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Van Pelt calls for more municipalities to dismantle their gang databases

vanpelt 022119CHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is urging other municipalities to follow the Cook County Board’s lead and end the use of controversial gang databases.

“For too long, law enforcement has been using gang databases with little oversight or transparency, despite the harmful, long-lasting effects they can have on the individuals in the databases,” Van Pelt said. “I commend the Cook County Board of Commissioners for voting to dismantle their gang database and put an end to its controversial use, and I encourage other municipalities to do the same.”

The use of gang databases to track individuals labeled as suspected gang members was called into question last year after investigative reports found that hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans have been added to gang databases, 95 percent of whom are people of color.

Van Pelt first raised the issue in the legislature last spring after learning about gang databases and the lack of oversight of their use. Since then, she’s held public hearings and met with law enforcement, activists and individuals who have been negatively impacted by being listed in a database.

“I’m continuing to work on legislation at the Capitol to ensure that innocent people aren’t added to a gang database without cause and to require oversight and accountability for the use of gang databases,” Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt sponsored a resolution requiring the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to conduct a review of the shared gang databases operating in Illinois and submit a report to the General Assembly by June 30, 2019.

Van Pelt calls for productive reaction to McDonald verdict

vanpelt 100518CHICAGO –– State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) released the following statement today as the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald has ended with verdicts of guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm:

“I will continue to pray for the McDonald family as I have since Laquan was taken from them. The verdict will not bring Laquan back or undo this tragedy. 

“The jury’s verdict simply makes a statement about the long journey ahead of us to repair and improve relations between our police and our community.

Van Pelt announces capital grants of $3.35M for UIC

vanpelt 022817CHICAGO –– The University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine is getting a long-overdue capital grant of $3.35 million for building upgrades, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt announced Friday.

“This investment will repair and improve the historic College of Medicine facilities to keep the campus in good condition for its students, faculty and visitors,” said Van Pelt. “Higher education capital funding was ignored by the governor for far too long while he delayed a state budget, and my efforts to provide these resources to address capital needs are now bearing fruit for UIC.”

The grant will fund masonry repairs and window replacement. Deteriorating masonry on the façade of the Clinical Sciences North Building was stabilized for safety several years ago, but this funding will allow UIC to complete the necessary repair project.

“This campus boasts excellent education, research and patient care and it is high time the state pitch in to keep the campus infrastructure in good condition,” said Van Pelt.

Van Pelt law protects workers required to use their own mobile device on the job

employee cell 082718SPRINGFIELD – A growing number of employers have “bring your own device” policies requiring employees to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes but receive no reimbursement for the associated costs. A measure sponsored by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt will provide them some protections. It was signed into law Sunday.

Senate Bill 2999 requires employers to authorize or require this use in writing, including provisions on the amounts or limits for reimbursement. This would exclude the loss or theft of a device unless by negligence of the employer.

Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

 Senator Patricia Van Pelt

5th Legislative District

Years Served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Criminal Law; Energy and Public Utilities; Public Health (Chairperson); State Government.

Biography: Born Nov. 12, 1957, in Chicago. Bachelor’s degree, Roosevelt University (1996); master’s degree, Spertus Institute (1996); doctorate, Capella University (2009); earned her CPA. Currently CEO of TARGET Area Development Corp. She has one child.

Associated Representatives:
Melissa Conyears-Ervin
Arthur Turner