Barbara Flynn Currie

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Barbara Flynn Currie

Barbara Flynn Currie is a State Representative from Illinois.

Barbara Flynn Currie represents the 25th District, which includes portions of the Chicago communities of Woodlawn, South Shore, Hyde Park, Kenwood, and South Chicago. The conviction of her beliefs is one of the assets that make Barbara Flynn Currie so valuable in Springfield. She has served the people of the 25th District since 1979. In 1997, she became the first woman Majority Leader in the history of the Illinois General Assembly.

Many organizations have honored Currie for her work in Springfield. Among them are: the Illinois Hospital Association; the Illinois AFL-CIO; the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO); the Chicago Urban League; the Illinois Nurse's Association; and the National Association of Social Workers.[1]


Currie attended the University of Chicago. She graduated from the College with honors before earning a Master's degree in Political Science. She is a member of the Chicago League of Women Voters, Women United for South Shore, and the Board of the ACLU of Illinois. She is active in many civic, community, and environmental organizations. She and her late husband, David P. Currie, a law professor at the University of Chicago, have two children and four grandchildren.[2]

Salute to Harold Washington

On April 6, 1983, the Hyde Park Herald published an endorsement from the Hyde Park/Kenwood Citizens Committee of Democratic Party Chicago mayoral candidate Harold Washington. Signatories to the endorsement included Barbara Flynn Currie.[3]

Links to Democratic Socialists of America

In 1988, State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie served on the Board of Directors of PROCAN (Progressive Chicago Area Network), an oganization which included several prominent Democratic Socialists of America members, including Alderman Danny K Davis, Roberta Lynch and Dr Ron Sable.[4]

Friends of Alice Palmer

In the mid 1990s Barbara Flynn currie was listed[5]as a member of Friends of Alice Palmer (in formation), alonside Danny K Davis, Tony Rezko, Timuel Black and Barack Obama.

Saul Mendelson's funeral


The Memorial Service for Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Saul Mendelson was held on Sunday, March 29, 1998, at the First Unitarian Church, Chicago[6].

The service was MC'd by a retired colleague, Bob Clark. Carl Shier of DSA, spoke first and was followed by Saul's friend Deborah Meier, "a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient who is now starting a new school in Boston". Amy Isaacs, National Director of the Americans for Democratic Action, spoke of what "Saul had meant on foreign affairs to the ADA".

Other speakers included Communist Party USA aligned Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, State SenatorBarack Obama, Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and "a good friend from New York", Myra Russell.

The concluding remarks were made by an old friend, Harriet Lefley, a former Trotskyist with Saul Mendelson in the 1940s, who was then Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami Medical School.

Eulogies also came from Quinn Brisben, (Socialist Party USA presidential candidate 1976, 1992) and David McReynolds (Socialist Party USA presidential candidate 1980, 2000).

Both Brisben and McReynolds are also members of Democratic Socialists of America.

Richard Criley Memorial

In 2000, Barbara Currie served on the welcoming committee for the Chicago Memorial Service for Richard Criley, a long-time activist with the Communist Party USA and a leader of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.[7]

Crossroads Fund

In 2007, Barbara Currie was an honorary host for the 25th Anniversary of the Crossroads Fund.[8] The fund, founded in 1981 supports community organizations working on "issues of social and economic justice" in the Chicago area.

Supporting Illinois "single payer' bill

HB 311, the "single-payer" universal health insurance program for Illinois, received a boost after Dr. Quentin Young and Nicholas Skala were invited by Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to speak to the Illinois House Democratic Caucus. The two hour session belonged entirely to HB 311, and resulted in LaShawn Ford signing on as a co-sponsor. [9]

Business and Professional People for the Public Interest

In 2008, Barbara Currie and David Currie were listed as sponsors/financial contributors to the Chicago based Business and Professional People for the Public Interest.[10]

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Barbara Flynn Currie was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[11]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

Anti death penalty bill sponsor

In 2009, Representative Karen Yarbrough (D-7) sponsored House Bill 262 to abolish the death penalty in Illinois. In 2010, Senator Willie Delgado (D-2) did the same in the Illinois Senate (SB 3569).[12]

As of March 2009, the additional cosponsors were Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25), Arthur L. Turner (D-9), Harry Osterman (D-14), LaShawn Ford (D-8), Deborah Mell (D-40), Esther Golar (D-6), Julie Hamos (D-18), Constance A. Howard (D-34), Al Riley (D-38), Deborah L. Graham (D-78), Jehan A. Gordan (D-92), Annazette Collins (D-10), Mary E. Flowers (D-31), Cynthia Soto (D-28) and Robert Rita (D-28).[13],


The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty's Annual Meeting took place on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010, at 6 pm at the Illinois State Bar Association Offices, 20 S. Clark St., Suite 900, Chicago.

ICADP honored author and attorney Scott Turow for his "outstanding work toward abolition". ICADP also be honored the "Illinois State legislators who are currently co-sponsoring our abolition bills, including Rep. Karen Yarbrough, Rep. Angelo Saviano, Sen. William Delgado, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, and Sen. Pamela J. Althoff. Chicago Democratic Socialists of America is an organizational member of the ICADP."[14]


The following have worked as staff members for Barbara Flynn Currie:

External Links


  1. official State rep. bio, accessed August 4, 2011
  2. official State rep. bio, accessed August 4, 2011
  3. Hyde Park Herald April 6, 1983, page 8
  4. PROCAN meeting notification letter April 27 1988
  5. Undated Friends of Alice Palmer membership list. Harold Washington papers
  6. Memorial Service program
  7. Memoriam Service Program, 2000
  8. Crossroads fund 2007 Annual Report page 33
  9. New Ground 112, May/June 2007
  10. BPI website: Board of Directors
  11. Progressive States Network: State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform (accessed on Dec. 23, 2010)
  12. New ground No 129, March/April 2010
  13. New Ground 123, March/April 2009
  14. New ground, May/June 2010
  15. Ryan O'Leary's LinkedIn profile (accessed on Aug. 24, 2011)