February Newsletter

Dear Neighbors:

As we continue our work in the General Assembly, I remain committed to tackling the big-picture issues that will move our state forward. In the upcoming weeks, I am focused on protecting our air, water, and wildlife, preventing workplace discrimination that disproportionately impacts women, and ensuring seniors voices are heard.


Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz

Springfield Update

This month, the House has continued to be in session. It was great to be on the floor working alongside my colleagues on important legislation. Last week, two of my bills passed out of the House with bi-partisan support and are now in the Senate.

The Drug Take-Back Act is designed to keep dangerous prescription drugs out of the hands of our kids and out of our drinking water by providing Illinois residents with an easy, safe, and convenient way to dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. Another bill I was proud to introduce and pass through the House modernizes the rules for displaying a Healthcare Power of Attorney to ensure that a loved one’s wishes are observed in an emergency.

While in Springfield, I was able to stop by the Illinois Farm Bureau annual reception and catch up with members of the Lee County Farm Bureau, who I have worked with through the IFB’s Adopt-a-Legislator program.

District Shout Out – Jesse Compher

Jesse Compher of Northbrook, a graduate of Glenbrook North High School, is representing Northbrook on Team USA. Jesse scored three goals for the U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team, in victories over the Russian Olympic Committee and Switzerland at the 2022 Winter Olympics. She is coming home with a silver medal after Team USA lost 3-2 to Canada in the Final of the Women’s Hockey Tournament.

Meet my Staff – Zoe Pharo, Outreach Director

Meet our new Outreach Director for the 17th District, Zoe Pharo. Originally from Durham, NC, Zoe comes to us from a background in journalism and communications. She recently graduated from Carleton College and was previously an Editorial Intern with In These Times. If you are hosting an event, or looking to collaborate, please contact her at zoe@gonggershowitz.com or 847-486-8810.

COVID-19 Recovery

Back to Business (B2B) Grants are coming to the 17th District, as the total funding awarded under B2B has increased to over $134 million. To date, $1,700,000 has been awarded to businesses throughout the 17th District.
For businesses looking for capital opportunities, you can also check out DCEO’s Advantage Illinois Program and the Illinois Treasurer’s Business Investment Program.

Celebrate Black History Month

This month I’m proud to honor Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher. As a skilled writer, Wells-Barnett also used her talents as a journalist to shed light on the conditions of African Americans throughout the South.

Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance

Tax season is upon us if you are in need of assistance in filing your taxes, the Illinois Department of Revenue wants to highlight several opportunities for free help. The IRS has tax assistance for Seniors HERE, AARP is offering their Tax-Aide program HERE and the Ladder UP tax assistance program HERE.

Utility Bill Assistance Available

If you need assistance paying your energy bills, funding is still available for PIPP and LIHEAP. Applications for state-funded PIPP assistance to stay current on utility bills are being accepted through March 31, 2022 and federally-funded LIHEAP applications are being taken through May 31, 2022, open on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, visit HERE.

Extension on Driver’s License and ID Card Expirations

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that expiration dates for driver’s licenses have been extended to March 31, 2022. This extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and CDL learner’s permits. White noted this will be the final extension.

Events in the District

  • The City of Evanston will be hosting their annual Summer youth employment job fair on March 12th, you can sign up to attend the event HERE.
  • Josselyn Center’s Junior Board will be holding a “Let’s Talk About It” event on Monday, March 14th, from 7-8:30pm at Lake Forest Auditorium. Created by teens for teens, hear from a panel of mental health advocates including author and illustrator Courtney Cook.
  • The 2022 Coming Together: Sharing Experiences of Disability season runs from March 6 through April 23 and will feature a number of events that brings together the experiences and talents of members of the disability community across Niles Township. Find more information on the website HERE.
  • Cook County is seeking input on their recently published ADA Transition plan. This plan pertains to pedestrian facilities within the Cook County highway right-of-way and does not cover public buildings. If you have a disability and/or would like to provide public input, fill out the form and email it to ADA.Coordinator@cookcountyil.gov.

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