Villanueva: Staying at home is a privilege that working people cannot afford

covid 19 test 050720CHICAGO – With her home ZIP code experiencing the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

“Staying at home is a privilege that working people literally cannot afford. With an overwhelmed unemployment system, no adequate safety net and lack of personal protective equipment, people in my community are forced to choose between getting infected at work or losing everything.

“As we continue adapting to this pandemic, we must address the amplified economic and health disparities in our communities. It is black and brown ZIP codes that have the highest rates of infection, so addressing that starts with additional testing sites in our neighborhoods.

“I am grateful that the governor announced he is partnering with community health centers to make testing more available, as well as covered by emergency Medicaid regardless of status. I urge the governor to continue these partnerships and to reach out to local businesses to ensure that they are strictly following health and safety guidelines for the thousands of service industry and other essential workers who are putting their lives on the line.”

Villanueva encourages microbusinesses to apply for new grant program

microbusiness2 050120CHICAGO – With the coronavirus pandemic forcing thousands of businesses to close, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) urges eligible Chicago business owners to apply for the new Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program.

“Many of the assistance programs available are not accessible to the most vulnerable in our community,” Villanueva said. “Working people deserve relief regardless of status. This program is open to those who are too often left behind.”

The Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program will award 1,000 businesses with four or fewer employees a one-time grant of $5,000. The grant money, funded entirely by private donations, must be used as working capital for expenses such as payroll, rent, insurance or taxes. Applications are available in English and Spanish on the City of Chicago’s website and are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2020.


Eligibility requirements for the program include:

Applicants must provide a valid ID and completed W9 form. CityKey is an accepted form of ID. Recipients will be chosen by a lottery on May 11 and issued their grant within two business days.

New COVID-19 testing center open in Little Village

covid 19 test 042320CHICAGO – State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) announced today that a new COVID-19 testing facility is open in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.

“The systemic health disparities my community faces have existed since well before this pandemic, but are now on display for everyone to see,” Villanueva said. “I am grateful that the state is increasing testing availability in the communities hardest hit by coronavirus. Everyone deserves access to quality health care, regardless of their ZIP code.”

The new testing facility will be administered by Howard Brown Health and located at Project Vida, 2659 S. Kedvale Ave., Chicago. They can be reached by phone at 773-388-1600. Services will be available to all residents regardless of immigration status.

Other COVID-19 testing sites in and near the 11th Senate District include:

  • AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, 5101 Willow Springs Rd., La Grange (708-245-9000)
  • Esperanza Health Center, 2001 S. California Ave., #100, Chicago (773-584-6200)
  • Esperanza Health Center, 4700 S. California Ave., Chicago (773-584-6200)
  • Lawndale Christian Health Center, 3860 Ogden Ave., Chicago (872-588-3000)
  • Mile Square Health Center, 1220 S. Wood St., Chicago (312-996-2000)
  • Rush Oak Park Hospital, 520 S. Maple Ave., Chicago (708-383-9300)
  • Saint Anthony Hospital, 2875 W. 19th St., Chicago (773-484-1000)
  • Sinai Health System, 1500 S. Fairfield Ave., Chicago (773-542-2000)

Many testing sites require you to make an appointment with your primary health provider before getting tested for COVID-19. Please call in advance to see what steps are necessary before getting tested.

Lyons school district to vote on cutting custodial staff, hiring administrators

custodians 042420CHICAGO – With the Lyons Elementary School District 103 board scheduled to meet tonight to consider cutting custodial staff, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

“The school board needs to rethink reducing custodial staff during a global pandemic. Custodians have been essential to our public health even before this pandemic so firing them now will put students at higher risk.

“I am calling on our community to come together for these hard-working individuals whose labor is underappreciated and undervalued. It is an insult that their livelihoods are on the line at the same time that administrative positions with six-figure salaries are being considered.”

People interested in making a public comment must email their public comment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by April 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Comments are limited to 200 words and will be read during the meeting.

Sen. Celina Villanueva

Sen. Celina Villanueva

11th District

Years served: 2020–Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Higher Education (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Born in Chicago and raised in Little Village. Full-time state legislator. Former Civic & Youth Engagement Manager at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Bachelor’s degree in Latino/a Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Community organizer and avid reader.

Associated Representatives:
Edgar Gonzalez, Jr.
Michael J. Madigan