State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, recently welcomed Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan to Chicago to tour Growing Home, an urban farming organization in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
“Urban agriculture works to provide people with the opportunity for healthy living, meaningful economic growth and jobs and environmentally-friendly communities,” Harper said. “As a longtime urban agriculture advocate, I was proud to welcome Director Sullivan to Chicago’s South Side to see these goals in action through the incredible work of the Growing Home farm.”
Harper is the first African American woman to serve as the chairperson of the Illinois House Agriculture & Conservation Committee, where she has focused on efforts to expand urban agriculture to reduce food deserts. Sullivan was appointed as Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture in January 2019 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and served in the Illinois State Senate from 2003 to 2017, leading the Senate Agriculture Committee. Harper and Sullivan served together on Pritzker’s Growing Our Agricultural Economy Transition Committee.
Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, Marquette Park, South Loop and River North.
This article originally appeared in The Chicago Defender.