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Senator Patricia Van Pelt Bio

Patricia Van Pelt began her career in the Illinois Senate when she was elected in November 2012. Her life did not start out on an easy path. When she was 7 years old, her family moved into Cabrini Green where she lived with her parents and siblings. She currently resides in Chicago and has one child.

Van Pelt is the founder and CEO of TARGET Area Development Corp., a grassroots social justice organization working on problems including education, criminal justice and economic development.

She has a diverse employment background as a former drill operator and union steward at the Ingersoll Steel Mill from 1974 to 1982. After her time at the steel mill, Van Pelt co-founded Ambassadors of Christ Church and was chief business administrator of Ambassadors for Christ World Outreach Ministries.

Van Pelt earned an associate’s degree in natural science from Truman College and her bachelor’s degree in public administration at Roosevelt University. She earned her master’s degree in human services administration from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. Van Pelt also is a certified public accountant, and holds a doctorate in management of non-profit agencies from Capella University.

Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

 Senator Patricia Van Pelt

5th Legislative District

Years Served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Criminal Law; Energy; Gaming; Public Health (Chairperson); State Government.

Biography: Born Nov. 12, 1957, in Chicago. Bachelor’s degree, Roosevelt University (1996); master’s degree, Spertus Institute (1996); doctorate, Capella University (2009); earned her CPA. Currently CEO of TARGET Area Development Corp. She has one child.