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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bill Crawford

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During its annual Summer Celebration, Indiana Black Expo (IBE) will honor legislator William “Bill” Crawford. 

The lawmaker will be honored with a special award during the Elected and Appointed Officials Reception, taking place July 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Room 101 of the Indiana Convention Center.

“He has worked tirelessly and selflessly for all citizens of Indiana throughout his life,” said John Thompson, chairman of the board for IBE. “He has also made sure that African-Americans across this state have a voice in its government.”

Many people recognize Crawford as the most influential African-American in Indiana state government.

Crawford has served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives for nearly 40 years, longer than most of his peers. An education consultant, he was first elected to represent the 98th District in Indianapolis in 1972 on a platform that called for a state government that was more accountable and responsive to the needs of its citizens.

Crawford, a Democrat, enjoys a tenure that has spanned the administrations of six governors, along with various changes in Indiana’s political, economic and social landscape.

He is also a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with writing a two-year budget for the state. Until Republicans regained control of the Statehouse in January, Crawford was the first Black chairman of the powerful committee.

During his 20 terms in the Statehouse, Crawford has fought for legislation addressing issues such as economic development, racial and gender discrimination, criminal justice, health care and workers’ rights.

In addition to his political career, Crawford was also very instrumental in the early success of both IBE and Circle City Classic. He is the only person who holds the distinction of having served as both President/CEO and Chairman of the Board of IBE. Crawford served as president of IBE in 1976, and again from 1978 to 1980.

“Bill Crawford has done something to help every resident of this state without focusing on himself or his own gain,” Thompson said. “Really, we can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this award.”


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