Tag: Rep. Chris Welch

Gun Control Bills Supported By Area Lawmakers Pass IL House And Senate

Thursday, March 1, 2018 || By Tim Inklebarger/Wednesday Journal || @maywoodnews 

A gun control bill that was supported and co-sponsored by the area’s Democratic lawmakers — including state Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) and Kathleen Willis (77th), and state Sen. Kimberly L. Lightford (4th) — is now headed to the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Continue reading “Gun Control Bills Supported By Area Lawmakers Pass IL House And Senate”

District 209 School Board Campaign Shows Lots of Outside Cash, Stark Funding Disparities

Cash.jpgMarch 14, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel for Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews

The latest available campaign finance disclosures for a pair of political action committees backing competing slates in the upcoming April 4 Proviso District 209 school board election show a wide gap in funding and, for one slate, thousands of dollars from groups and individuals outside Proviso Township.

Proviso First for School Board 209 — which supports three incumbent candidates and a fourth newcomer — has $11,250 in funds. The other committee, Proviso Together — which supports four challengers, supported by Forest Park board members Claudia Medina and Ned Wagner — has reported just $2,000.

The total amount of funding for each committee is unclear. But Illinois State Board of Elections records do show a web of connections between the incumbent candidate slate (Proviso First) and outside groups active in previous elections, including committees tied to former District 209 board president Chris Welch, longtime Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico, and Cook County Board Commissioner and McCook Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski.

The Proviso Together and Proviso First slates were both created in January 2017. As a result, each committee does not have to file a quarterly disclosure report until April 1, just days before the election, according to Illinois State Board of Election rules. Contributions under $1,000 are listed on quarterly disclosure reports.

Connie Brown, a local Forest Park business owner and chairman of Proviso Together, said her committee has raised — through many small contributions — much more than the reports show.

All disclosures listed for both committees as of March 7 are Schedule A-1 contributions, meaning each donation is over $1,000 and must be reported within five business days. Schedule A-1 contributions given within 30 days before an election — any day after March 5 — must be reported within two business days.

“All of our money is raised through grass-roots support,” Brown said on March 9. “All of our contributors either live in the district or have friends or relatives within the district.”

She said Proviso Together has roughly 200 contributors, with the average gift between $50 or $100. Brown declined to give an exact total.

“We’re raising enough to do exactly what we need to do,” she added, mentioning printing costs for campaign fliers and signage. “It’s not about how much money is raised; it’s how the money is raised.”

Proviso First, by contrast, has received four A-1 donations totaling $11,250. The committee was created on Jan. 19. Teresa McKelvy and Brian Cross, both sitting Proviso 209 Board of Education members up for re-election, are listed as president and treasurer, respectively. McKelvy is currently the school board president.

Brian Cross, Proviso First’s treasurer and an incumbent school board candidate, did not return requests for comment.

Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski, created in June 2009 to support Jeffrey Tobolski in his bid for Cook County Board commissioner, gave $1,000 to Proviso First on Feb. 27. Tobolski is also the mayor of McCook. According to its most recent quarterly report, Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski has a $282,472.46 fund balance.

As Cook County commissioner, Tobolski’s 16th District includes parts of several Proviso communities, including Bellwood, Westchester, Melrose Park and Maywood. Tobolski mentioned that he got a message from Proviso First on Facebook asking for a contribution and said he knows Cross.

“I’ve known him for a number of years,” Tobolski said March 8. “We both went to St. Joe’s High School in Westchester.” He added that he tends to support incumbents.

“I didn’t see anything that they were doing wrong,” he said of the incumbents on the Proviso First slate. “The folks have a done a good job.”

D209’s 2016 four-year graduation rate was 73.5 percent, more than 10 percentage points below the state average, according to the Illinois Report Card, the state’s official source. Other metrics, including the rate of graduating seniors enrolling in two- or four-year colleges, are also below state average.

Tobolski said the $1,000 is a one-time contribution and that he was not a “kingmaker.”

Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski has been active in other elections, too. Since 2011, the group has given eight contributions totaling $2,700 to People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D209’s former board president. Welch’s tenure saw several controversies, including the possible use of taxpayer money to help pay Welch’s legal fees in a defamation lawsuit. Welch was elected as an Illinois state representative for the 7th district in 2013.

Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski has also, since 2010, given seven separate donations totaling $5,750 to Citizens for Christopher Getty, a committee created to support Getty’s village president campaign in Lyons. Getty was elected in 2009.

