Happy PRIDE Month! I can’t think of a better way to kick-off Chicago summer than celebrating PRIDE in the 12th District’s Northalsted neighborhood.
My team and I started the month by attending the ribbon cutting for the AIDS Memorial Garden at Belmont Harbor. This new gem of the district was funded through the Chicago Parks Foundations, the City of Chicago, and $1.4 million from the State of Illinois. The garden will serve as a memorial to the lives lost to the AIDS epidemic and a reminder that the City of Chicago is a safe and welcoming place for our LGBTQ+ community.
We’ve seen across the country that the fight for equality is not over. This last year I was proud to introduce legislation that would expand insurance coverage for fertility treatment to LGBTQ+ couples and I promise to continue to fight like hell for this community, no matter which way the Supreme Court pushes.
Crime and Safety
The Illinois General Assembly added more than $200 million for additional public safety and law enforcement measures. $124 million of that amount will go directly to measures that support local police in reducing violent crime. This includes funding for body cameras, automatic license plate readers, ballistics testing and forensics, and non-lethal equipment to subdue suspects.
There is also funding for mental health screenings for local police departments, a co-responder pilot program to bring crisis management and emotional support to victims, and law enforcement retention grants. $48 million is allotted to prevent carjacking by providing funding to local safety councils, youth summer jobs programs, YouthBuild Illinois, Teen REACH, Youth Redeploy Illinois, Parents Too Soon, and Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services.
We also passed new laws that make organized retail theft or “smash-and-grab shoplifting” a Class 3 felony, outlawed ghost guns, and addressed expressway shootings.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain awareness month! Governor Pritzker signed into law the bill I proudly championed during this Spring’s legislative session to require EMTs and paramedics to complete one hour of training on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) recently introduced the Private Sector Camera Initiative. The program will allow homeowners, condominiums, and businesses to link their private exterior cameras with OEMC and Homeland Security Directors to create additional points of contact during an emergency throughout Chicago.
The City of Chicago launched the Home and Business Protection Rebate Program to provide any Chicagoan, business owner, or anyone who leases/owns a vehicle registered within the city to receive reimbursement for security technology. The program will cover a portion of the cost of outdoor security cameras, one year of video cloud storage, outdoor motion sensor lighting, and vehicle GPS trackers.
In the Community