Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate! January was a whirlwind, and I am thrilled to share that just before the inauguration of the 103rd General Assembly, we successfully passed three critical measures to tackle gun violence, protect access to reproductive healthcare and ensure paid leave for all Illinoisans.
Thanks to the tireless advocacy of many of you in our community who came to town halls, filed witness slips and made your voice heard, the Protect Illinois Communities Act is the strongest assault weapons ban in the nation. Another critically important measure passed this month is the Patient & Provider Protection Act that shields patients, providers, and families who come to Illinois from states that would deny or criminalize the right to healthcare.
As I prepare to return to Springfield next week to begin my third term, I wanted to share my sincere gratitude for the privilege to serve my community and be your voice in Springfield. We have made history together once again. As we begin this new General Assembly, I will serve as Whip of the House Asian American Caucus. Following my election in 2018, I became only the second Asian American to serve in the House, and we have doubled our representation each election year since and now total eight members. I look forward to building on the work our Caucus has achieved, including the passage of the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act.
In addition to my new role as Whip, I will also continue to serve my second consecutive term as Chair of the House Judiciary – Civil Committee where I will continue to protect and expand access to the civil justice system for all Illinoisans.
As always, if you are ever in need of assistance, do not hesitate to contact my office. We are available weekdays at (847) 486-8810, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz|
Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch joined us for our first Asian American Legislative Caucus inauguration event in Springfield.
Congratulations to my friend, mentor and seatmate, Representative Robyn Gabel, who will serve as the House Majority Leader for the 103rd General Assembly.
As we enter the new year, I wanted to highlight below a few measures from the previous legislative session that are taking effect in 2023. You can also view a detailed list compiled by the Senate HERE.
HB5047 – Electronic Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Modernizes the rules for displaying a Healthcare Power of Attorney to ensure that a loved one’s wishes are observed in an emergency.
- Allows an individual to show an electronically stored Power of Attorney form to first responders and medical professionals.
HB5334 – Breast and Ovarian Cancer testing
- Requires individual, group accident, and health insurance policies to cover the cost of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer.
HB1091 – Combat Retail Theft
- Allows any state’s attorney where any element of organized retail crime takes place to prosecute the whole crime.
- Defines organized retail crime in Illinois statute for the first time.
HB3118 – the Bee Bill
- Regulates the spraying of mosquito repellents for commercial purposes and bans commercial application of barrier mosquitocides between October 15 and April 15 in order to help prevent the killing of pollinators that come with mass spraying of pesticides.
HB5254 – Affordable medical treatment for women
- Requires health insurance plans to cover medically necessary hormone treatments for women who have undergone a hysterectomy.
I had the opportunity to join the League of Women Voters Glenview-Glencoe and over a dozen partner organizations at their gun safety town hall at the Glenview Community Church last weekend to share ideas and learn what we can do together to reduce gun violence across our state.
I was privileged to join Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and many others at the Ismaili Center in Glenview to honor retiring Secretary of State Jesse White for his incredible lifetime of service to the people of Illinois.
Photo credit Syed Ullah
District Boundaries Updated
Illinois’ new legislative maps have gone into effect following the inauguration of the 103rd General Assembly. Above are the new boundaries of the 17th District. To check your current elected officials, enter your address at the State Board of Elections website HERE.
Shout Out – Sister Maureen Clancy
Last year Sister Maureen Clancy called my office after a traumatic experience while acting as her friend’s Power of Attorney. Without a paper copy of her PoA form on hand, Sister Clancy faced the impossible choice of deciding whether to adhere to her friend’s dying wishes or be arrested for refusing EMS services. She wanted to make sure no one else would face that excruciating dilemma and decided to use her experience to make a difference. We worked together to pass a bill, now law, to allow individuals to display their Power of Attorney form on an electronic device. You can hear more of her story from CBS 2 HERE.
Events and Opportunities
- February is Black History month, and to kick it off the Baha’i House of Worship will be hosting a concert & pop-up art gallery featuring African American musicians and artists. The event takes place Saturday, February 4th beginning at 7 PM, you can register to attend HERE.
- Glenview Winterfest is taking place Saturday, January 28th at the Glenview Community Ice center. Hosted by the Glenview Park Foundation, you can find more information on scheduled activities HERE.
- Beginning Sunday, January 29th, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center will be launching their newest exhibit “The Negro Motorist Green Book”. Developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with award-winning author, photographer, and cultural documentarian, Candacy Taylor, Green Book offers an immersive look at the historic reality of travel for Black Americans and how the guide served as an indispensable resource for the rise of the Black leisure class in the United States. You can read more about the exhibit and reserved tickets HERE.