Arthur Turner, Jr. was born and raised in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood. He is a graduate of Chicago's Providence St. Mel High School, and received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Morehouse College in Atlanta. Turner received his law degree from Southern Illinois University's School of Law in Carbondale, Illinois.
After college, Turner served as a community organizer and mentor to youth in North Lawndale. He worked as a tax credit analyst and underwriter for the Illinois Housing Development Authority. In 2010, he was elected to serve as the state representative in the 9th House District. He worked for Johnson and Bell, Ltd. in Insurance and Product Liability before joining Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.
As a legislator, Turner sponsored legislation to increase economic development and help give loans to small businesses; particularly in areas in need of the greatest economic growth. Turner advocated for stronger personal privacy measures to protect consumers and their personal information online. Turner’s legislative agenda also focused on providing affordable housing for Illinois residents, and access to quality health care for all.
Turner joined Speaker Madigan’s leadership team in 2013 as an Assistant Majority leader. He became Deputy Majority Leader in 2017. Turner served as a member of various committees including Executive, Revenue & Finance, Public Utilities, Cybersecurity; Data Analytics & IT, and chairman of the Judiciary – Criminal Law Committee.
Turner has been recognized for his legislative efforts by a wide variety of advocates and organizations, including being named an Edgar Fellow in 2012.
Art is married to his wife, Alisha. They reside in Springfield.
Larry Luster was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and is a lifelong resident of Springfield, Illinois. He is a graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, William Rainey Harper College and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. At Harper College, Larry won a National Championship in football and went to the track and field National Championship. While at SIUC, he served as a captain on the football team and was also a part of the track and field team.
Luster’s political career began with facilitating voter registration drives as president of his fraternity chapter at SIUC, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He led an effort to register over 1,700 students to vote, resulting in turning a number of local seats from Republican to Democrat. The effort effectively succeeded in turning a red county, blue.
His work led him to becoming an ambassador with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and his selection for the Springfield Internship Program working with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Larry also interned at Planned Parenthood.
As a member of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus Communications Staff, Larry was tasked with generating press materials, helping form legislative agendas and strategies to pass legislation. He also worked to develop a position that was devoted to assisting the Black Caucus in shining light on issues unique to the Black community.
Luster was selected to work as a field director on the campaigns for state Senators Gary Forby and Mike Jacobs. He was responsible for increasing voter turnout by double digits in both Senate races. Larry also served as a campaign strategist for Senator Napoleon Harris III and a campaign press secretary for Senator Emil Jones III.
In early 2016, Luster was promoted to management for the Illinois Senate Democrats. Later that year, he moved on to serve as Executive Director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.
After working for the ILBCF, Larry took a position as the Political Director and Field Director for now Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Larry led an effort to ensure the removal of former Governor Bruce Rauner and his candidate for attorney general, Erica Harold.
Most recently, Luster served as the director of policy and outreach at the Roosevelt Group/Reyes Kurson (RK) Law firm. In his role, Larry lobbied for a diverse group of clients, organized public affairs campaigns, hosted fundraisers, led legislative and political strategy meetings along with a multitude of other tasks. Some of the clients Larry advocated for include: Rivers Casino, the Illinois Restaurant Association, the Illinois Hospital Association, the Illinois Medical District, ComEd, Peoples Gas, several municipalities, several financial institutions, members of the pharmaceutical industry and many more.
Larry recently took on a new role as special project coordinator for the American Business Immigration Coalition to help the organization reach the Black community during the COVID-19 crisis. Luster is assisting with outreach, media relations, coalition building, digital marketing and direct technical assistance to businesses.
Larry is married to his beautiful wife Sierra, and has 2 daughters: Kenadie (13) and Olivia (2).
Jacob Wright was born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. He received his bachelor’s degree in Government Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, his master’s degree in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service and received his J.D. cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC.
After law school, Wright worked in the Office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin and then served as Assistant Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. As Assistant Counsel to the Speaker, he was tasked with reviewing and drafting legislation, analyzing bills, providing memoranda and analyses on legislative matters to House leadership, and assisting House members with committee testimony and floor debate.
Most recently, Wright joined the Edelson PC law firm where he was the Director of Public Policy and part of the firm’s Public Client and Government Affairs Group. Jacob advised federal, state, county, and local government officials on a variety of issues including consumer protection, data security, privacy, technology, and legal issues.
Jacob has testified multiple times before committees in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. He has also guest lectured at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and is frequently asked to speak at town halls, public forums, and conferences.
Jacob lives in Chicago with his beautiful wife and daughter.
Makai Gant was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was raised in the Springfield, Illinois community.
He is a product of the Springfield District 186 Public School System, and a National Honor Society
graduate from Springfield Southeast High School.
In highschool he was a 2 letter Varsity athlete in Football and Baseball, including being a 4 year varsity starter for the Spartan Baseball team and serving as the captain for his senior year. Also, while being apart of the Spartan marching band where he dually played the trumpet and drums. Makai was also crowned Homecoming King. Other extracurriculars included the German club, and Superintendents roundtable. Additionally Makai was selected to work as a Senate Page in the 101st General Assembly being the first from his school to do so. He also served as the Springfield Junior Frontiers President for a term.
Makai will be a Spring 23’ graduate from the University of Illinois at Springfield by way of Lincoln Land
Community College. Before joining the GR team, while in college he continued to work as a Senate Page
for the Illinois Senate, working in the 101st, 102st, and 103rd General Assembly. He plans on pursuing
a Masters of Public Administration upon graduation.
Makai resides in Springfield, he loves to cook and enjoys spending time with his family and friends while
working on his music in his free time. He is also a Music Producer and DJ, who has worked with and
DJed for Billboard charting Artist.