Hunter appointed to Illinois Commission to End Hunger

hunter 031020CHICAGO – To help ensure every Illinois family has access to fresh, healthy food, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has been appointed to the Illinois Commission to End Hunger.

“My career in public service has been dedicated to helping families lead safer and healthier lives, which is why I’m honored to join the Illinois Commission to End Hunger,” Hunter said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the commission to identify and execute solutions to address the systemic factors that give rise to poverty and child hunger.”

Hunter appointed co-chair of Kidney Disease Task Force

hunter 020420Commits to meaningful investments to close racial disparities in kidney health

CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has been appointed co-chair of the Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force, a new panel charged with raising public awareness and presenting solutions to reduce the prevalence of kidney disease and racial disparities in diagnoses and outcomes.

“Especially in the African-American community, a largely preventable disease is claiming the lives of our neighbors simply due to lack of awareness and access to treatment,” Hunter said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and the leading professionals on the task force to reduce the burden of kidney disease and eradicate the racial inequities in kidney health. It’s time for meaningful investments in outreach, research, and health coverage to close this disparity.”

The task force will work with leading educational institutions in Illinois to create health education programs to increase awareness of and examine chronic kidney disease, early detection, transplants and kidney donations, and the greater rates of diagnosis in minority groups. This will include a public outreach campaign consisting of health education workshops, seminars, preventative screening events, and social media, TV, and radio outreach.

African-Americans are four times as likely to develop kidney failure as Caucasians, while Hispanics are twice as likely. Almost half of the people waiting for a kidney in Illinois identify as African American, but, in 2017, less than 10% of them received a kidney.

Hunter is a long-time advocate against racial health inequality. In recent months, Hunter has bolstered her calls for accelerated investments and policy solutions following the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minority communities.

“Closing the vast health disparities can no longer be an afterthought. It must be an urgent and primary priority for leaders at every level,” Hunter said.

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. If chronic kidney disease is detected early and managed correctly, swift treatment can slow and even stop kidney deterioration.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. Roughly one in four adults with diabetes has kidney disease. An estimated 31 million Americans, including 1.12 million Illinois residents, are living with chronic kidney disease.

The task force will consist of legislators, doctors, non-profit leaders, and officials from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. It is required to submit a report to the General Assembly on or before December 31, 2020, and then be dissolved.

Hunter calls on African-American blood donors to help address shortage

Senator HunterCHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is calling on healthy, eligible African-Americans in Illinois to help replenish the state’s blood supply, which is declining rapidly due to blood drive cancellations at businesses, churches and schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

African-American blood donors are particularly needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sickle cell patients are at high risk of serious complications from coronavirus infection.

“For the black community, this is another layer to our public health emergency. Sickle cell disease tends to affect African-American communities, which are disproportionately suffering from COVID-19 and already lack equal access to preventative health care and treatment,” Hunter said. “Even one donation could save the life of someone in our community.”

Red Cross blood centers have seen donations by African-Americans drop by more than 50% since the novel coronavirus outbreak began in March. Patients with sickle cell disease depend on transfusions from donors with closely matched blood – beyond the A, B, O and AB types – to reduce the risk of complications. According to the American Red Cross, each donation center is required to follow the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance.

“This is a matter of life or death for patients with sickle cell disease and those who rely on transfusions to make it through surgery,” Hunter said. “Now is the time to support our neighbors. I strongly encourage all healthy, able Chicagoans to step up and help fill this void.”

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.

Hunter: Lounging cops prove two different standards of policing in Chicago

hunter 020420CHICAGO - State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to reports that 13 Chicago police officers were caught on tape lounging and sleeping in the congressional campaign office of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush while violence and destruction ensued in the surrounding neighborhood:

"The disrespectful and careless behavior of these officers shows that there are two different standards of policing in Chicago, depending on which neighborhood you live in. It also further erodes public trust in law enforcement at a time when cultivating a positive relationship between police and the residents they serve couldn’t be more important. Needless to say, our neighborhoods deserve better than this."

Sen. Mattie Hunter

Senator Mattie Hunter

3rd District
Majority Caucus Chair

Years served:
2003 - Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive (Chairperson); Human Services; Public Health; Subcommittee on Special Issues (EX) (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Special Issues (HS); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com.; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago – 3rd District) has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003. She is Chairperson of the Senate Energy Committee and serves on many other committees like Human Services and Public Health. She is also appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee and is Co-Chair of the Council of State Government Health Policy Task Force.

Associated Representatives:
Sonya M. Harper
Lamont J. Robinson, Jr.