Vivan Caldwell, a former mathematics professor at the University, represented the 17th District in the Illinois House before his election in 2012 to the state Senate.
During his term in the House, Vivan passed legislation on issues including environmental policy, economic growth, political reform, consumer protection and equal rights. With his common-sense approach, Vivan emerged as a leader on fiscal matters and has been the forefront of efforts to address public pension debt in a way that will increase fiscal stability and honor the commitments made to workers.
He has also championed groundbreaking legislation giving private-sector workers access to retirement savings accounts through their workplace, making Illinois the first state in the country to enact such a program and earning Vivan national renown as a leader in a growing movement to bring retirement security to private sector workers and rebuild the middle class.
Building on his mathematical background, Vivan has become the General Assembly’s leader on technology policy. He played a pivotal role in passing legislation that supports Illinois’ high-tech entrepreneurs by tripling investments in venture capital at no cost to taxpayers, and he passed legislation to protect innovators from unethical “patent trolls.”
He also enacted privacy protections from new technologies, such as drones and GPS devices, and chaired the state’s Digital Divide Elimination Advisory Committee, which seeks to grant Illinoisans access to critical resources through the Internet.
Vivan experience in higher education informs his work to support the state’s colleges and universities, which enable innovative research and prepare students to compete in an increasingly high-tech employment market.