Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District

 

Dear friend,

Please be advised that the former community-based testing site for providing coronavirus tests in the Auburn Gresham area has been moved to a new location in light of Studio Movie Grill returning to operations. The new, free testing site is located Foreman Mills at 79th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway. This seven-day-a-week testing center allows walk-up and drive-thru service and is available to all those who wish to be tested, regardless of whether you are presenting symptoms.

See more details about this new location below and see more information at my website here.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District

 

Dear friends,

The shooting last night at a funeral in Gresham has shocked our community. I know there is fear, outrage, and sorrow. As my prayers go out to the victims and their families, I am also pledging action on my own part and demanding action on the part of our city and state leaders.

We face two pandemics in Chicago. Both spread and perpetuate themselves. And we already know how to end both. We know the solution to the coronavirus is to bring our resources to bear to support public health and follow the science. We know that to end the pandemic of violence we need to stem the flow of guns, drugs and gangs, and address the poverty, disenfranchisement and criminalization of communities of color in Chicago.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once wrote: “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” The gunmen are guilty of this cowardly crime, but we all must bear responsibility in ending this cycle of violence. I urge anyone with knowledge of these crimes to come forward and work with police.

And it must be said that police need to foster a relationship of trust that starts with reform and accountability. This has to be a two-way street.

The shootings of last night and the past several weeks must stop, but in order to truly end it we must not waver in our mission to rip out the roots of violence: Poverty and structural inequality.

We continue to act in the General Assembly to attack the causes of poverty in an attempt to fix the root causes of violent crime in Chicago. The state legislature created the Commission on the Elimination of Poverty to explore ways of ending the cycle of poverty in Illinois. I was among those who supported a minimum wage increase to $15, which will proceed in stages over the coming years, as well as the legalization of cannabis for adult use with the most robust social equity provisions in the country’s history. I advocated for increased funding for violence prevention, youth employment and Teen Reach programming in the state budget this year. I am speaking with advocates and experts about how we can address the vast disparity in banking and home lending between white and Black and brown communities.

Gresham is an epicenter of the two pandemics, and for the same reasons. We can’t give up on our efforts to end them simply because the solutions are costly or inconvenient to those in power. A person who wears a mask protects another from COVID-19. A child with a bright future and a supportive society does not pick up a gun. We know how we need to act, and we need to act now.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District

 

Dear friend,

Young people are facing unprecedented rates of unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are part of an organization that helps young people, I want to call your attention to the Illinois Youth Investment Program (IYIP), which is extending its grant application deadline to Aug. 3, 2020.

This program, administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services, supports at-risk youth who are seeking long-term, career employment. Providers interested in serving young people in their area can apply for grants online at the IDHS website here.

Grants are awarded to providers who can assist at-risk youth with short-term, long-term and industry-specific career development opportunities. In addition to employment support, IYIP also provides participants with support services for their physical, emotional, social and mental health needs. If you have questions about IYIP or other IDHS grants, visit the IDHS website or call 800-843-6154.

If your organization operates in these areas or you know one that does, please spread the word about this grant opportunity. If you need assistance getting in touch with IDHS or with any other concern, contact my office via email here.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District

 

Dear friend,

 

The COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois has undeniably hit minority communities and small business owners the hardest. That’s why this year’s state budget included over $600 million in funding to help businesses get back on their feet. Some of this funding is available now through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.

For owners of small business who are also members of a minority community, finding the right resources can be even more challenging, but there is help available.

To help business owners in your community take advantage of available opportunities, the Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is hosting a series of webinars with helpful information about grant programs, reopening guidelines and more.

 

Here are two upcoming webinars you may be interested in:

 

  • Thursday, July 2, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Spanish).
    • Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) webinar, cohosted by the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus. Register here.
  • Jueves, 2 de julio de 2020, 10:00 am. – 11:00 a.m. (Español).
    • Programa de Subsidios por Interrupción Comercial (BIG por sus siglas) (seminario web), co-organizado con Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus. Regístrese aquí.
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (English).
    • Online with OMEE, open to all OMEE constituents (racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran owned businesses). Register here.

 

As more webinars are scheduled, you can find more information and register on the OMEE website.

I hope these resources will be useful to you or a business owner you know. With questions about the above information or other issues facing our community, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office via email here.

You can support our small business community in other ways, too. As our state reopens, please continue to shop and eat local whenever possible to help our main streets bounce back from pandemic-related losses.

 

The recovery process won’t be easy—it’s important we come together as a community to help our friends and neighbors through these tough times.

 

Stay safe and healthy.

 

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

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1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

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