Patricia Van Pelt was first elected to the Illinois State Senate in 2012, and is the chair of the Healthcare Access and Availability Committee. Van Pelt serves on the Agriculture, Criminal Law, Energy and Public Utilities and State Government Committees. She is also a member of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

As State Senator of the 5th District, Van Pelt is passionate about criminal justice reform, reducing recidivism across communities, increasing public safety, creating economic opportunities, ensuring equal access to healthcare, and preserving quality education.

A lifelong resident of Chicago, Van Pelt’s childhood did not start out on an easy path. She grew up in the Cabrini Green Projects in a single-parent home, along with her six siblings.

Though Van Pelt dropped out of school when she was 15 years old, she did not give up on her education. She later went on to earn her associate’s degree in natural science from Truman College and her bachelor’s degree in public administration at Roosevelt University. She then earned her master’s degree in human services administration from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and a doctorate in management of non-profit agencies from Capella University.

Throughout her career, Van Pelt has a diverse employment background. From 1974 to 1982, she worked as a drill operator and union steward at the Ingersoll Steel Mill. After her time at the steel mill, Van Pelt co-founded Ambassadors of Christ Church and was Chief Business Administrator of Ambassadors for Christ World Outreach Ministries. Today, Van Pelt is not only a state senator, but also a certified public accountant and an author.

Van Pelt lives on Chicago’s west side with her husband, Gene.


COVID-19 Resources


Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.


Social Networks

facebook logotwitter-button

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Stratton Office Building
Section C, Room P
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-6252

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