According to its latest quarterly report, Citizens for Christopher Getty has a fund balance of $99,055.47. Since 2010, Citizens for Getty has given Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski $2,400 in eight separate donations. The last, for $350, was in September 2016. Getty is also the chairman and treasurer of the United Citizens Party, a committee founded in 2004.

Since 2009, United Citizens Party, has given Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski nine separate contributions totaling $3,050. The most recent contribution, in March 2016, was for $1,000. According to its latest quarterly report, United Citizens Party has $101,554.56 as a fund balance.

Meanwhile, Citizens for Accountability, created in January 2015 and registered to a Michigan Avenue Loop address, gave $1,000 to Proviso First on Feb. 26. The committee’s purpose is listed as “Advocacy efforts around issues that help the citizens of Illinois.” Paul Rauner of St. Louis, Missouri is the committee’s chairperson.

On March 8, Citizens for Accountability reported a $22,200 contribution from Azavar Audit Solutions, a Loop-based municipal auditor with clients across Chicagoland, including Westchester. Since 2015, Azavar and another company, called Azavar Technologies, have given Citizens for Accountability $53,800 in contributions. Since 2015, Azavar has also given People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch $3,500 and $500 to Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico Sr. Inc. Serpico is the longtime mayor of Melrose Park.

Also on March 8, Citizens for Accountability reported a $1,000 contribution from Del Galdo Law Group LLC. In 2013, Del Galdo Law Group gave Your Choice for Proviso a $9,387.83 in-kind mailing contribution. Del Galdo was D209’s counsel from 2007 to 2015. Your Choice For Proviso was created in March 2013 to support the candidacy of Teresa McKelvy in her 2013 D209 election campaign. Dan Adams, the D209 board’s current vice president, chaired that committee.

In September 2016, Citizens for Accountability gave $500 to People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch. That same month, Citizens for Accountability gave Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski $1,000. A month earlier, they gave United Citizens Party $1,000. According to its latest quarterly report, Citizens for Accountability has a fund balance of $2,361.21.

CashAmerica, a Texas-based pawn shop chain, gave Citizens for Accountability $2,000 in October 2016. In the past, CashAmerica has also contributed to a committee backing Ronald Serpico Sr. CashAmerica gave Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico Sr. Inc. $250 in 2013. In November 2016, Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico gave People for Emanuel Chris Welch $2,500.

Tuwanna Stewart, a JP Morgan Chase loan officer with a Glendale Heights address, gave Proviso First $5,000 on Feb. 24. Stewart’s donation is the only contribution given by her, according to Illinois State Board of Election records.

Wendy Smith, a Chicago resident and Chicago Police Department patrol officer, gave Proviso First $4,250 on Feb. 24. Smith’s donation is the only contribution given by her, according to Illinois State Board of Election records. City of Chicago records list Smith’s annual salary at $90,618.

Proviso Together, on the other hand, has received two A-1 donations totaling $2,000.

Linda Offenbecher of Westchester, an occupational therapist, gave $1,000 on Feb 13. David Grant of Kankakee gave $1,000 on Feb. 21. VFP

P A I D  A D V E R T I S E M E N T 

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Don’t Miss: Facebook Live Townhall & Maywood Resource Fair on Feb. 22

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Rep. WelchTuesday, February 21, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) will host his first Facebook Live Townhall Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m.

Welch will be streaming from Springfield. Anyone with questions can leave them here:http://bit.do/AskRepWelch.

“If we don’t get to your question, I will be sure to reach out to you personally,” Welch said. You can use the following hashtags for this event: #represent #constituents #letstalk.

When you’re done tuning into Welch’s Facebook Live townhall, head over to the Maywood Collaborative Resource Fair at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, located at DCFS’s Maywood office on the 11th floor of Eisenhower Tower, 1701 S. 1 st Ave. The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, recruitment and resource specialists Pam Brown at (708) 338-6640 and  Mary Diamond at (708) 338-6639. VFP

Rep. Welch Goes to Washingon to Discuss School to Prison Pipeline; Denounces ‘Inequitable’ Education Bill

Chris Welch in DCFriday, October 3, 2014 || By Office of Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch

WESTCHESTER – Democratic State Representative Emanuel “ChrisWelch, D-7th, recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where he was invited to address the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Education Braintrust at their Annual Legislative Conference.  Rep. Welch specifically addressed eliminating the schools to prison pipeline.  The schools to prison pipeline is a pernicious problem that undermines educational opportunity for African-Americans.

