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Cunningham encourages older adults to take advantage of automatic license renewals

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CHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is encouraging Illinois residents age 75 and older to take advantage of Secretary of State Jesse White’s decision to automatically renew their driver’s licenses if they expire this year.

“Older adults are at especially high risk of complications if they contract COVID-19,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “If you’re over 75 years old and your license expires this year, take advantage of this program and avoid the health risk of visiting a Secretary of State facility.”

Small businesses in Cunningham’s Senate district to receive nearly $700,000 in state business interruption grants

cunningham 052320CHICAGO – Businesses in Chicago and the southwest suburbs that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19-related closures and operating changes are set to receive $680,000 in special relief grants, State Senator Bill Cunningham announced today.

“This Business Interruption Grant program is so important for small businesses that have done everything right by putting the health and safety of their customers and employees first during this pandemic,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I’m hopeful this first round of grants will help the businesses that make our communities unique.”

The grants are the first round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program. The state program will award these grants to a variety of businesses, with top priority to those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants are distributed in awards of $10,000 or $20,000 and can be used to help businesses with expenses like payroll costs, rent, utilities, equipment and other possible unexpected costs to relieve the effects of the pandemic, such as PPE, training, and new technology.

“This pandemic has hit small retailers, independently-owned gyms, and hospitality businesses like bars and restaurants especially hard,” Cunningham said. “That’s why the program is ensuring that these businesses are the priority when grants are being awarded.”

Cunningham announces mentoring grant for Chicago Ridge Public Library

cunningham 033020CHICAGO – The Chicago Ridge Public Library is the recipient of a $9,000 mentoring grant from the Illinois secretary of state, State Senator Bill Cunningham announced.

The grant was awarded through the Fiscal Year 2021 Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

Chicago Ridge is one of 28 public libraries in the state to receive the grant.

“This program will help the young people of Chicago Ridge develop the skills they need for the future,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It’s especially important to provide more opportunities to disadvantaged youth.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded more than $550,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said White.  “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.”

Cunningham announces major upgrade to Kedzie Avenue

roadconst 042320CHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is announcing the Illinois Department of Transportation has slated four miles of Kedzie Avenue for major upgrades this year. The more-than-$5 million project includes repaving, safety upgrades, and increased access for people with disabilities.

“Kedzie Avenue is a major artery connecting the city and the suburbs,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It connects homes and businesses, and we need to keep it in good repair.”

The upgrades will cover two separate stretches of Kedzie – one running from 87th Street to 103rd Street and the other from 115th Street to 131st Street. In addition to repaving, the repairs include better lane markings and divisions, and making street crossings safer and easier for people in wheelchairs or who otherwise have limited mobility.

“I’m happy that whenever the state makes road upgrades, it makes sidewalks and crossings more accessible,” Cunningham said. “Everyone should be able to safely travel through their own neighborhood.”

The Kedzie upgrades are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan to maintain and expand Illinois’ transportation infrastructure. Other area projects scheduled for the upcoming year include land acquisition at the corner of Southwest Highway and Harlem Avenue for future improvements and repainting the Harlem Avenue bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel.

Senator Bill Cunningham

 Cunningham2014

Assistant Majority Leader
President Pro Tempore
18th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Higher Education; Insurance; Assignments (Vice-Chairperson); Executive (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Born July 21, 1967. Full-time state legislator and lifelong resident of the 18th Senate District. Graduate of Mt. Carmel High School; B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Former Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for the Cook County Sheriff's Office. Previously served as a State Representative (2011-13) and as an elected member of the Sutherland Local School Council. Resides in Chicago's Beverly community with wife, Juliana, and two daughters, Madeline and Olivia.

Associated Representatives:
Kelly M. Burke
Frances Ann Hurley