August 14, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– As many of her residents lack access to healthy foods, state Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation to help bring attention to food deserts – areas lacking stores that sell healthy foods.

“Many residents are forced to eat out at fast food restaurants or shop for food at gas stations that only sell junk and don’t stock fruits and vegetables,” said Stratton. “The result is that many residents’ health suffers from a lack of healthy options. We need to make critical investments in building an infrastructure of stores that carry healthy foods and farmers’ markets to allow people healthy food options.”

The Stratton-backed House Bill 3157 asks the Illinois Department of Agriculture to work with municipalities on identifying food deserts and to alert lawmakers as they arise. Currently, 450,000 Chicagoans, or roughly 17% of city residents live in a food desert, with most of those affected largely concentrated in the southern and western parts of the city. E...

August 14, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent veto of Senate Bill 1, the plan to fix Illinois’ broken funding formula:

“With his veto, the governor once again showed that he does not care about the students of Illinois. The governor was on the record saying that he agreed with 90 percent of the bill, but for some reason that was not enough for him. He continues to move the goal posts and is using our students and their education as pawns in his political games. 

“Senate Bill 1 was a negotiated bill between Democrats, Republicans, school administrators and education advocates. The measure was a result of years of hard work from lawmakers from across the state to ensure that all of our children have the chance of a better future.

“Funding directed under Senate Bill 1 will go to school districts with the greatest financial need, including Chicago Public Schools, rural downstate school districts and...

August 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) expressed her congratulations to all the recent high school graduates who are able to attend college thanks to scholarships from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

“This is a great example of the state doing something positive for young men and women’s lives,” said Hunter. “They’ve been through so much and still managed to excel through the many obstacles they’ve faced. I appreciate the state’s efforts in encouraging young people to take the next step.”

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services awarded 53 students a four-year scholarship to any public university. Out of the nearly 250 applicants, the winners were selected based on academic achievement, community involvement and an essay.

“It’s nice to see some good news out of DCFS for a change,” said Hunter. “This is a tremendous program that I’ve worked to support and expand.”

Two years ago, Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed eliminating the schola...

August 2, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – To help residents keep track of their vehicle registration renewals, state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, is providing information on the Illinois Secretary of State’s program offering electronic notifications for vehicle registration renewals.

“Receiving email notifications for vehicle registration renewals creates a more convenient process and saves tax payer dollars,” Greenwood said. “Email is often a better way to contact people than mail, so we want to provide residents this opportunity and create as much efficiency in government as possible.”

Any interested residents can visit to register for receiving email notifications. In order to register, residents must have their Registration ID and PIN. The Registration ID and PIN can be located on their previous renewal notices. If residents do not have their renewal notice, contact the Secretary of State’s Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980.

“I encourage our residents...

August 2, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, will host a meeting with local seniors to discuss issues related to public safety at her “Coffee and Conversation” event with East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Hubbard, and Captain Tim Tyler of the Illinois State Police.

“Unfortunately our seniors are often viewed as easy targets to perpetrators who look to prey on easy victims,” Greenwood said. “This casual conversation is an opportunity to inform our seniors of potential dangers and ways protect themselves from becoming victims of various crimes.”

Greenwood is partnering with local enforcement to host a Coffee and Conversation at the Clyde C. Jordan Senior Center on Friday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. to discuss ways seniors can keep themselves safe and out of harm’s way. East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Hubbard and Captain Tim Tyler with the Illinois State Police will be providing useful information and resources to the local seniors in an effort to help reduce the vict...

August 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto on Senate Bill 1, education funding reform legislation:

“It’s unfortunate that the Governor is choosing to play politics instead of signing legislation that would fairly fund our public schools. He’s said he wants to improve our education system, yet he vetoes the most progressive funding reform bill we’ve passed in decades.

We have to change this worst-in-the-nation funding formula that is set up to hurt some of the most disenfranchised students throughout the state.

The Governor has pitted Chicago students against downstate and suburban kids. In reality, Senate Bill 1 helps students all over the state, from inner city schools to rural, poor districts.

I will continue to fight to fix our broken education system by reaching across the aisle, so that our students can get the fair funding that they so desperately deserve.”

August 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD – In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto to the widely supported school funding reform measure, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) released the following statement:

“Sadly, the governor continues to use our children as pawns to advance his political agenda. Governing the state of Illinois is not like playing a game of chess. The governor touts saving the children of this state by putting families first but does the complete opposite with his inexplicable inaction on much needed reforms.

By refusing to work in good faith and compromise, the governor and his allies in the General Assembly have spent more time pitting communities against one another. It has taken us 20 years to get to this point on school funding reform and we can only solve this issue together in a bipartisan fashion.

This is not about a win for Chicago, nor is it about a loss for Southern Illinois. This is about providing adequate dollars for all schools and future generations. The longer it t...

August 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD- Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after Governor Bruce Rauner amendatory vetoed legislation that would provide equity in the way the state funds education:

“It comes as no surprise that the same person who was willing to mindlessly veto an entire budget would jeopardize the education of every child in Illinois. Governor Rauner has chosen to ignore 20 years of work, and support from school superintendents, principals, teachers, education experts and legislators across the state. 

The governor recognized his changes exceed his authority by suggesting the legislature could simply pass another measure. He is aware his changes are not accomplished through his amendatory veto, and his ultimate goal is to reopen budget negotiations to create more chaos.

Our children’s education risks disruption because the governor does not know how to take a win or a loss, and he is the sole person to blame should our schools fail to open t...

August 2, 2017

CHICAGO – State Rep. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago), State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (D-Chicago) will host their annual Community Back to School Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, August 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Green Lake Forest Preserve located at 1100 River Oaks Drive, Groves 1-4, in Calumet City. 

“Through this annual event we seek to bring local families together during a day of family-friendly fun while at the same time helping to ensure our children have the resources they need to get off to a successful year in school” said Sims. “This event is an opportunity for area families to come together and help us help our students get off to a great start for the upcoming school year.”

During Sims’ Community Back to School Health and Wellness Fair students will receive free school supplies to help them prepare for the upcoming school year.  In addition, there will also be free food, fun, and entertainment f...

August 1, 2017

Recently, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation, which would make Illinois the 9th state in the country to end marijuana prohibition and to establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.  Due to the effects of marijuana prohibition on African Americans and the dire budget situation in the state of Illinois, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) believes we should gather information in order to ensure that the communities most devastated by prohibition policies are not left out of the economic and policy changes at the forefront.

States who have legalized the sale of marijuana benefit substantially in terms of jobs and tax revenue but no affirmative steps are being taken to compensate for the harm done to Black Americans before these changes were made. At this rare and decisive moment in American history the ILBCF is exploring ways to ensure that Black voices aren't left...

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