State Representative Al Riley credits his decision to pursue a life of public service
to his father. Sam Riley had been a union steward with UAW Local 6 and a leader in
the Chicago civil rights movement early in his career. Later, the elder Riley administered
the Model Cities program under the federal Office of Economic Opportunity and served
as Director of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for Region 5 of H.U.D. Under his
father's tutelage, young Riley made a decision to pursue an eclectic career of public
policy and quantitative research while in his teens. In the summer of 1967, Riley
was a Headstart teachers' aide at the age of 14. His achievement and analysis on outreach
to minority populations led to a meeting with R. Sargent Shriver, the Director of
the Office of Economic Opportunity under President Lyndon Johnson.
Professionally, Riley is an urban planner and statistician. Prior to coming to Springfield,
Riley's career included service on the research staff of the American Society of Planning
Officials (nee APA) in the early '70's. Some of his other areas of service include
being a Chief Planner and Director in county government, Director of Institutional
Research and Planning for Thornton Community College and Director of Biostatistics
and Computer Services for the Illinois Cancer Council. He also served in executive
positions in the private sector. Riley also taught urban studies and public health
planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was an adjunct professor of
Public Administration and Statistics at Governors State University for eleven years.
He has written in the diverse areas of cancer clinical trials, housing, labor economics,
educational research and health planning, and presented papers or seminars in those
fields. He holds Bachelors degrees in Economic Geography and Secondary Education from
Chicago State University, Master of Urban Planning and Policy Analysis and Statistics,
and Doctoral study in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Riley is a long time member of the American Planning Association, American Institute
of Certified Planners, the American Statistical Association and the American Educational
Since coming to Springfield, Representative Riley's focus has been to use his professional
and political experience in advancing the issues of resource allocation and equity
for the Southland region of the Chicago metropolitan area. Specific problems initially
faced in the region included mass transit and transportation inequities, education
funding reform, property tax relief and reform, and a lack of coordinated economic
development. Working with other dedicated members of the General Assembly came legislation
which addressed many Southland concerns. The landmark Mass Transit bill included a
permanent south suburban seat on the Metra board, money for innovative transit solutions
for PACE, a bond issue promise for new cars and improvements on the Metra Electric
line and development of the SouthEast Service line. Riley pledges to continue work
on the passage of education funding reform as espoused in HB174; the only comprehensive
education bills which equitably provides funds to Illinois students while simultaneously
reducing property taxes.
Riley's other elected positions include three terms as Trustee in the Village of Olympia
Fields, Trustee, Rich Township and Rich Township Supervisor.
Riley also served on active and Reserve duty in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1978 in
the branches of Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs.
Representative Riley has served on many civic and charitable foundations including
the executive boards of the Boy Scouts of America-Calumet Council, Illinois Philharmonic
Orchestra, Jazz in the Park for Charity, Unity Coalition of the South Suburbs and
the UIC College of Urban Planning Alumni Association. He is also a member of the Alpha
Phi Alpha Fraternity, Theta Mu Lambda Chapter.
The 38th District is located in Cook County's south suburbs. It includes all or portions
of the following municipalities: Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Frankfort, Harvey,
Hazel Crest, Homewood, Markham, Matteson, Oak Forest, Olympia Fields, Park Forest,
Richton Park, Tinley Park and University Park.
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