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Illinois expanding vote by mail

vote by mail 1200bSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) voted Thursday to pass a plan to guarantee that every Illinoisan who has voted within the last two years will be sent a vote by mail application for the 2020 election.

“Voting is crucial to a functioning democracy,” Van Pelt said, speaking from Springfield while attending a special legislative session convened with social distancing measures. “We have the technology to accurately and safely ensure our voices are heard. We refuse to allow a pandemic to disrupt our self-governance.”

Van Pelt: We must act now to save seniors

vanpelt 012820CHICAGO – To bring attention to the many West Side seniors who aren’t getting the help they need during the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) held a press conference Sunday and urged the community to get involved with relief efforts.

“What are these seniors supposed to do?” said Van Pelt. “They have no resources, no transportation, which means no access to testing, no way to get groceries, no basic sanitary products. Somebody’s got to act on their behalf.”

Van Pelt was joined at the press conference by a number of community leaders, including:

 

  • Robin Hood, Senior Liaison for the 5th District;
  • Rosemary Coleman, Local Advisory Council President (LAC) for Chicago Housing Authority;
  • Louvenia Hood, Executive Director, Mothers Opposed to Violence Everywhere; and
  • Valencia Pringle, Executive Director, Family Cares Mission.

They discussed the needs of the senior community, and how they have been neglected. Seniors are the most susceptible to the virus, with nearly half of the state’s cases being reported in nursing homes.

Before the press conference, Van Pelt and her team distributed 10,000 pairs of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hundreds of residents at Albany Terrace and Patrick Sullivan Apartments. Patrick Sullivan is one of three homes in the senior living community that has suffered coronavirus-related casualties, according to LAC President Rosemary Coleman.

“I feared this would happen,” said Rev. Hood. “These seniors have been left in the dark, deprived of the resources they need to stay alive. I’m not going to sit here and wait for them to die.”

Despite the PPE packages the seniors received on Sunday, Van Pelt says that won’t be enough to protect them against the worst of the coronavirus.

“For the sake of our seniors’ health and safety, we can’t let the current conditions continue,” Van Pelt said. “I urge members of the community to step in and donate what they can to help make sure our older citizens can get the help they need.”

Van Pelt’s office is partnering with Family Cares Mission and asks that anyone interested in helping the city’s seniors donate here.

Van Pelt: We must all count!

census 050720Urges Chicagoans to complete the 2020 Census

CHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) reminded city residents to fill out the 2020 Census, pointing out that their legislative representation and federal funding is dependent on their participation.

“Funding for everything from hospitals, unemployment, school lunch programs, community businesses– are all determined by census participation,” Van Pelt said. “It’s crucial that everyone fills it out. It will only take 10 minutes of your time.”

Van Pelt urges private student-loan borrowers to call their providers

collegestudents 030520CHICAGO — Nearly 140,000 Illinoisans could benefit from a new effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans. In light of the countless Americans falling behind due to the unprecedented economic hardships faced on both a statewide and national level, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) emphasized the importance of seeking relief.

“Paying student loans is the last thing people should have to worry about during this pandemic,” Van Pelt said. “I urge everyone impacted to contact their loan providers as soon as possible. Borrowers need to be aware of all student loan deferment options available to them.”

Introduced by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, this initiative will allow 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 to be eligible for expanded relief.

Borrowers in need of assistance are encouraged to contact their student loan provider immediately 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,
  • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

Anyone having problems contacting their student loan servicer should call 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.

Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

 Senator Patricia Van Pelt

5th Legislative District

Years Served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: AAgriculture; Criminal Law; Energy and Public Utilities; Public Health (Chairperson); State Government; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance; Higher Education; Subcommittee on Prisons.

Biography: Born Nov. 12, 1957, in Chicago. Bachelor’s degree, Roosevelt University (1996); master’s degree, Spertus Institute (1996); doctorate, Capella University (2009); earned her CPA. Currently CEO of TARGET Area Development Corp. She has one child.

Associated Representatives:
Arthur Turner
Jawaharial Williams