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Villivalam hosts Ela Gandhi for fireside chat on justice

Published: Friday, October 18, 2019 03:32 PM

Villivalam Fireside Chat PhotoSKOKIE – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) hosted a fireside chat with a panel of activists that included Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mandali Buddha Prasad, former Deputy Speaker of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and David Grengan, President of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Committee RSA, also sat on the panel. Villivalam and the panelists discussed Gandhi’s civil rights work, his commitment to nonviolent resistance and his dedication to bridging racial and religious divides.

Villivalam to host Ela Gandhi for fireside chat on justice

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 03:04 PM

Fireside Chat Ela Gandhi 5SKOKIE – State Senator Ram Villivalam will host a fireside chat this Thursday with Ela Gandhi, peace activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mandali Buddha Prasad, former Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh, and David Grengan, President of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Committee RSA, will also be on the panel.

The conversation will center on the panelists’ work towards the pursuit of justice and the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

Villivalam ensures LGBTQ elders, others will not face discrimination

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:29 AM

villivalam 011819SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Ram Villivalam to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) older adults was signed into law on Friday. 

“Older members of the LGBTQ community face difficulty and discrimination,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “It is crucial that we protect LGBTQ elders’ right to age with dignity, and to access resources without fear. I am proud to say that SB 1319 does just that.”

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Sometimes, LGBTQ older adults are forced by circumstances to go back into the closet as they age because of the absence of inclusive programming by service providers and a lack of affirming care in long-term care facilities. As they age, we must ensure laws and programming support and affirm them. Thank you, Sen. Villivalam, for leading the charge on SB 1319 in the State Senate.”

Senate Bill 1319 helps cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults. In such facilities, SB 1319 protects people from discrimination for all the protected categories in the Illinois Human Rights Act, including race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

SB 1319 also ensures LGBTQ elders and people living with HIV will be, due to the specific challenges they face, classified for aging programs funded through the federal Older Americans Act. The bill also protects all Illinoisans from discrimination in assisted living and shared housing facilities by applying non-discrimination language to the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act.

The bill is effective immediately. 

Villivalam legislation to protect children of detainees harmed by Trump administration becomes law

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 02:42 PM

villivalam 012419 2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam’s legislation to streamline the process of appointing a guardian for those children whose parents have been taken into federal immigration custody was signed into law today.

“Now more than ever, it is our duty at the state level to support immigrant families impacted by Donald Trump's horrendous immigration policies," Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. "We need to do whatever is in our power to give parents and guardians at risk of detainment or deportation some peace of mind. That starts with giving them the opportunity to choose who will care for their children should they be forcibly separated, ensuring their children are being taken care of in a safe, nurturing environment. It's the least we can do. Additionally, I want to thank Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz for bringing this issue to the fore and for her tireless dedication.”

House Bill 836 will allow a court to proceed on an appointment of a guardian of a minor if the parents are unable to give consent to the appointment. The appointee will be allowed to extend their guardianship for 365 days if the administrative separation is ongoing. The petition for the appointment must include information about the case, including the time of separation and the known location of the parents.

This legislation takes effect immediately.

Sen. Ram Villivalam

Sen. Ram Villivalam

8th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II; Education; Human Services; Labor; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital.

Associated Representatives:
John C. D'Amico
Yehiel M. Kalish