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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001collinsCHICAGO – As COVID-19 cases rise to levels worse than they were during the initial outbreak, State Senator Jacqueline Collins said the Illinois General Assembly’s decision to postpone legislative session is the right one, but lawmakers must not lose sight of efforts to fight systemic racism.

“We must treat this virus seriously,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “While the safe and responsible thing to do now is to postpone meeting, one of our top priorities when we do return should be legislation tackling racism in Illinois.”

Collins led a Senate committee hearing to highlight systemic racism in access to home lending during the fall, part of an ongoing effort by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to identify measures that will put Illinois on a course for racial and economic equity. The Black Caucus has focused on reform in the areas of criminal justice and police accountability, education and workforce development, economic access, and health care and human services as its major policy goals.

Since September, the Senate has hosted subject matter hearings on these four policy pillars in an effort to provide legislators and the public with a deeper look into the Black experience in Illinois. The hearings, which are set to wrap up this week, have served as an opportunity to gather facts and recommendations to help the Black Caucus formulate a specific legislative agenda for when the General Assembly next convenes.

“When race is still the greatest predictor of whether someone gets a home loan, whether someone can cash a paycheck at a bank, whether they die by police or from the coronavirus, then we are forced to reckon with the sobering truth that our systems are racist,” Collins said. “I believe more Illinoisans than ever are grappling with this truth, and I urge them to make their voices heard to all their representatives in government as we await the next legislative session.”

The General Assembly is expected to convene prior to the spring session.

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