001collinsCHICAGO – In light of reports showing familiar disparities in ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts between Chicago’s well-to-do communities and majority-minority communities, State Senator Jacqueline Collins called on Gov. Pritzker Monday to focus resources on the same neighborhoods that are suffering from the highest rates of infection and death but are to date seeing the slowest rollout of the vaccines.

“When the pandemic began, we saw disparities in infections and deaths,” Collins said. “As it continued, we saw disparities in testing and care. Now, we are seeing disparities in reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. These disparities are literally killing us. I am calling on Gov. Pritzker to interrogate the reasons that the most affluent North Side ZIP codes are seeing such success in vaccination while impoverished communities like mine are struggling, even as we’re seeing the worst rates of spread. And I am calling on him to do something about it.”

A recent report from the Chicago Tribune showed vaccination rates in areas of the city such as the Magnificent Mile and Wicker Park have been relatively high, while rates in areas like Englewood have been much lower. Early data indicates white Chicagoans are twice as likely to receive the vaccine as other groups, the Tribune reported. The Associated Press also reports that the disparity is hardly unique to Chicago.

Another report out today shows the same neighborhoods that have dealt with long-term issues such as pollution are also struggling to get a place in line for vaccinations.

“The governor moved to rectify testing disparities in the Auburn Gresham area when we pointed them out, and now it is home to the city’s state-run, free testing site,” Collins said. “I am again calling on him to recognize that a more targeted effort is needed to immunize the communities where this virus has struck the hardest.”

Collins: "We need to hear their voices."

Illinois Council on Women and Girls Opportunity FB 1CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) urged young women aged 14 to 18 to step up and apply to join the Illinois Council on Women and Girls to help shape the policies that will ensure a more equal future for female citizens in Illinois.

“I pushed for the creation of the Illinois Council on Women and Girls because despite some progress, women still have far to go to reach true equality in America,” Collins said. “And these policies are of even greater importance to our young women: Access to health, education, an equal wage, and so many other issues are apparent when we look to the lived experiences of our young women. We need to hear their voices.”

Collins sponsored legislation creating the council with the goal of studying the systemic barriers faced by women and girls in Illinois and developing clear policy goals to address them. Led by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, the council issued its first report in March of last year, available here.

The Girls Committee will focus in particular on the concerns of young women in Illinois. Collins said young women must have a say in the policies that disproportionately affect their lives.

“The thoughts, behaviors, and even the bodies of young women are policed and politicized, and those of young women of color more so than almost any other group of people,” Collins said. “We must open our ears and our hearts to their struggles and find the means of providing them the opportunity to use their God-given talents to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Young women in Illinois aged 14 to 18 can apply for the Girls Committee here: http://ilsendems.co/GirlsCommittee

001collinsCHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) will step into the role of Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate.

Collins, who served as Deputy Majority Caucus Chair during the previous General Assembly, pledged to continue using her position in Democratic leadership to further her ongoing efforts to increase access to finance, housing and education, and fight for racial and social justice for residents of the 16th Senate District and all Illinoisans.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to help lead the Senate Democratic Caucus in its work, and I am blessed to be given the opportunity to stay in the fight for equality and justice,” Collins said. “The past year has proven that we still face great barriers in fairness and justice in Illinois for the Black community in particular, but also for many Illinoisans in general. I am ready to help lead us in the monumental work we have ahead of us.”

Collins will serve as vice-chairperson of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee and also serve on the Senate Criminal Law and Senate Transportation Committees.

CHICAGO – The state-operated community-based testing site at Foreman Mills has moved to a new location at the former Save-A-Lot at 7938 S. Halsted St. as of Jan. 2, and will continue providing free COVID-19 testing without the need for insurance, referrals or appointments, State Senator Jacqueline Collins announced today.

“I am glad to continue working alongside Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Dept. of Public Health to ensure that this state-run testing site, the only one in Chicago, remains operational and located here in Auburn Gresham, one of the parts of the city that has been the hardest hit by the pandemic and home of the first known COVID-19 case and death,” Collins said. “I urge everyone to get the word out about the new location for this site, and I encourage everyone to take the time to get tested.”

The test site will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the week except Tuesday.

Collins was a vocal advocate for bringing a state-run, free testing site to the Auburn Gresham area, which opened this past spring – first located at the Studio Movie Grill, then at Foreman Mills and now at the former Save-A-Lot.

All Illinois Dept. of Public Health-operated community-based testing sites like the South Halsted Street location are open to anyone, and those seeking testing need not exhibit symptoms. A complete list of these community-based testing sites can be found on the Illinois Dept. of Public Health website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing.

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