Panelists addressed key efforts to break the pipeline including fair discipline initiatives, effective juvenile justice reform, and mentoring.  Rep. Welch‘s presentation focused on his 12 years of work on the Proviso Township High School District 209 Board of Education, and he also discussed important legislative initiatives that he has sponsored as a freshman legislator such as HB129, Bring Your Parents to School Day.  “I was honored to take part in such an important discussion, ” Welch said Tuesday.  “I was happy to showcase Proviso on the national stage.”  Rep. Welch also highlighted the importance of fair and equitable funding for public schools.

Joining Rep. Welch on the panel to discuss stopping the schools to prison pipeline were Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Harry Lawson, Jr., Associate Director, National Education Association, Human and Civil Rights Department, Federick Ingram, President, United Teachers of Dade, Florida, Judge Stephen C. Teske, Chief Judge, Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia, and Connie D. Franklin, CEO of All Angles Education Consulting, LLC.

Rep. Chris Welch Denounces SB16

Welch Co-Sponsors House Resolution Calling for a more Equitable Approach  

WESTCHESTER – Freshman Democratic State Representative Emanuel “ChrisWelch has joined the chorus of Illinois House members denouncing Senate Bill 16, a massive education funding reform bill proposed by downstate freshmen Senator Andy Manar of Decatur.  On Tuesday,Welch signed on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution HR1276 urging the members of the 98th General Assembly to cease efforts to pass SB16.  Welch‘s sponsorship of HR1276 gives the bill bi-partisan support.  To view the complete text of House Resolution 1276, please visit www.ilga.gov.

According to HR1276, the purpose of SB16 was to propose education funding that provides adequate, equitable, transparent, and accountable distribution of funds to school districts that will prepare students for achievement and success after high school.  However, if passed, several schools in the 7th Representative District stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars including Proviso Township High School District 209 and Westchester School District 92.

Prior to becoming State Representative in January 2013, Rep. Welch served on the Proviso School Board from November 2001 to May 2013.  He served as Board Chair for a decade, and he led the district in the creation of the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA).  Newsweek Magazine recently named PMSA one of the best high schools in the nation.

“SB16 is a disaster.  If this bill passes in its current form, SB16 would devastate schools all across the 7th District and the State of Illinois,” Welch said Tuesday.  “Schools in my district need more funding, not less.”

Rep. Welch, a long term school board member, a school attorney, and a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, spoke last Thursday in Washington D.C. on how to stop the schools to prison pipeline.  A key component of Welch‘s presentation was equitable funding for schools.

“I’m not against what Sen. Manar is trying to do in principle.  I just think there is a more equitable and reasonable approach to education funding reform,” Welch said Tuesday. VFP

Rep. Chris Welch serves all or most of the following west suburban communities:  Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, LaGrange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester, and Western Springs.

 

Rep. Chris Welch’s Legislative Update: Maywood Employment Office to Stay Open, Senior Services Fair

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The following was released by the office of State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch:

Maywood Employment Office Remains Open, Seeking to Relocate Within Maywood Soon

MAYWOOD – On Thursday, September 26, 2013, the Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Services, Jay Rowell, announced at State Representative Chris Welch’s office that the Maywood Illinois workNet job center is NOT closing; it’s moving. Details about the job center relocation are forthcoming. However, the Illinois’ workNet job center will remain at its current 19th Avenue location until further notice.

Beginning Monday, October 7, 2013, unemployment insurance services will only be available online at www.ides.illinois.gov or by phone (800) 244-5631.  However, employment services provided by IDES and the services provided by the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership through E&ES will continue from the Maywood location.  Additionally, computer access will remain available.

Job seekers can continue to receive assistance with interview skills and resume writing. Veterans can obtain assistance transitioning into the civilian workforce.  Employers can access no-cost HR recruitment assistance.

For those looking for employment, please visit IDES online at Illinoisjoblink.com to look for work.  There are currently over 120,000 job opportunities.  Record your work search because it can help you remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

For further information, please contact Rep. Welch’s constituent service office at (708) 450-1000 or Greg at IDES at (312) 793-9635.

Rep. Welch to Host Senior Services Fair This Saturday, October 5, 2013, at PMSA

WESTCHESTER, IL – Rep. Chris Welch will host a Senior Services Fair this Saturday, October 5, 2013 from Noon to 3pm at the Proviso Math and Science Academy.  Come out and learn about the various senior programs that are available and speak with representatives from state agencies including the Department on Aging, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, Secretary of State Jesse White’s office, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s office and many others.

Health screenings will also be provided by Westlake Hospital, and Walgreens will be available to provide flu shots.  An update on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will be provided.  Please bring your insurance and/or medicaid card with you to the fair.  Lunch will be provided, and Rep. Welch will personally call a few games of Bingo.  Come on out for some fun and information.

Rep. Welch serves communities in the 7th Representative District including all or portions of Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, La Grange Park, River Forest, Westchester, and Western Springs.

For more information, contact Rep. Welch’s constituent service office at (708) 450-1000 or e-mail repwelch@emanuelchriswelch.com.  You can also visit the App Store and download the State Rep. Chris Welch app on iTunes. VFP

Rep. Welch’s Legislative Update: Green Grants, Senior Services Fair

This legislative update was brought to you by the offices of Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch:

7th District Receives Green Infrastructure Grants

SPRINGFIELD – On Saturday, September 21, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) announced more than $5 million in investments to 13 communities across Illinois for green infrastructure improvement projects.  Illinois Green Infrastructure Grants (IGIG) are designed to support projects that reduce the amount of pollution running into Illinois waterways from stormwater sources and reduce the risk of localized flooding.  The Saturday announcement was a part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations while creating construction jobs.

Three 7th District communities received grant awards.  River Forest will receive a grant of $484,169 to build green alleys.  The Village of LaGrange Park will receive $416,500 for downspout disconnection assistance, and the Westchester Library Board will receive $163,099 to build a new permeable parking lot.

“I want to thank Governor Quinn and the Illinois EPA for shining the spotlight on the 7th District,” said Rep. Chris Welch who is a member of the Illinois Environmental Justice Commission.  “These grant awards will help keep the 7th District as a leader in our state’s efforts to protect environment.”

Any stormwater management project with the goal of preserving or restoring natural hydrology is known as “green infrastructure.”  This can include methods of using soil and vegetation for the preservation and restoration of natural landscape features, such as forests, floodplains, headwaters and wetlands.  Projects that could also be considered green infrastructure consist of permeable pavement, rain gardens and barrels, downspouts and bioswales.  The goal of these measures is to reduce nonpoint source pollution.

2013 is the third year of IGIG and the program has previously awarded more than $9 million to 23 green infrastructure projects around the state.  Included among the many improvements these projects have made are the installation of nearly 150 cisterns or rain barrels, 220 downspouts, 184 rain gardens, four green roofs, three urban wetlands and six acres of permeable pavement.  For more information about the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant Program and how to apply, please visit epa.state.il.us/water/financial-assistance/igig.html.

Senior Services Fair, October 5th at Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA)

WESTCHESTER, IL – Rep. Chris Welch will host a Senior Services Fair on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from Noon to 3pm at the Proviso Math and Science Academy.  Come out and learn about the various senior programs that are available and speak with representatives from state agencies including the Department on Aging, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, Secretary of State Jesse White’s office, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s office and many others.

Health screenings will also be provided by Westlake Hospital, and Walgreens will be available to provide flu shots.  An update on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will be provided.  Please bring your insurance and/or medicaid card with you to the fair.  Lunch will be provided, and Rep. Welch will personally call a few games of Bingo.  Come on out for some fun and information.

Rep. Welch serves communities in the 7th Representative District including all or portions of Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, La Grange Park, River Forest, Westchester, and Western Springs.

For more information, contact Rep. Welch’s constituent service office at (708) 450-1000 or e-mail repwelch@emanuelchriswelch.com.  You can also visit the App Store and download the State Rep. Chris Welch app on iTunes. VFP

State Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch Welcomes New District Staff

This notification was issued by the offices of State Rep. Chris Welch:

SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, State Representative Chris Welch welcomed Ms. Tionna Waters aboard as his new Administrative Assistant.  A graduate of Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois and Everest College, Ms. Waters is a specialist in customer service and organizational management.  Ms. Waters can be reached at tionna@emanuelchriswelch.com.

“It is important to me that our office provide excellent, timely and consistent customer service to the constituents of the 7th District of Illinois,” Rep. Welch said on Wednesday.  “Ms. Waters will help take my office to the next level as we serve working families every day.”

Also, joining Welch’s office earlier this summer was Mr. Henry Norris.  Norris, also a Proviso West graduate, recently graduated from Hampton University Magna Cum Laude.  Mr. Norris will serve as the Representative’s Constituent Service Manager handling constituent concerns and coordinating special events.  Mr. Norris can be reached at henry@emanuelchriswelch.com.

Rep. Welch serves constituents in all or parts of the following communities:  Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Hillside, Forest Park, LaGrange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Forest, Westchester, and Western Springs.  For more information on services and events provided by Rep. Welch’s constituent service office, please call (708) 450-1000 or email repwelch@emanuelchriswelch.com.  You can also download the Rep. Chris Welch App for Smartphones at the App Store.