SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after voting to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“After years of stagnant wages, it’s time for hardworking Illinoisans to finally get a raise,” Van Pelt said. “Raising the minimum wage will help lift families out of poverty and it will have the biggest impact on black, Latino and female workers. I’m proud to support this important effort to help reduce poverty and get us one step closer to closing the income inequality gap.”


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Category: Press Releases

Senator Patricia Van Pelt is sworn in for her third term in the Illinois SenateSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) began her third term in the Illinois Senate today following the Senate inauguration in Springfield.

“I’m eager and ready for the new General Assembly to begin so I can continue working on important issues like ending the DNA processing backlog at the state crime lab and reforming the use of Chicago’s controversial gang databases,” Van Pelt said.

“I believe government can and should make life better for its citizens,” Van Pelt said. “Unfortunately, government has failed those who are waiting years for their loved one’s murder to be solved because of the backlog at the state crime lab. It has failed individuals who have been denied housing or employment because they were incorrectly labeled as a gang member in one of the flawed gang databases.”

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Access to law enforcement’s controversial gang databases would be limited under a measure from State Senator Patricia Van Pelt that passed out of the Senate today.

“For years, law enforcement has been using gang databases with little oversight to how they’re used and who has access to the information,” Van Pelt (D-Chicago) said. “This measure will ensure that database information can’t be used in background checks for employment, housing, licensing and education, which has been one of the biggest problems with the database.”

The use of gang databases to track individuals labeled as suspected gang members has been called into question in recent months after investigative reports found that hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans have been added to gang databases.

“Gang databases should be used to crack down on crime, not prevent an innocent person from getting a job or an apartment,” Van Pelt said. “This is a commonsense solution to a problem that never should’ve existed in the first place.”

Within the demographic of young black men 20-29 years of age, 53,418 (up to 89 percent of population) are in the Chicago Police Department's gang database.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Patricia Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of a balanced budget:

“Tonight, I was proud to reject the funding cuts proposed by Gov. Rauner and instead vote for a responsibly balanced budget that increases funding for programs that help our most vulnerable residents and strengthen our communities.

“This budget increases funding for early childhood and K-12 education by more than $400 million, restores funding to important human service programs like Teen Reach, Redeploy Illinois and community-based violence prevention organizations, invests in life-saving public health initiatives like screening for breast cancer and lead poisoning and gives working families a better shot at sending their kids to college at an affordable price.

“By making responsible cuts to administrative spending, we were able to pass a budget that will help make our neighborhoods safer, keep our children off the streets and provide support for those who need it most.”


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Category: Press Releases
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