kelley is president of SEIU HCIIMK, which represents 90,000 healthcare, child care, nursing home and home healthcare workers across the four states. His 20-plus years in the labor movement began when Kelley was a rank-and-file SEIU member at the Cook County Clerk’s office, organizing his colleagues to win better pay and conditions. His organizing work grew from there, and he was named president of the fastest-growing union in the Midwest in 2020.

“Tom Balanoff’s leadership has resulted in political and legislative victories benefiting working families throughout our state,” said Dian Palmer, president of SEIU Local 73. “Local 73 looks forward to working with Greg Kelley to further strengthen all our members through the 2022 elections and beyond.”

“I am privileged and honored to have served the members of SEIU and fought for all workers. SEIU has spoken with one voice, and it’s helped us organize thousands of workers, changing their lives with strong contracts. We have been a strong, independent political force in Chicago and throughout Illinois and never hesitated to fight for social and economic issues that benefit all workers,” said Tom Balanoff. “We have been in the forefront fighting for racial justice, immigration reform, health care for all as well as many other issues of social and human rights. I have a lot of confidence in Greg Kelley’s leadership and his collective leadership of all of SEIU in Illinois. Greg and his team will not only keep Illinois SEIU strong but will take it to the next level.”

Balanoff recently informed SEIU Local 1’s Executive Board that he will be retiring at their March 2022 Membership Meeting. Genie Kastrup, SEIU Local 1’s Executive Vice President, will move up to the position of Vice President of SEIU Illinois State Council.

“Genie Kastrup is a strong and smart addition. She will bring a lot of value to the SEIU Illinois leadership team,” said Balanoff.

“I definitely have big shoes to fill,” said Kelley, “Tom’s track record is unmatched, and his leadership is transformative and inspiring. I look forward to continuing his legacy of empowering the workers of Illinois.”

Props to SEIU’s members, many of whom have helped keep this state functioning during a very long crisis.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dankakee - Monday, Dec 6, 21 @ 4:28 pm:

    Greg is a capable and charismatic leader. SEIU is in great hands for years to come. Diversity at the top ranks of Labor is an American success story.

  2. - David - Monday, Dec 6, 21 @ 7:00 pm:

    Change can be good - congratulations to Mr. Greg Kelley on being named SEIU ISC President and its first Black President ever. I certainly hope that he does not forget to also include Latinos in key union leadership roles at proportionate levels given that community’s continued growth in the labor movement and demographically.

  3. - Frumpy White Guy - Monday, Dec 6, 21 @ 7:22 pm:

    Great News

  4. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 8:13 am:

    If you ever worked at a state agency’s legislative shop like DHS, a call from Tom could strike fear in your heart. Another one of the “good guys” who knows how to keep the wheels turning even in the darkest days.

  5. - Moma J. - Tuesday, Dec 7, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    Greg Kelley makes me proud of and confident in the leadership he will bring to SEIU Illinois State Council for workers and the communities they live and serve to have economic and racial justice.

TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Richard Duchossois
* It's just a bill
* COVID-19 roundup
* Pause for the cause
* Campaign notebook
* State wants judge to review TRO on judicial redistricting law: "Respondents never sought this relief"
* Today's number: <1 percent
* Study: Rape crisis centers proved resilient during the Rauner impasse
* *** UPDATED x1 *** OEIG: IDOC used inmate labor for staff fundraising events "such as car washes and shoe shining"
* Pritzker touts solar investment
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller