• Jones urges Riverdale and Robbins residents to complete the 2020 Census

    census 050720CHICAGO – In an effort to ensure every community has a complete Census count, State Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) urges households in the Village of Riverdale and Robbins to fill out the 2020 Census.

    “Every city and village need to understand the Census results will affect their everyday resources,” Jones said. “This means our hospitals, schools, and various other agencies could receive less funding if the population count is not accurate. Completing the Census is simple, so everyone should fill it out as soon as possible.”

    Currently, the Village of Riverdale has a response rate of 48.4% and Village of Robbins has response rate of 50.9%. These rates are below the target levels. In 2020, Riverdale had a response rate of 55% and Robbins had a response rate of 59.2%. 

    “People of color have been systematically undercounted due to a number of access-related issues,” Jones said. “We must make sure our history does not repeat itself in this 2020 Census because our minority communities have the most to lose.”  

    Residents can complete the census for their household at

  • Jones announces career development program for South Side youth

    teens 070820CHICAGO – In an effort to provide at-risk youth with an opportunity to develop new skill sets, State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) announced the expansion of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program, which creates additional employment opportunities for underserved youth in the South Side of Chicago.

    “Early work experience allows teens to learn what their passions are and explore future career paths,” Jones said. “The program will help them learn work and professional skills, like time management and creating a resume, that will help shape them for years to come.”

    The program will employ young adults in the South Side throughout the summer months who have struggled to find work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

    SGA Youth Family Services and Universal Family Connections received money and support from the program and have matched South Side youth with work-based learning opportunities that fit their age, ability and experience. Program participants also take part in career development training. 

    These providers are two of 30 youth employment providers across the state that have received $500,000 in grant funding to employ thousands of youth. 

  • Jones: No community has suffered more impact from COVID-19 than underprivileged communities

    jones 05222019CW0602Jones announces $7.1 million worth of newly approved grants from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

    CHICAGO– In an effort to help communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced organizations that provide support services and resources should apply for a percentage of the $7.1 million worth of newly approved grants from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

    “No community has suffered more impact from COVID-19 than underprivileged communities,” Jones said. “I urge local community organizations to apply for the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program to help disproportionate communities recover.”

    The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program provides funding to community-based agencies in areas disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funds must be used for rent or utilities assistance, supportive services, or distribution of food to local residents. 

    For more information and to apply for funding, click here. Application are due by Friday, July 24.

  • Jones supports tax credit for West Pullman Elementary School to become an affordable housing complex

    Senator JonesCHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) applauds the West Pullman Elementary School project being a recipient of the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, which will allow for the recently-closed school to turn into an affordable housing complex.

    “This program prioritizes revitalization projects in underprivileged communities and will ultimately accommodate the improvement of the local economy,” Jones said. “I fully support any agenda that drives investments to low-income communities and leads to new jobs, better housing, and other ways to redevelop the community.”

    In 2013, West Pullman Elementary School was one of the 49 schools closed across Chicago. The school will be renovated into a 60-unit affordable senior housing. The project is a certified rehabilitation project making it eligible for a tax credit of 25% of its qualified rehabilitation costs up to $3 million per project. Credits are limited to $15 million per year, with a total of $75 million in tax credits available over the five years.

    The West Pullman Elementary project is one of four building rehabilitation projects receiving allocations for state income tax credits in the second application round. During the first application round, 16 historic properties in nine different communities received the state’s tax credit across— putting the total private reinvestment of all projects to exceed an estimated $290 million.

    The Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, provides a priority for buildings in low-income areas, federally declared disaster areas, and counties that border a state with a competitive statewide historic tax credit.

  • Jones calls for Stephen Douglas statue to be replaced with Obama

    jones 041220

  • Jones encourages local businesses to apply for Business Interruption Grants

    jones 030519CHICAGO – After yesterday’s launch of the Business Interruption Grant program, State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) encourages local businesses to apply for more than $540 million in grants.

    “Businesses in disproportionately impacted areas were already in desperate waters, and it’s satisfying that the majority of these grants will be aimed towards helping restore these communities,” Jones said. “It’s important that opportunities continue to come to these neighborhoods, because they are ones who need it the most.”

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will offer $60 million in grants for the first round of BIG funding to small businesses harmed by the pandemic, many of whom have also seen damage as a result of recent civil unrest. The funds are intended to help small businesses stay viable through the pandemic, offset the cost of closures and restricted operations, and ensure they have the resources to reopen safely.

    Among other specific programs, DCEO plans to disburse $20 million across 1,000 grants of $20,000 each to businesses in disproportionately impacted areas with recent significant property damage. To qualify for these grants, businesses must have:

    • Brought in under $2 million in revenue in 2019, or a prorated amount if in business for less than a year;
    • Been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020;
    • Experienced costs or losses of at least $20,000 since the Stay at Home order was put in place on March 21, 2020, due to closure or reduced operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
    • Experienced recent property damage, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.

    DCEO and its grant administration partners are scheduled to post applications this week for review and questions. Applications will be accepted June 24 through July 1. Applicants who are selected for the grants should hear from grant administration partners by early July, and grants are scheduled to be disbursed by the end of July.

  • Jones encourages African American blood donors to step up for sickle cell patients in need of transfusions

    Senator JonesCHICAGO – Blood drives across the state have been cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19, prompting State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) to put out a call for African American blood donations to help treat sickle cell patients.

    “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s blood supply has gotten dangerously low, which means sickle cell patients may not be able to get life-saving transfusions,” Jones said. “African American communities have already been suffering from limited resources during the pandemic—they need support from their neighbors now more than ever. I encourage everyone to lend a hand to address this shortage.”

    African American blood donors play an important role in the treatment of sickle cell disease. Patients with the disease depend on transfusions from donors with closely matched blood—beyond just blood type—to reduce the risk of complications.

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross says donations by African Americans have dropped by more than half. As sickle cell patients are at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19 infection, donations are especially important at this time.

    The Red Cross assures donors that each donation center must follow the highest standards of safety and infection control. Additional precautions, including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff, have been implemented to ensure the health of everyone in attendance.

    Many blood centers throughout the state have extended their operating hours to meet the critical need for donations.

    To make an appointment to donate blood with the Red Cross, residents can visit or call 800-733-2767.

  • Jones announces $1,000 to Chicagoans excluded from federal COVID-19 aid

    Senator JonesCHICAGO – Understanding many residents may have not received a stimulus check, State Senator Emil Jones, III announced Chicago residents who were excluded from federal stimulus aid can apply for assistance from the City of Chicago.

    “Many residents may not have possessed all the requirements to be able to receive a stimulus check from the federal government,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “The harsh economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread shutdowns has left many families in a finical burden and if they do not receive a stimulus check it will be made worse. This money will hopefully ease some of their financial burden.”

    The City of Chicago is launching the Chicago Resiliency Fund in collaboration with Open Society Foundations and The Resurrection Project. The fund will provide $1,000 per household for eligible Chicagoans, including undocumented individuals, mixed-status families, dependent adults and returning residents.

    Realizing the critical need to support all of Chicago’s residents, a group of funders came together, including the Open Society Foundations, to help establish the Chicago Resiliency Fund. In response to COVID-19, the Open Society Foundations has committed more than $130 million to combat the ravages of the virus around the globe, with a focus on providing immediate relief for vulnerable communities. Chicago received $1 million from the Open Society Foundations, which was the second-largest single donation from the organization for these efforts.

    Applications will become available June 22. For more information and ways to apply people can visit

  • Jones highlights senior services in this year’s state budget

    jonesfloor 052120CHICAGO – The state budget for the next fiscal year will increase funding to senior services to help some of the most vulnerable Illinoisans cope during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced Wednesday.

    “This pandemic has affected senior citizens harder than any other age group,” Jones said. “They are at more risk of contracting the disease and family members have had to limit in-person visits to decrease risk of exposure. This budget provides additional funding to ensure seniors have the services they need and to try to make social isolation a litter easier for them.”

    To offer much-needed assistance to struggling seniors during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget provides $201.7 million in additional funding to the Illinois Department on Aging. 

    This includes $1 billion in support for the Community Care Program, which provides cost-effective alternatives to nursing home placement and helps seniors maintain their independence. As long-term care facilities account for a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths across the country, programs that enable older adults to remain at home may save lives.

    The funds will also allow the Department on Aging to continue to offer home-delivered meal services and run the Senior HelpLine, which connects older adults and caregivers with local programs and services. In addition, the budget increases funding to Adult Protective Services to expand efforts to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults.

    Area Agencies on Aging will receive an additional $1.2 million to provide community-based services to seniors at a local level.

    “Tasks as simple as grocery shopping can be a risk for some seniors, so I encourage them to take advantage of services, like Meals on Wheels,” Jones said. “Seniors need to know we have their back and Illinois wants to ensure they stay safe during this time.”

  • Jones applauds IDPH for allowing dentists to resume routine oral care

    jones 05222019CW0602CHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III is pleased to learn the Illinois Department of Public Health has updated its guidance on allowing dental providers to resume routine oral and dental care beginning this week.

    “Regular dental visits are essential because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy, which is why I am pleased to see IPDH allowing dentist to resume routine oral care on urgent patients,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “Dental offices will have to follow health guidelines, so if you are in need of a dental treatment, I suggest you give your dentist a call.” 

    IDPH says to yield good procedural outcomes, oral health providers should consider their patient's health care needs, assess the risks and benefits of any procedures, and appropriately screen patients for COVID-19. Patients will need to be symptom free and have their temperature taken. Dentists will need to address their use of masks, face guards, and suction devices.

    Dentists gave up their PPE in the early days of the pandemic for hospitals, first responders and nursing homes. Now they have difficulty getting what they need to resume dental care. 

    “Patients have been waiting to get back to their dentists and, even though now we have the green light from the IDPH, we are in need of PPE to meet their guidelines,” said Dave Marsh, Director of Governmental Affairs with the Illinois State Dental Society. “Of course, we recognize the highest priorities for PPE in health care settings, but we will be seeking a higher priority for masks and face shields for our profession.”

    More details from IDPH are here.

  • Jones urges borrowers to contact their student loan providers

    student loan 042220CHICAGO — In an effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans during the unprecedented economic challenges facing the state and country, State Senator Emil Jones, III highlighted relief options that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinoisans. 

    “Paying student loan debt is not an essential matter when borrowers are experiencing pay cuts,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “This is an obstacle borrowers do not need during this tough time. I recommend they contact their loan provider and see if their payments can be waved through the duration of this crisis.”

    Under the initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to immediately contact their student loan provider to set up a plan. 

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance,
    • Waiving late payment fees,
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting,
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, and
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    If a person is having problems contacting their student loan servicer, they can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Jones announces expansion of COVID-19 testing in Black communities

    Jones cvd testing 041520CHICAGO – To address the health disparities in minority neighborhoods, State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced more COVID-19 testing sites on the Southside and Westside of Chicago. 

    “Since the start of this pandemic, Roseland — an already underfunded hospital — has been the only health care facility providing walk up and drive in testing for COVID-19 on the Southside of Chicago,” Jones said. “This has really shown the lack of testing in the predominantly black neighborhoods. I appreciate Gov. Pritzker taking steps to address this issue and providing vital resources to our district.”

    Pritzker announced a partnership between Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and four Federally Qualified Health Centers on Chicago’s West and South Sides that will expand testing in these communities to an additional 400 tests per day. The expansion includes three locations in Illinois’ Metro East to assist communities in East St. Louis and the surrounding region, and another facility in the Markham-Harvey area of the South Suburbs.

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot brought attention to racial disparities in the number of deaths due to coronavirus, pointing out that 72% of the city’s fatalities were African-Americans. She was one of the first government leaders to address the “death gap,” a topic now being discussed across the nation and world.

    “It’s not shocking that there are disparities in the African-American communities. There were health gaps way before this crisis happen,” Jones said. “My concern is that these resources need to continue to be in these communities after this crisis is over.” 

