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Steans’ women’s fair will offer ‘Information for Inspiration’

Steans event flyer 112917CHICAGO – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) will host a women’s fair Wednesday evening to bring together local service providers and have a discussion about issues women face in the workplace and in pursuit of success.

The free event will feature two panel discussions and vendors from an array of organizations that support women, including Sarah’s Circle, Planned Parenthood and Edgewater Village.

The first panel will include local female entrepreneurs who will discuss their experience starting their own business. Panelists include: Mary Morten, president of Morten Group; Sonat Birnecker Hart, founder of KOVAL Distillery; Karen Rose, owner of City Olive; and Miss Alex White, founder of the band White Mystery.

The second panel will feature women who have been successful in their careers. Panelists include: Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; Jean Franczyk, CEO and president of the Chicago Botanic Garden; Gwenn Rausch, CEO of Heartland Health Centers; and Eva Peroulas, clinical nurse manager of the Family Birthing and Women's Health Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

What:              Women: Information for Inspiration

When:             4:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6

Where:            St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Road

Who:               State Senator Heather Steans, State Representatives Kelly Cassidy and Greg Harris,
                        48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman, organizations that support women, panelists.

Steans and Cassidy: It would be a mistake to ignore the facts on legalizing marijuana

map cannabis legalCHICAGO – The sponsors of legislation to legalize recreational cannabis for adults in Illinois pushed back against Gov. Bruce Rauner’s opposition based on a supposed lack of data to support legalization.

“The governor’s statement against legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana is shortsighted and uninformed,” Steans said. “States began legalizing recreational marijuana five years ago. That’s five years of data that show that teen use does not increase when it’s legalized.”

Steans increases mental health training for law enforcement

steans 013117SPRINGFIELD – Police officers in Illinois would be better prepared to respond to and de-escalate mental health crises under a new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

“With recent funding cuts and gaps in the mental health system, officers increasingly are responding to situations that involve people with mental illness,” Steans said. “They need to be trained to recognize signs of mental illness and know how to de-escalate these interactions for the safety of those they encounter, as well as for their own protection.”

Steans creates new protection for social service providers

Sen. Heather SteansSPRINGFIELD – Under a new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), social service providers will have at least 30 days’ notice of a change in contracts with the state.

House Bill 3110 allows authorized social service providers and the state to terminate, suspend or reduce a contract for any reason as long as the other party is provided with 30 days’ notice.

“Immediate contract changes can create an immense financial hardship for social service providers and those they serve,” Steans said. “In the aftermath of the budget impasse, I felt it was important to increase protections for social service contracts and afford providers with more notice so that they can better prepare for financial changes in the future.”

Senator Heather Steans

steans-2014-150

7th District

Years served: 2008 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I (Chairperson); Appropriations II (Vice-Chairperson); Environment and Conservation; Executive; Government Reform; Human Services.

Biography: Born May 8, 1963, in Lake Forest, IL; B.A. in Urban Studies from Princeton; M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; former budget director, WI Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations and former strategic planner, Chicago Public Schools; married (husband, Leo Smith) with three children.