SPRINGFIELD, IL – Today, State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, advanced legislation to designate the portion of Cicero Avenue, beginning at Roosevelt Road in Chicago and ending at West Grand Avenue in Chicago as Mandela Road in honor of the late South African statesman, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and First President of the post-apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela. The legislation was passed by the Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committee in an unanimous, bipartisan, 15-0 vote, and now advances to the full House for action. 

“President Nelson Mandela is an inspiration to many and has been an example during our own lifetimes of the power of love, reconciliation, and non-violent resistance, following in the line of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. 
Martin Luther King, Jr,” said Ford. “It is a small gesture to designate part of Cicero Avenue as Mandela Road. Our eventual goal is to change the name of the length of Illinois Route 50 to Mandela Road, as it will help us to remember that even with Nelson Mandela’s death, we must continue to drive for excellence for the whole 
human race. Illinois Route 50 is the perfect state highway to be renamed, as it crosses so many different 
communities and will remind us of the almost miraculous work that Nelson Mandela undertook as he brought together people in his own country and all over the world to advance peace, democracy and opportunity. His work should be an inspiration for us to work for these same goals,” said Ford. 

Illinois Route 50 is a north–south state road in northeastern Illinois, running from the junction with U.S. Route 45 in West Kankakee north to U.S. Route 41 in Skokie for a distance of 66 miles. In Chicago and the suburbs it is known as Cicero Avenue. 

“The part of Cicero Avenue to be designated as Mandela Road flows through the district I represent, and Cicero Avenue and Illinois Route 50 runs through many of my colleagues’ districts. We can come together to send a message that Illinois stands for a strong road for justice. I look forward to working with the community and my colleagues to make this change a reality to honor Nelson Mandela,” said Ford. 

For more information, contact one of Ford’s constituent service offices: 816 S. Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park at 708-445-3673, 4800 W. Chicago Avenue in Chicago at 773-378-5902 or in the Stratton Office Building in 
Springfield at 217-782-5962, or visit

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