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Sims echoes McDonald family’s request for peace

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2018 03:22 PM

sims 041218CHICAGO—Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement ahead of the verdict in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald:

“Tensions are high as we await this much anticipated verdict, but I echo Mr. McDonald’s family in asking for peace and constructive responses no matter what the verdict is. 

Violence in and the destruction of our communities will not take away any pain felt as the city of Chicago and our entire nation grapple with issues of race, violence and the strained relationship between many communities and law enforcement.

No matter the outcome, it is understandable to be angry and upset, because another young life has been lost, but I urge all to channel any negative feelings into work that produces positive change. 

We send a stronger message to the world with peaceful solidarity and constructive action.

Let us work together toward progress and a better future together. 

For my part, I will continue to work to establish better police-community relations and reform our state’s criminal justice system to provide communities with the futures they expect and deserve.”

Black Caucus: Van Dyke verdict should bring about solidarity

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2018 02:40 PM

lightford 082018CHICAGO- Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement as the jury in the Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Trial deliberates in the trial of the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

“As we await a decision from the jury, I would like to make it clear how important this trial is to our communities throughout the state of Illinois. The last time a Chicago officer was convicted of murder was nearly 50 years ago, and there are many who feel justice has not been served time and time again in Chicago and across the country.

Tom Cullerton receives distinguished U.S. Department of Defense recognition for service to military

Published: Tuesday, October 02, 2018 03:54 PM

Sen. Tom Cullerton Certificate of RecognitionWASHINGTON, DC – The United States Department of Defense recently recognized State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) for his leadership in shaping policies that positively impact the lives of service members and families in Illinois.

“I’m honored to receive this prestigious designation for my efforts to better the lives of our military personnel, veterans and their families,” Cullerton said. “Our nation’s heroes have served our great country with honor and respect and have made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms. The new laws we passed this year serve as a small token of appreciation for all they do to keep us safe.”

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman. He continues to use his military experience to implement commonsense legislation that makes resources easily accessible for Illinois’ veterans.

Hastings announces more than $50,000 in grants for local libraries

Published: Monday, October 01, 2018 11:32 AM

books 090418TINLEY PARK – State Senator Michael E. Hastings is pleased to announce that community libraries will receive more than $50,000 in grants to fund local mentorship programs.

Project Next Generation (PNG) is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Project mentors work with middle and high school students as the participants develop skills to use various technologies, achieve success through project based learning and gain life skills such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

“Libraries open up endless opportunities for our communities,” Hastings said. “I’m thrilled our local community libraries will have the tools to carry out necessary afterschool programs for our children.”

Grande Prairie Public Library District, Matteson Area Public Library District and Richton Park Public Library District were recognized for their efforts and awarded grants.

The local libraries were among 31 public libraries statewide to receive the 2019 PNG grants.

“Effective afterschool programs provide endless benefits for our communities,” Hastings said. “Programs funded by this grant will provide positive interactions for students in a safe, comfortable setting to help them learn skills they’ll need to be successful.”

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White administers the PNG program.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” White said. “I established this innovative program when I first became Secretary of State to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

For more information visit: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/png.html.

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