The 18th Annual Grandparents/Kinship Caregiver Raising Children Awards Reception is coming soon. This event will be held September 12, 2021 at 3 p.m. at the JLM Abundant Life Community Center located at 2622 W. Jackson Blvd in Chicago. There is a nomination form included in the flier for residents, family, friends and others to nominate and recognize those grandparents and kinship who are keeping families together.

Nomination forms are due August 20, 2021, by mail to: Sankofa Safe Child Initiative, 4041 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL. 60624; Via Fax to 773-542-9790; or Via Email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

GRG Nomination Form 2021 Page 1


Download the form here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Illinois are reminding all Illinois residents that financial assistance is available to individuals who have incurred COVID-19 related funeral expenses. The assistance is being provided by FEMA for expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

According to the CDC, there are more than 21,000 families in Illinois that are eligible for federal funeral reimbursement funding. To date, more than $10.4 million has been approved for the more than 1,500 approved applicants in Illinois.

Residents can apply for FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program by calling 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The application process takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and multilingual services are available.

AUTO INSURANCE SM ADProgram aims to crack down on uninsured motorists
Those who receive letters must contact their insurance company or agent; do not visit a Driver Services facility

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that automobile insurance verification will be conducted electronically. This upgrade to the state’s mandatory insurance verification program will begin enforcement on July 1, 2021. The program requires insurance companies to work in conjunction with the Secretary of State’s office to confirm electronically that motorists have automobile insurance. This program follows national standards established by the Insurance Industry Committee on Motor Vehicle Administration and is expected to reduce the number of Illinois motorists driving while uninsured.

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Dear Friend,

Stop Anti Semitism 1 FBAntisemitism is here in the United States, it is on the rise, and Jews are scared. Over the past several weeks, we have seen a surge in violent antisemitism in the streets right here in Chicago, and in other major U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Florida, in addition to many European capitals.

According to the FBI’s latest statistics, anti-Jewish hate crimes accounted for 60.2% of all hate crimes motivated by religion last year, a shocking number for a group that accounts for 2% of the U.S. population.

On top of that, acts of verbal and physical violence against Jews have spiked beyond that in this past month. These attacks are alarming to the Jewish community and amidst this atmosphere of vulnerability and fear, they have felt alone. 

Media attention for this alarming wave of anti-Semitic incidents has grown, but coverage is still insufficient and awareness about the violent nature of these attacks is too low. According to AJC’s latest survey on antisemitism, 46% of Americans are unfamiliar with the term antisemitism and 53% either believe antisemitism has stayed the same or decreased over the past five years, which is the opposite of what is happening. 

The fight to eradicate antisemitism cannot be done by the Jewish community alone. Everyone who believes in combating bigotry, no matter its form or source, should be outraged by the recent spike of antisemitism and to speak out against it. 

There are a number of ways to show support at this time, shared with me by the Chicago Regional Office of American Jewish Committee (AJC):

  • Speak Out: Condemn recent attacks against Jews. Say unequivocally that this hate has no place in Chicago, in Illinois, or in our country.
  • Show Outrage: Join AJC’s international campaign raising awareness about the recent spike in anti-Semitic violence by posting on social media using the #WherestheOutrage hashtag and graphic. You can also print the #WherestheOutrage sign here, take a picture with the sign, and post it on social media. 
  • Listen: Meet with your local Jewish community to hear their concerns. AJC Chicago is standing by to convene conversations at this critical time.
  • Help Educate Your Community: Antisemitism is unique in that it comes in many guises from diverse sources. AJC’s Translate Hate, a glossary of anti-Semitic terms and tropes, is a tool for elected officials, law enforcement, educators, and others to help them recognize antisemitism in their midst.

I stand in solidarity with our Jewish community, and am committed to helping eradicate all forms of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.



Patricia Van Pelt

State Senator, 5th District


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Office Info

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

Springfield Office
129 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706