SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) stood with Illinois Department of Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck, Congressman Danny Davis, Illinois Lottery Superintendent Victor Golden and representatives of the South Side and Westside HIV/AIDS Regional Planning Councils to observe World AIDS Day and congratulate 16 organizations receiving grants for HIV/AIDS education and services.

Proceeds from the Red Ribbon Cash scratch-off lottery game funded the $2.1 million in Quality of Life grants. Sen. Collins sponsored legislation creating the game in 2007 and extending it for another five years in 2012.

"I support this dedicated revenue stream because we desperately need to educate, advocate, break down barriers and empower everyone with HIV or AIDS to experience a better quality of life," Sen. Collins said. "Recent state budgets have cut critical safety nets, but I'm committed to funding the fight against AIDS through innovative approaches such as Red Ribbon Cash."

The 16 agencies and non-profit organizations receiving grants this year represent diverse areas of the state, serve different high-risk populations and engage in a wide variety of activities. Seven organizations have budgets under $300,000. The Department of Public Health monitors the use of the grants to ensure maximum impact in the effort to end HIV/AIDS in Illinois.

"Too many still see this as a disease affecting gay white men, but AIDS knows no boundaries," Sen. Collins said. "Red Ribbon Cash equips a movement to serve all Illinoisans living with HIV/AIDS or at risk of infection – black, white, Latino, Asian, male and female, gay and straight. I am confident we are working toward the day when we will read about AIDS in history books instead of newspapers."

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Honored by Neighborhood Housing Services for work on behalf of Auburn Gresham

  

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago produced this video of Sen. Collins at work in Auburn Gresham
and talking about what AG means to her. The video was shown at the presentation of her award.

 

 CHICAGO, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) has received the Neighborhood Leadership Award for her role as a "Neighborhood Hero" for Auburn Gresham. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) honored Sen. Collins and seven other community advocates at the nonprofit organization's annual meeting Tuesday "for outstanding leadership in rebuilding Chicago's neighborhoods."

"I am deeply moved by my inclusion among tonight's award recipients," said Sen. Collins. "Auburn Gresham is a special place to me, and it is always an honor to represent this neighborhood and work for its residents."

NHS, a nonprofit neighborhood revitalization organization providing loans, free homebuyer education classes, foreclosure counseling and reclamation of abandoned properties, has offices in eight neighborhoods, including Auburn Gresham and Englewood. Its members recognized Sen. Collins' advocacy for neighborhood improvement strategies such as foreclosure prevention, bringing fresh produce to "food deserts," promoting the upkeep of abandoned properties and taking a stand against violence.

"Neighborhood revitalization is extremely important to me, because change has to start locally," Sen. Collins said. "It's a privilege to work with countless people who consistently lend a hand to their neighbors and take pride in where they live."

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SPRINGFIELD, IL – Thursday State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) announced that over $100,000 in states assistance will be coming to Oak Lawn schools for repairs and maintenance.

“I am proud to say that the state can contribute these grants to our schools for repairs,” said Senator Collins.  “These funds are necessary for making our school facilities safer and more reliable.”

Oak Lawn 299 and Ridgeland 122 school districts are receiving $50,000 each for repairs to their facilities. These grants can be used for asbestos removal, bleacher repairs, fixing parking lots and other needs. The grant comes from a matching program. The maximum amount the state matches for each school is $50,000.

Chicago Public Schools received more than $6.5 million,  or 20 percent of the total amount budgeted for the grant program. CPS has not yet announced how it will allocate its share.

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Promotes Illinois products in a large and growing market

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) joined Governor Pat Quinn, university and business leaders and other prominent Illinoisans as ambassadors for the state’s products on a trade mission to Brazil last week.

“I was deeply impressed by the dynamic diversity of this beautiful country, and I’m excited Illinois has forged new ties with Brazil in education, tourism, investment and exports,” Sen. Collins said. “Illinois, which already attracts more foreign investment than any other state in the Midwest, is ideally positioned for profitable partnerships with Brazil.”

During the six-day trip, the delegation visited Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Recife. They announced several new initiatives to bring Brazilian students to Illinois universities, facilitate joint research opportunities, promote mutual investment and position Illinois companies to provide goods and services to Brazil as it prepares for a nationwide, $150 billion infrastructure upgrade. Sen. Collins and her fellow travelers also spoke to Brazilians about opportunities for tourists in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.

“It was an honor to help showcase not only Illinois products, but Illinois’ phenomenal workers, researchers, communities and institutions of higher learning,” Sen. Collins said. “Continued economic growth is vital to improving quality of life in Illinois, and I’m confident the bridges we’ve built on this visit will benefit both Illinois and Brazil for years to come.”

Brazil’s economy is the largest in Latin America and the sixth-largest in the world. The nation’s GDP growth surpassed expectations last year, indicating a strong recovery from the global recession. The total value of exports from Illinois to Brazil rose 24 percent between 2010 and 2011.

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Touring the Ingredion Brazil corn processing plant in Cabo

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