Thursday, February 12, 2009

State legislator keynotes Spring J-Day

The importance of journalism to democracy is the subject of the 13th Annual Spring Journalism Day on Monday, March 9, when an Illinois lawmaker who used to be a newspaper reporter will speak in the Union Sandburg Theater.

David Leitch has been a Republican State Representative from west-central Illinois for 20 years and before that was a reporter for the Peoria Journal Star and president of Local 86 of The Newspaper Guild labor union there.

The presentation will be less than an hour starting at 3 p.m. that day, including a question/answer session for students.

Re-elected without opposition in November, the 60-year-old Leitch (shown above) now serves on committees including Housing & Urban Development, Appropriations-Human Services, Environment & Energy, and Public Utilities, and is an Assistant Minority Leader in the House. He’s most active in efforts to reform education and the state’s mental health system and in advocating for economic development and health-care issues.

His appearance is sponsored by the Western Society of Professional Journalists and the Visiting Lectures Committee