    For more information or access to additional resources, please contact Senator Jones district office at 773-995-7748 or email here

  • Jones supports SNAP recipients receiving additional benefits during COVID-19 pandemic

    grocerycartCHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III announced Tuesday that eligible SNAP recipients will receive additional benefits beginning this week. 

    “All families, especially ones with low-incomes, need support more than ever,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “Many people were laid off their jobs, so it’s essential for them to know that they have more funds to still feed their families during this pandemic.”

    More than 450,000 Illinois residents will receive additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The increased amount will automatically load onto their link cards. Link card holders do not need to call or visit an office. All new applications authorized in April will also receive the maximum allotment for their household size.

    SNAP households that are not currently receiving the maximum allowance will receive additional SNAP benefits. Households already receiving the maximum benefit will not receive additional benefits. 

    Maximum amounts per household size:

    Number in SNAP household

    Maximum benefit

















    Each additional person

    Add $146

    Illinois SNAP recipients receive their benefits at different times each month, so increased SNAP benefits will be loaded on different dates for SNAP recipients.

    Jones urges residents with questions or concerns to give his office a call at 773-995-7748. 

  • Jones announces additional support to essential workers

    Sen. Emil Jones IIISPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced Monday the expansion of support to childcare workers and other essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Essential workers do not have the luxury of staying home during this crisis,” Jones said. “Doctors and nurses are working day in and day out so it’s important these childcare centers are sustained to support these essential employees."

  • Jones pushes for parents to be on charter school boards

    Senator JonesSPRINGFIELD – A parent or guardian would be required to be on charter school boards of directors under an initiative from State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago).

    “Parents have the strongest interest in a school doing well because they have a child attending there,” Jones said. “They wouldn’t be using the position as a springboard for higher office.”

    Currently, charter schools are administered and governed by their boards of directors or other governing bodies in the manner provided in their charters.

    Also under the legislation, every voting member of a charter school’s board or governing body must complete a minimum of four hours of professional development leadership training.

    “Parents will be getting training to make certain they are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of being on the school board,” Jones said. “Overall, parents will ensure the students’ interests are the top priority.”

    House Bill 3659 passed the Senate Education Committee and is scheduled to go to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • Lawmakers, advocates stress importance of accurate 2020 Census count

    Sens. Elgie R. Sims Jr., Emil Jones III, Iris Y. Martinez and Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday to stress the importance of getting a full and accurate count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke to the potential consequences of an undercount.

    “The census is used to determine federal funding and representation for our state,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “That means, if we are undercounted, we stand to lose billions in federal funding, along with two congressional seats and two Electoral College votes.”

    Martinez is the sponsor of legislation, contained in Senate Bill 1408, that would appropriate $25 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments for the purposes of encouraging full participation in the 2020 federal census.

  • Laramie Park to receive $400,000 state grant

    Sen. Emil Jones IIIALSIP – Laramie Park in Alsip is a beneficiary of a $400,000 state grant, State Senator Emil Jones III revealed today.

    The Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Program grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    “Families of the Alsip community will be ecstatic that their park is receiving a renovation,” Jones said. “Every park in my district is important to me and I’m pleased to see that Laramie Park is one of the parks that will benefit from this grant.”

  • Jones says Midlothian officer should be immediately dismissed

    jones 012918Security guard Jemel Roberson killed on the job by Midlothian police officer

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) released the following statement concerning the investigation of the death of Jemel Roberson, a security guard working at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in the village of Robbins, who was shot by a Midlothian police officer early Sunday morning:

    “Police are shooting people of color far too often. It’s time to be more aggressive in our response to these incidents.

  • Black Caucus members on Van Dyke verdict: We still have a lot of work ahead

    Illinois Black Caucus

  • New fiscal year brings new state laws

    CapitolSWJuly brings the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state, and several measures passed by the legislature and signed into law take effect on July 1.

    Most notably, two new laws address Illinois education: one reaffirms the importance of learning cursive writing in Illinois schools and another addresses the statewide teacher shortage.