William A. Marovitz, served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1974 to 1980 and the Illinois State Senate from 1980-1993. He served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Vice Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee. Mr. Marovitz quickly gained credibility and a reputation as one of Illinois’ most effective and respected legislators. Throughout his long legislative career, he was given “Best Legislator” awards by numerous Illinois organizations.
While Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bill was the leading proponent for tough gun control legislation in Illinois and recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. He sponsored virtually every piece of gun control legislation in Illinois from 1975 to 1992. He was proud to be the number one target of the NRA in every one of his elections. In particular, long before it became popular, he was the first to propose a law requiring trigger locks on all hand guns where there were children available to gain access. In the Senate, he passed legislation to ban semi-automatic assault weapons. As a means of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, he wrote and passed Illinois’ Instant Check law --- mandating criminal background checks before giving anyone the right to purchase a gun.
In addition to his leadership on behalf of gun control, he authored and passed the Hate Crimes law in Illinois, which prosecutes those who commit crimes based on race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Amidst a difficult atmosphere at the Capitol in the mid 1970s and continuing throughout his legislative career, Bill advocated for protection of those who had no voice in the legislative arena. . He was tenacious in standing up for the gay community, by being the chief sponsor of the landmark Gay Rights bill. He was also responsible for repealing the pre-marital aids test, which was required at that time.
In the same vein of protecting those who are the most vulnerable --- he authored and passed legislation creating the crimes of Elder Abuse and Ethnic Intimidation. In an effort to guarantee fair treatment and compensation for those who were the victims’ of criminal acts, he wrote, sponsored, and passed the Illinois Crime Victims’ Compensation Act. In addition to all these legislative efforts, he was also Senate spokesman on behalf of guaranteeing women the right of choice. He also authored and passed the country's first Safe School Zone law, aimed at protecting school areas from the use of drugs and weapons.
Senator Marovitz was also Chairman of the Senate Stadium Sub-Committee and was point person in the Senate on the passage of legislation creating the new White Sox Park. He was instrumental in the creation of the new United Center for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. He helped mediate a compromise between the Chicago Cubs and the Lakeview community leading to the installation of lights at Wrigley Field for 18 night games.
In 1993, Marovitz decided to retire from the Senate and devote most of his time to business development. He purchased some of the most valuable property in Chicago. He then brought together several major companies in consortia, such as U.S. Equities, American Invesco, Magellan Properties, and Near North Properties. These companies, under Marovitz's leadership developed the properties bordered by Clark Street, State Street, Grand Avenue and Ohio Street. The six parcels in the development include approximately 1000 apartment units and 1000 condominium units. There is also over 250,000 square fee of retail space and over 2500 parking spaces. The condominium developments are completely sold out and the apartment units have an occupancy rate of over 90 percent. Marovitz recently sold the aforementioned apartment buildings to a European buyer in one of 2007’s largest financial transactions in the rental sector.
The newest Marovitz project is the purchase of the Ronsley floral building on Huron and Kingsbury. Marovitz and his partners, Bud and Bob Cataldo have purchased the land and will be developing the site into luxury lofts. The project is scheduled for completion and occupancy for the Spring of 2009.
Bill is also a partner in many of ventures of one of Chicago’s leading restaurant organizations --- Lettuce Entertain You, Inc., headed by Richard Melman. He recently opened one of Chicago’s hottest new restaurant’s, Carnivale, in a building he purchased with restauranteur, Jerry Kleiner and partners, Bud and Bob Cataldo. Carnivale has become such a sensation that Marovitz and his partners are considering offers to expand to Las Vegas and South Beach. Another new restaurant venture in a Marovitz/Cataldo owned building is Quartino, operated by Steve Lombardo of Gibson’s Restaurant and Hugo Ralli of Hugo’s Frog Bar.
Bill Marovitz has continued to be actively involved in government and civic affairs. He still is involved in elected politics, serving as the Democratic State Central Committeeman for the Ninth Congressional District and the Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. He is also a senior consultant with Cassidy and Associates, the largest governmental relations firm in Washington D.C., as well as counsel to several pension funds, including the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund, and the Laborer's Annuity and Benefit Fund. He has represented several unions, including the Teamsters' Union and the Carpenter's Union. He has also served on several Illinois Boards and Commissions, as an appointee of the Governor, including the Illinois Pollution Control Board, and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. Most recently, Bill was selected by the Spanish/Australian consortium that purchased the Chicago Skyway, to be the only American on the new Skyway Board.
One of Bill’s priorities has always been helping young people in need. Toward this end, Bill created the MAC (Mentor a Child) program for the Chicago Public School system. The goal of this program is to use the resources of entire companies, and organizations, their employees and their financial and networking capabilities, to improve the lives of children in need, who are from single parent households and who have exhibited a potential in their educational environment. In designing this program, Bill recalled the most significant thing he learned while teaching in the inner city in the Chicago Public School system; that there is a tremendous correlation between the stability of home life and the ability of a child to learn and socialize within the school environment.
Consistent with Bill’s work on behalf of young people, he has led fundraising efforts on behalf of handicapped, underprivileged and retarded children. In addition to these charitable efforts, he also serves on the Board of Directors of many civic organizations, including The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, and the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to his legislative service, Marovitz was a Chicago Public School teacher and was selected one of Chicago's Ten Most Outstanding Citizens for his public and private efforts throughout the City.
In recognition of Bill Marovitz's contributions to the civic, charitable, political and business community in the City of Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business, Chicago leading business publication, has recognized Bill as one of Chicago's Who's Who in business from 1996 to present. They acknowledged Marovitz's consistent success in the public and private sectors.
Senator Marovitz lives in Chicago with his wife, Christie Hefner, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Playboy Enterprises, Inc.