Chicago Elections; Illinois Bills to Protect Your Rights


March 2, 2023 | by Amber Smock

Access Living friends and allies,

Whew! It’s been a busy week. We sent out a triple header action email on Tuesday, and we’d like to follow up on those items as follows.

Chicago City Elections Go to Runoffs:

The Chicago mayoral race is gathering national attention as we head towards a runoff vote on April 4. Check out this link for an overview of Tuesday’s citywide election. Both Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and former schools executive Paul Vallas will be up for election for mayor, and a number of aldermanic races have runoff races as well. Get out there and vote! See this page for a live summary of the election results from this week. If you REALLY like looking at election data, check out this page from the Chicago Board of Elections on how many votes came in for every precinct/ward.

Civil Rights Bill Passes Illinois House Committee:

Yesterday, the Illinois House Immigration and Human Rights Committee passed HB 2248, the Civil Rights Restoration Act. Thank you to everyone who filed witness slips for yesterday! Now, we need your help to email your Illinois state representatives to vote YES on HB 2248 when it comes to the full House for a vote. Here is the link to send an email (only if you live in Illinois). This is the bill that would restore the right of people with disabilities to sue for damages due to emotional distress, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Keep Up the Pressure with IRRC: 

Institutional Rescue and Recovery Coalition (IRRC) is led by and for nursing home residents and survivors. This is a small but mighty Illinois group that needs YOUR help at the IRRC action link to ask our Illinois legislators to support HB 3629, HB 3716 and SB 2262. Get your letter sent! This set of bills would do the following:

– Triple the monthly ‘personal needs allowance’ (PNA). Illinois is one of only four states that still only provides the federal minimum of $30/mo for clothing and other personal needs

– Add enforcement tools to bans on retaliation by facility managers, against residents and workers that blow the whistle on neglect, abuse, safety violations, or other problems

– Expand emergency personal attendant/medical support programs, which will reduce the ‘hospital-to-nursing-home pipeline’ and help people with disabilities and elders stay in their own homes when they don’t need a 24/7 facility

– Begin a stakeholder task force that would develop a five-year plan for coordinating and developing home and community based service program capacity, including programs such as a transition housing voucher, and proposing needed models and policies to support nursing home transition

Please share this information with interested community members. Thank you for your advocacy.