“I want them to know that if they can dream it, they can do it.”


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To inspire young people to follow their dreams, Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D- Chicago) will be touring several schools on Chicago’s West Side this winter to promote goal planning for elementary and high school students.


“It is important to teach our young people about the importance of having ambition, and instill in them the confidence needed to realize their dreams,” Van Pelt said. “My team and I have been researching this extensively, and we found that only 3 percent of people take steps to outline and articulate their long-term goals.”


This year’s tour kicked off last week at Daniel Webster Elementary. Van Pelt spoke with students about her own journey to becoming an elected official. Raised in the Cabrini-Green projects, she said she never dreamt of becoming the woman she is today.

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Category: News

 Senator Van Pelt Inspired by the story of Elisha Brittman, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the Unidentified Patient Act, also known as The Elisha Brittman Law. Brittman – the victim of a brutal beating – was taken off life support earlier this year. Even more tragic: the family that made the decision wasn’t even his, because the hospital misidentified Mr. Brittman.

Brittman had been beaten so badly that the hospital was unable to identify him properly using photographs. It did not use fingerprints or DNA, which would have ensured a correct identification. Both Brittman’s mistaken family as well as his real one are filing a lawsuit.

“No family should have to go through this kind of trauma,” Van Pelt said. “One family was looking for their loved one, while the other was taxed with the decision to end his suffering. This entire situation was entirely avoidable.”

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Category: Press Releases

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CHICAGO – As a leader on ensuring Illinois’ DNA backlog doesn’t go unnoticed, Senator Patricia Van Pelt commended Gov. JB Pritzker’s creation of the Forensic Science Task Force, which will work to address the state’s backlog of untested DNA samples related to ongoing criminal investigations.   

“I’m happy to see the governor is taking action to get these DNA backlogs under control,” Van Pelt said. “We have grieving families and rape victims who are suffering and deserve answers. They shouldn’t have to continue to wait; it’s time for further action.” 

Van Pelt’s work over the past three years contributed to the creation of the task force. She held several hearings, cosponsored a measure to audit the state’s forensic services and stayed in frequent contact with the governor’s office to ensure the issue was addressed.

The Forensic Science Task Force will bring together key participants to work collaboratively to identify and analyze the issues and challenges facing Illinois’ publicly funded crime laboratories.

The task force will issue a report detailing its findings and provide guidance and recommendations to Pritzker and the General Assembly by June 1, 2020.

Category: Press Releases

                    “We’re signaling to veterans that we value their past and their future.”

02062019CM0232SPRINGFIELD – More Illinois veterans will have access to education thanks to a measure from State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) that was signed into law.

“It’s important that we honor our promises to those who have sacrificed their lives for ours,” Van Pelt said. “Providing access to education to our veterans is a top priority, and I’m pleased that Gov. Pritzker agrees.”

Senate Bill 1467 expands eligibility for the Illinois Veterans Grant and the MIA/POW Scholarship to veterans who have been residents of Illinois for 15 consecutive years.

“When a constituent came to me and told me about the loophole in state law that excluded them from the scholarship, I decided to take action,” Van Pelt said. “By expanding the time frame for eligibility, we’re signaling to veterans that we appreciate and value both their past service and their future endeavors.”

The Illinois Veterans’ Grant Program pays tuition and certain fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities and community colleges for eligible Illinois veterans.

The MIA/POW Scholarship is an education scholarship for the dependents of veterans who are either missing in action, a prisoner of war, died while on active duty, 100-percent disabled due to service-connected disabilities or died as a result of a service connected disabilities.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
(312) 888-9191
(312) 277-3716 FAX

Springfield Office
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-6252