Sen. Mattie Hunter

CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) received TASC’s 2019 Legislative Champion Award at the agency’s annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on Tuesday for her efforts to improve opportunities for substance-use disorder treatment, recovery, and community engagement, especially such opportunities for individuals who have had contact with the criminal legal system.

“Working to create a healthier, more equitable, more just society has been the bedrock of my career. I’m so honored to be recognized for these efforts by an organization equally committed to those values,” Hunter said. “I look forward to continuing this mission alongside groups like TASC to identify and implement new, innovative, and more holistic ways to address health inequities and stop the cycles of substance abuse and drug-related crime in Chicago and communities statewide.”

Senator Hunter, who serves as Majority Caucus Chair of the Illinois Senate Democrats, was one of four Illinois lawmakers to receive the award in its inaugural year.

“We have known Senator Hunter for many years, first as a fellow addiction-recovery services provider, and then more deeply through an array of initiatives that she has led to support alternatives to incarceration, and to address racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system,” said TASC President Pam Rodriguez. “Recognizing her tireless commitment to these issues, we presented Senator Hunter with our Justice Leadership Award in 2014, and since then she has continued to be a leading advocate for people affected by substance use, justice-system involvement, and poverty.”

Rodriguez also presented the agency’s 2019 Justice Leadership Award to Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, and the agency’s Public Voice Leadership Award to the U.S. State Department’s Brian Morales, branch chief within the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) is a statewide, nonprofit organization in Illinois that advocates for diversion, alternatives to incarceration, and reentry services for people who come in contact with the justice system and child-welfare system, specializing in case management for adults and youth who have substance use disorders.