July Newsletter: Coping with Tragedy

Dear Neighbors,

We have all run out of words to adequately express the heartbreak and rage we feel as families are, once again, ripped apart by another mass shooting in America. This tragedy hits home, and we are grieving with our friends and neighbors in Highland Park. My full statement can be read HERE.

I want to reiterate that I am committed to backing up these words with concrete action. I promise to work alongside my colleagues before our next session to craft legislation that protects our families from gun violence. 

Our community is hurting. Please remember to take time to care for yourself and your loved ones and turn to your communities. Help is available. See below for resources on Coping with Community Violence.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office should you need assistance or want to stay informed and learn more about what we are working on in Springfield. Our office is available weekdays during office hours at (847) 486-8810. Sign up to receive action alerts on HB5522 or related legislation to address gun violence by emailing us at info@gonggershowitz.com.


Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz


District Update

We’ve enjoyed the opportunities to meet with you and hear your concerns directly this past month – at the End of Session Town Hall in Evanston, at a voter registration drive at the Glenview Public Library, and at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival.

We hosted the Lee County Farm Bureau for our annual adopt-a-legislator tour on June 10th, and we were able to tour The Grove and the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. Another highlight was a presentation by Northwestern University where we had the opportunity to learn about their work on sustainable farming techniques.

Coping with Community Violence Resources

Below are resources that can help if you or someone you know is experiencing trauma or you are looking for ways to show your support for Highland Park: 

  • NAMI Illinois, the National Alliance on Mental Health, has a number of resources for parents on how to talk with children about tragedies which can be accessed HERE, as well as a helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI, which is open 9am to 9pm Monday through Friday. Find their nearest affiliate on the map HERE
  • NASP, the National Association of School Psychologists also has tips for parents and educators talking to children about violence, as families and school personnel play a critical role in reestablishing a sense of normalcy.  Reference the guide HERE
  • FSC, the Family Service Center is currently offering single-session crisis counseling sessions for those in need now.  Call FSC at 847-251-7350 to learn more.  CATCH also has a broader list of local trauma-informed therapists on their website HERE
  • Disaster Distress Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990 and Spanish speakers should press ‘2’ for bilingual support; staff are trained to help people through traumatic events including mass shootings.  
  • Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is available 24/7 by texting the word ‘TALK’ (or ‘HABLAR’) to 552020, and you will be called by a trained mental health professional from your own community.  Participation is anonymous. 
  • The Illinois Warm Line is available for mental health support and/or substance use challenges at 866-359-7953, Monday-Friday, 8-5pm, except holidays. 
  • To help victims of the Highland Park community HERE.


Covid-19 Update

The CDC announced that all children 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination.  Parents and caregivers can now get their children 6 months through 5 years of age vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, including children who have already had Covid-19.  Find a vaccine location near you HERE.

988 Mental Health Hotline

The 988 hotline will go into effect on July 16th.  Llike 911, it will serve as an emergency number that provides direct access to trained mental health professionals and will replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255).  The new number will ensure that people in a mental health crisis can access the care they need from mental health professionals. To learn more click HERE.

Check Out Our Museum Card!

If you are interested in visiting Chicago’s amazing museums this summer, Representative Gong-Gershowitz has a Constituent Education Resource Card for up to 16 different museums in the area.  With the pass, it allows up to four guests to visit a number of Chicago museums.  A full list can be found HERE

Please contact my office at 847-486-8810 or info@gonggershowitz.com and provide your name and address along with the dates you are requesting (can be used for up to 2 days) and we will provide you with the Constituent Education Resource Card for your use.

Meet My Interns!

We welcomed three summer interns to our Summer Internship Program last month!  Rebecca Zlotowicz is a senior at Suffolk University studying Political Science with a passion for progressive state politics.  She is interested in equity policy pertaining to women, climate, health and safety, and would like to work in government relations post graduation.  

Misha Gandhi is an incoming freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a passion for women’s health and non-profit work.  She is excited to incorporate art into her work and connect with the community.  Winston Chu is a rising junior at Glenbrook South High School invested in seeing the implementation of the TEAACH Act in Illinois schools.  His passions include debate, golf, and op-ed writing.  We’re excited to have them!

Events and Opportunities

  • The Glen Town Center is proud to host its 19th annual Art at the Glen on July 30th & 31st. The event will feature 140 artists, live music, art activities for kids, and tasty festival treats. For more information and a list of the artists, browse HERE
  • Skokie Farmers Market will be holding a food, clothing, and toiletry drive on July 24th.  Members of the Village’s Commission on Family Services will be collecting non-perishable items at 5127 Oakton Street from 7:30am-noon, and all donations will benefit neighbors in need throughout Skokie and Niles Township.  Future collection date will be August 21st.  See it HERE
  • Chicago’s go-to vintage flea market is coming to Evanston July 17th! The event will take place in the Maple Avenue Parking Garage from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM and will display a range of vintage fashion, clothing, jewelry, accessories, vintage furniture, home decor, mid-century, oddities, vinyl, and more. To purchase tickets and learn more, click HERE.
  • A new Glenview Village program will help pay for the cost of planting new trees on your property.  The Tree Planting Incentive Program provides a 50 percent reimbursement, up to $300, for pre approved tree planting projects.  Apply through the Village website HERE.

Related posts