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Van Pelt on DNA accountability report: ISP is on the right track

dna test 080720CHICAGO – The Illinois State Police’s Division of Forensic Services (DFS) Forensic Sciences Command (FSC) released the DNA Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2020 last week, and State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is highlighting its major improvements to reduce the DNA backlog, while recognizing there is still work to be done.

“I am excited about the progress ISP has made,” Van Pelt said. “I hope this trend continues, and I will keep tracking them to make sure they continue to move forward in fulfilling their commitment to giving these families justice.”

Van Pelt sponsors mobile testing on the West Side

pvp covid test 073020CHICAGO – Earlier this week, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) hosted mobile COVID-19 testing for over a hundred adults on the city’s West Side in a collaboration with Howard Brown Health, West Garfield Community Park Stakeholders, and Fathers Who Care.

“The older adults in my community are still struggling,” Van Pelt said. “The pandemic is still out there, and they still didn’t have access to necessary resources to stay alive. We wanted to do whatever we could to address that, hoping to provide some relief.”

Van Pelt celebrates the renaming of Douglas Park

douglas park 072320CHICAGO – After years of being challenged by West Side youth, the Chicago Park District Board voted Wednesday to rename Douglas Park after famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass. State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is celebrating the victory in her district.

“I’m glad the city is finally taking this step, after years of pleas to rid the park of Stephen Douglas’ name,” Van Pelt said. “Though there’s still massive issues in front of us, these victories are also significant, and I hope other cities will reconsider the monuments and park names across the state.”

Students from the Village Leadership Academy in North Lawndale first asked the board to rename the park back in 2017, and have not let up since, creating petitions and receiving support letters from local officials.

Most recently, students held a teach-in at the park to further invigorate their campaign and educate their community on Stephen Douglas and Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass.

“The voices of our youth are so important,” Van Pelt said. “It brings a smile to my face knowing the difference they’ve made this week. I implore them to keep educating, and keep raising their voices against injustice.”

The board voted unanimously to rename the park, giving residents 45 days to weigh in on the decision. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has confirmed that this decision is a part of a larger plan “to address our racial history and past, to take account and inventory of what exists in the city and sister agencies to memorialize our past but also account for what’s missing.”  

Van Pelt remembers Congressman John Lewis

johnlewis 072120CHICAGO – Last Friday, a great civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis passed away. State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) released the following statement, remembering his life and legacy:

“John Lewis was a great man who overcame so many things. As the son of sharecroppers born in the Jim Crow South, he defied all the expectations set for him. He was an inspiration to so many across skin colors and across generations.

“He was committed to justice, believing if you see something that isn’t fair, you must speak up. Though we have come a long way since he was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge for our right to vote, there is still much injustice to speak out against. There is still a long way to go in this fight for justice, and we will finish what Rep. Lewis and so many others started.

“Despite his passing, his legacy lives on in all of us. Because of his sacrifice, we can live in a better America, and we will honor his legacy with our persistence in this fight for equality – whether it’s protesting in the streets, at the ballot box, or through our role as legislators. Change won’t come overnight, but it will come.”

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