This has been a month of important progress, both in combating the pandemic and moving our state forward. The COVID testing site at Flick Park in Glenview continues to be an important community resource and we see data showing more vaccines being delivered and administered across our state every day. I am encouraged by the strides we have made, but remain resolute in my commitment to keep fighting until we have beaten this pandemic.
See our newsletter below for information about Illinois’ first-ever Immigration and Human Rights committee, important community and governmental efforts to combat COVID, our state’s recent shift to Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Phase 4, and more.
Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 847.486.8810.
Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
New Rules Include Leadership Term Limits, Legislative Process, and Remote Work
We began the 102nd General Assembly by electing a new Speaker of the House and immediately followed with transformational changes to the Rules for House Operations. These changes are designed to bring greater transparency, fairness, and decentralization of power to the Illinois House of Representatives.
These significant changes implement term limits for legislative leaders including the Speaker, a new legislative process wherein all bills get fair consideration, and provisions enabling remote committee work so that we can continue to tackle the problems our state faces while we fight this pandemic.
I’m proud to partner with the Small Business Advocacy Council to support the RISE Act, which provides tax incentives to help small businesses retrain and hire new employees. As we reopen and jumpstart our economy, small business will play a crucial role.
The RISE Act also promotes greater equity in Illinois by providing additional incentives to businesses and prospective employees located in disproportionately impacted areas.
New Committee Assignments
I am very honored to serve as the first Chair of the new Immigration and Human Rights Committee and as Vice Chair of Judiciary Civil. I have spent my adult life and professional career working to expand and protect human rights for all people, especially immigrant children, in our legal system.
I will utilize these committees to work toward greater equity and opportunity for all residents of Illinois by updating and strengthening human rights protections, crafting and proposing new legislation to improve our immigration system, and establishing a forum in Illinois for addressing human rights and immigration issues.
I am also eager to serve on Energy & Environment with a focus on fighting pollution, environmental degradation, and global climate change from a state-level perspective, and on Mental Health, where I will fight for greater access and equity in mental health.
Education Champion Award
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to my partner and ally in education, ED-RED, for honoring me with the 2021 ED-RED Legislator of the Year award. ED-RED has been an incredible leader for public schools and students in our community since 1971.
I believe that public education is vital to our community. During my first term, I sat on both the Higher Education Committee and the Elementary & Secondary Education Curriculum and Policies Committee. I share ED-RED’s belief in the inherent worth of every child and the knowledge that equitable and adequate state education funding is necessary for all students to achieve their full potential.
COVID-19 Recovery: Phase 4, Vaccine Information and Housing Support
Here in the district, your conscientious efforts to contain community spread have paid off: cases and positivity rates trending down, enabling us to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Recovery Plan.
This progress means that students can return to some sports and extracurriculars with appropriate safety measures, and that more restaurants, movie theaters, museums, historical sites, and community centers are open. Call ahead or consult websites for hours of operation.
Vaccine Roll-out. Vaccines are being administered on a tiered basis, with those in 1A and 1B eligible for shots now.
I recently co-hosted a town hall with other officials to answer questions and share information about the vaccine roll-out in northern Cook County. You can access the Town Hall materials with the links below.
- Watch the COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall here
- View the Powerpoint Presentation here
- Read the COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall FAQ
These links and others can be found on the Covid-19 Resources tab on my website.
If you haven’t already done so, go to the new Cook County Public Health Department portal here to notify CCPHD of your interest in getting vaccinated and complete this form.
COVID Testing in the District. Our testing site in Glenview’s Flick Park administered nearly 4,000 tests in the first month of operation! It is open 7 days a week and offers testing at no out-of-pocket costs to residents. Learn more and make an appointment here.
- Property Tax Payment Extension. The Cook County Treasurer is waiving late fees until May 1st on payments of the First Installment traditionally due March 1st.
- Renter / Landlord Protections. The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a recent ordinance clarifying suburban renters’ rights. The measure was sponsored by area Commissioners Scott Britton and Kevin Morrison. Read more here.
Health Insurance – ACA Special Open Enrollment February to May. In recognition that many people lost employer-provided health insurance during the pandemic, the Biden Administration authorized a 3-month enrollment period, from February 15th to May 15th. Check www.HealthCare.gov and look for Find Local Help for coverage options.
- March 12 Deadline for Cook County Community Development Block Grants. These grants can fund capital improvements for eligible businesses. Click here for details.
- Comcast Grants. From March 1 through March 14, eligible businesses in the Chicago metro area can apply for a $10,000 grant to be awarded in May. For info click here.
- Environmental Conservation. The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) has four scholarships of $2,000 available to high school seniors active in environmental conservation efforts who are attending college in the Fall of 2021. The deadline to apply is March 1st. Learn more.
- Accounting. The Illinois CPA Society Endowment has several scholarships ranging from $1000-$4000 for accounting students now enrolled in college. The deadline for applying is April 1st. View eligibility rules and applications here.
District Shout-out: The Josselyn Center
Many people need more support to maintain their mental health given the stresses of the past year. The Northfield-based Josselyn Center is one of our district’s leading mental health organizations. The center recently launched Mental Health First Aid for Adults, which teaches people how to recognize signs of mental health and substance use challenges in adults, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate support. Learn more, seek services, or support their work at https://josselyn.org/.
Events in the District
As our region moves into Phase 4, district residents have more in-person and virtual activities to consider as we wrap up winter. Be sure to check park district and library websites for new events.
Tour The Grove’s Renovated Interpretive Center. 45-minute guided tours are now available Fridays – Sundays, 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. at this Glenview historical site. Advance reservations required. Grounds are open dawn to dusk. Learn more and register here.
Test Your Trivia Knowledge While Supporting Community Service Organizations
- Friday, February 19th, 7 p.m. The North Suburban YMCA is hosting a virtual trivia night fundraiser. Sign up as a team or an individual. Learn more.
- Saturday, February 20th, 7 p.m. The annual Glenview Firefighter Chili Cook-off and Trivia Contest has gone virtual. Register and learn more.
Support Talented Teens. February 18th-20th, 7:30 p.m. The annual Glenbrook North Variety show has gone virtual, streamed right to your device. Buy tickets.
Learn About the Fight for Racial Equality. Thursday, March 4th, 6:30 p.m. The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center presents a thought-provoking conversation with educator, activist, and speaker Prexy Nesbitt and Marissa Moorman, Professor of African History and Cinema & Media Studies at Indiana University. Register for the virtual program.
Celebrate the Return of Live Music. March 18th, 8 p.m. The North Shore Center for Performing Arts hosts the Robert Cray Band. Ticket info here.
Volunteer in the Community. Cure cabin fever by being a volunteer. There are many local organizations that could use transportation and administrative help. Log on to email@example.com to learn more.
- Co-hosted a virtual Covid-19 Vaccine Town Hall on February 2nd with Senator Laura Fine, Representative Robyn Gabel, and Cook County Commissioners Larry Suffredin, Scott Britton, and Peter Silvestri. In case you missed it, rewatch the video and view the meeting materials here.
- Celebrated Equality Illinois’s 30th Anniversary on February 6th honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – check out the EI Strategic Vision through 2022 here.
- Rang in the 2021 Lunar New Year with the Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago on February 12th, in case you missed it, check out the Celebration here.
- Co-hosted Asian Lunar New Year celebration on February 13th with the Asian American Caucus – check out a family-friendly activity, learn how to do the traditional lion dance here.
- Partnering with the Center for Concern, Niles Senior Center, and Senator Ram Villivalam to deliver 600+ COVID-19 Care packs to area non-profit organizations in need throughout February.