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 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

Senator Emil Jones III

14th District

Years served:
2009 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities (Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Financial Institutions; Insurance (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Born May 16th, 1978, in Chicago; son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. and the late Patricia Jones; graduated from Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights; attended Chicago State University and Robert Morris College in Chicago; former administrator at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Associated Representatives:
Robert Rita
Justin Slaughter