Rep. Delia Ramirez updates Chicago Grand Neighbors Association regarding Illinois government


Delia Ramirez commiserates with a constituent about property taxes

"What do you want me to think about and take with me to the January and February sessions in Springfield," asked Representative Delia Ramirez, Illinois House 4th district, at the Chicago Grand Neighbors Association (CGNA) members at their Sept. 24 meeting in OutPut Lounge, 1758 W. Grand Ave. 

In office for nine months, Ramirez said that she has been able to pass seven pieces of legislation and one resolution. Those are the result of many hours she has spent working on a long list of issues and situations. 

The resolution is around having health clinics in our schools and names next February as school based health clinics month.  "We have one school on the western side of the District that provides onsite five-days a week clinic, but more schools should have them." 

In the war against homelessness, Ramirez introduced Illinois House Bill (IHB) 3331, which passed into law Mar. 29. It This amends the Homeless Prevention Act, expanding case management and support. 

"It expands the resources provided to people who are at risk of losing their house. If you are experiencing homelessness it is much harder for you to stabilize and be able to secure permanent housing, let alone what it does to the kids as they move from shelter to shelter," Ramirez explained. 

"This bill allows for looking at why people are experiencing this and how do we make sure we are providing the most support possible to stabilize them. 

"Seventy-eight percent of the people who acquire an emergency fund do not ever experience homelessness. To me that is saving $8,000 a year for services that we would have to provide." 

IHB 3711 amends the Equitable Restrooms Act. All public restrooms must provide baby changing stations. "Mothers and fathers are able to have that basic amenity to change a baby's diaper safely," said Ramirez. 

Other legislation she has been working on is around the open meetings act, women's rights, minimum wage and the legalization of cannabis.  

Ramirez made it clear that around various legislation other considerations must be considered. Small businesses and not-for-profits, for example must be considered when looking at the issue of minimum wage. Around the issue of marijuana  and cannabis are issues such as of equity and licensing. 

Technically a "freshman and a half" (one week seniority over 28 other house representatives.), she now may serve as a vice-chair and is so doing for the Adoption & Child Welfare Legislative Committee. 

Under that committee three working groups are looking at the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) regarding what is working and what is not. Ramirez is heading one of them, the Task Force for Children of the Incarcerated.

She noted that 200,000 children in Illinois have a parent incarcerated. Of those children, 25% are under DCFS care. Evidenced by the many deaths of children under DCFS care, the work groups have a lot of work to do. 

That work includes bringing various departments and organizations together to address the problems and find solutions. Ramirez explained that despite the hard work, "it is difficult to get things accomplished in Springfield." 

When the big jump in property taxes was brought up, Ramirez, sits of the Property Tax Relief Task Force, suggested that everyone carefully look at their tax bills. One resident indicated that according to his bill, the size of his lot had increased as had his property tax. 


Lauren Young

Court advocate Lauren Young reported on a case regarding car

"Davontae Jones and Jason Dortch were charged federally for their 2017 carjacking that resulted in the crash of a stolen Jeep. While they were only charged with one count federally, they were thought to be responsible for around 36 carjackings throughout the city in 2017. 

"They were sentenced to 11 years in Federal Prison, which means they will have to serve the majority of their sentence. 

"There was a phone of a third offender found in the stolen vehicle belonging to Terreon Gathings. He was not charged federally, and his case for this particular incident was "Nolle Prosequi". He is, however, still involved in another case, involving another carjacking as well as attempted murder from another district. That case is ongoing." 

West Town Library's Manager Stephanie Flinchbaugh talked about their seasonal programming including book clubs and a green walk. 

There were cheers from people in the room when she announced that the first phase of renovation for the building was complete. The second phase is to be in the spring when the windows are repaired. The third phase is removing the scaffolding, which has been obscuring the front of the building for more than four years

While Flinchbaugh was eager to tell everyone about a big new announcement affecting the entire Chicago Public Library system, she said that the Mayor will be making a big announcement next week.



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