Lightford061920 1BROADVIEW—Communities in the West Suburbs came together on Juneteenth to celebrate both the end of slavery and to continue the fight for justice, equality and police accountability.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was joined by West Suburban Mayors Katrina Thompson, Andre Harvey, Edwenna Perkins, Rory Hoskins and other elected officials on Friday for a Juneteenth Police Accountability Protest.

Lightford not only wanted to shine a light on Juneteenth, Freedom Day for slaves in America, but she also calls for police accountability after seeing Chicago police officers sleeping on the job in Congressman Bobby Rush’s office on the South Side of Chicago.

“I know Juneteenth is supposed to be a celebration, but we are in the midst of a movement, so we have to address excessive force and the many other injustices,” Lightford said. “It is so unfortunate that Juneteenth and the vast majority of Black history is not being taught in our classrooms. We have to, as a people, celebrate our people, because no one else is celebrating us, but us.”

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Category: News

Over the past few months, Walmart has been working with Federal, State and Local leaders to establish drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Walmart parking lots. Walmart opened an additional testing site on June 12 in the parking lot of the Walmart store located at 1300 Des Plaines Ave, Forest Park, IL 60130. This initiative will not require any additional local resources and will not impact traffic since it is by appointment only.


Walmart COVID-19 Testing Logistics


Site Logistics:

  • Drive-thru Testing (appointment only): Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for two hours each morning (7:00 am to 9:00 am); approximately 40 tests per day.
  • Site layout: conex container to house tests, PPE, sanitary supplies and traffic cones for minimal queuing.
  • The current plan is to have this site operating on Thursday June 11 (soft-launch) and open to the public on Friday, June 12.
  • Registration Portal: www.doineedacovid19test.com

Testing Process:

  • Self-administered swab observed by a trained pharmacist.
  • Those who want to be tested will register online and receive an appointment time.
  • There is no cost to the individual.
  • Those tested receive a designated appointment time-frame; we have found the lines to be fairly short and orderly. Testing process takes approximately 5 minutes per car.
  • A Walmart pharmacist will observe patients at our site performing a COVID-19 self-swab nasal test inside their vehicle.
  • The specimens will be collected, sent to a lab for results and reported to the state health department by our lab partners.
  • Lab partner on these sites would be eTrueNorth; they are one of the labs on contracted with the feds.
  • Those being tested will be notified of their test results within 3 to 5 days and instructed how to proceed should they test positive.
  • No lab results are actually run or provided at this time on site so we do not need CLIA certification is being sought.
  • Here are some additional details of what Walmart is doing: https://corporate.walmart.com/covid19testing
  • And here is an example from HHS of the self-administration of the test: https://youtu.be/vsQVxsQY3jc
Category: News

As I made my way to Cicero and Monroe on Thursday, I saw block after block of boarded up store fronts and empty lots and buildings in disrepair. Then, it dawned on me that parts of the West and South Sides of Chicago have looked like this since I could remember — destroyed and abandoned.

When I arrived, the area was surrounded by local residents who, quite frankly, were not interested in yet another spectacle in their neighborhood filled with empty promises and photo opportunities. And I agree with them.

As mothers cried out about the children they lost to gun violence and others screamed about the lack of opportunity, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx reminded us that those of us who are successful are not exceptions, and that we are only seen as such because we are expected to fail.

That was the first of four days of action hosted by the Joint Caucus of Black Elected Officials.

On the South Side, people gathered in frustration with elected officials. Their needs are not being met either, as other areas receive what they need and more. I hear them and I am frustrated with them.

In the South Suburbs, we heard stories from local business owners who have to rebuild after the looting that took place. Attorney General Kwame Raoul brought a message of no longer hesitating to be unapologetically Black as he had done in the past.

In the Western Suburbs, local officials discussed disinvestment, the need for better healthcare and education. They asked for help in making their communities a better place.

Those four days in those four locations were a hard reminder that we, the Black Caucus, have been tirelessly fighting for the wellbeing of our communities. And still, their needs have not been met.

We have not failed.

To every person who needed to see buildings burning before doing something about racism, welcome to the movement. To everyone who felt uncomfortable speaking on race issues, welcome to the movement. To every corporation who made their first statement in support of Black lives, welcome to the movement. To every young person who took to the streets in protest for basic human rights, you are the movement. Keep pushing.

In the coming days, weeks and months, we will draft bold legislation that addresses inequities in healthcare, education, procurement, job training, community redevelopment and everything in between.

I want our local residents to know that we did not disrupt their day for a show — we disrupted their day for change. We have commitments from the governor and the senate president to work with us. However, it takes support from a majority of my colleagues to pass anything and I know how to count to the magical 30 and 60 needed to accomplish anything. We may be heading down an uncomfortable road for some of my colleagues, but racism is much more uncomfortable.

The people have spoken.

Senator Kimberly A. Lightford is the Illinois Senate Majority Leader and represents the 4th District.

Category: News

Lightford061120 2CHICAGO – A new cash assistance program will provide financial support to Chicago residents who were excluded from federal stimulus aid, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) announced.

“Our families who were left out of federal aid packages have been facing massive levels of uncertainty during already difficult times,” Lightford said. “I applaud the Open Society Foundations and other funders for their commitment to helping fill the gap for people who may feel abandoned by their government. Also, thank you to Mayor Lightfoot and The Resurrection Project for their partnership in these efforts. ”

The City of Chicago announced the launching of the Chicago Resiliency Fund Wednesday. The $5 million fund was established with the help of a group of funders, including Open Society Foundations.

The Resurrection Project, a longstanding nonprofit organization committed to creating healthier communities throughout Chicago, will serve as the lead fiscal agent for the fund. To ensure as many eligible Chicagoans participate as possible, The Resurrection Project will convene a diverse group of community-based organizations to conduct outreach and identify households excluded from the federal stimulus relief including: Access Living, ARISE, Austin People Action Center, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Centro Romero, Chicago Community and Worker’s Rights, Chicago State University, Communities United, Enlace Chicago, Habilitate Systems, Hana Center Heartland Alliance, Indo-American Center, Latino Union, Latinos Progresando, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Northwest Side Housing Center, Puitak Center, Southwest Organizing Project, United African Organization, Austin Coming Together, Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, Greater Grow Englewood, Metropolitan Family Services and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

The fund will provide $1,000 per household for eligible Chicagoans, including undocumented individuals, mixed-status families, those recently released from jail, low-income college students, dependent adults and people experiencing homelessness. Applications will become available June 22. Find more information and apply at www.resurrectionproject.org/chicagofund.

Category: News

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