Sharon K. Legenza is the Executive Director of Housing Action Illinois, a statewide, membership-based organization formed to preserve and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing throughout Illinois. As such, Sharon spearheads strategy development and implementing policy advocacy, public education and capacity building initiatives, while also building the coalition’s relationships and fundraising. She frequently presents on a variety of topics, including fair housing, the Community Revitalization Act, voting rights for those experiencing homelessness, federal and state policy issues, and the ongoing impact of the foreclosure crisis.
A lawyer by training, Sharon has worked for both private and non-profit law firms, including the ACLU of Alaska, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, and Sidley Austin. She has successfully litigated numerous civil rights and constitutional law cases, including ones involving fair housing, employment discrimination, due process, and racial profiling.
Sharon is a member of the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Commission, the Cook County Economic Development Advisory Council, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Investment Advisory Council. She is a Board member and the immediate past Chair of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations and has served in leadership roles on numerous other nonprofit boards and public sector committees.
Sharon is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago.