December 18, 2014
On December 11, 2014, the Motorola Solutions Foundation and the Civic Federation honored the outstanding public service of Rocco Claps, current Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the longest-serving Director in the agency’s history. The annual award recognizes a non-elected government official who has had an extraordinary impact on the quality of state and local government services in Illinois.
Illinois’ business, civic and government leaders joined the event co-chairmen and past Motorola honorees for the awards breakfast at the Palmer House Hilton Grand Ballroom to recognize Mr. Claps’ outstanding career in public service.
Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno started the program with a welcome address. Matthew Blakely, Director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation, introduced Mr. Claps and presented the award. The presentation included a video tribute to Director Claps from national and State government officials, civic leaders and Department of Human Rights employees.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Claps discussed how a department created in response to the Civil Rights movement stays involved, active and relevant today. Mr. Claps talked about Department successes including adding sexual orientation to the Illinois Human Rights Act and translating fair housing brochures into 16 languages, while stressing that the Department’s work is still necessary and far from over. He thanked his father for instilling in him that, “people want and need to be heard, and more importantly, listened to.” Mr. Claps received a lithograph portrait of Abraham Lincoln after an ambrotype taken by Roderick M. Cole of Peoria, Illinois; circa 1858. To read more on Mr. Claps’ work at the Illinois Department of Human Rights, click here.