Tag: Sen. Lightford

Broadview Among Villages Flying Bicentennial Flag

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: State Rep. Welch, State Sen. Lightford, Mayor Thompson and Commissioner Boykin point toward the Illinois Bicentennial flag raised over Broadview’s village hall on Dec. 4. | Rep. Welch/Facebook 

Residents and elected officials converged on Broadview’s Village Hall, 2350 S. 25th Ave., on Dec. 4 to raise the official Illinois Bicentennial flag in the run-up to the state’s 200th year of statehood next year.

Continue reading “Broadview Among Villages Flying Bicentennial Flag”

Broadview Declares Sept. 25 Autism Day

Monday, September 25, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Debra Vines, founder of The Answer Inc., and her son, Jason, who is autistic. | Photo courtesy Debra Vines

Earlier this month, Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson presented Debra Vines, the founder of the Answer Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides support services for autistic individuals and their families, with a proclamation declaring Sept. 25 Autism Day in Broadview.

Continue reading “Broadview Declares Sept. 25 Autism Day”

25th Avenue Overpass Named After Former Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale

Frank Pasquale Overpass_1

Left to right: State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey, Pasquale, state Rep. Kathleen Willis, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico during the June 16 ceremony naming the 25th Avenue overpass after Pasquale. | Photos by Tara Gray/Feel This Moment Photography via state Rep. Welch/Facebook

Frank Pasquale Overpass_2Friday, June 16, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

During a ceremony on Friday morning, local and state elected officials converged on the 25th Avenue overpass that spans Bellwood and Melrose Park in order to give the structure, which was opened late last year, an official name: Mayor Frank A. Pasquale Overpass.

State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) introduced a House resolution that made the bridge naming possible.

“I have known Mayor Pasquale for many years, and am proud to have worked alongside him to make Bellwood a better place for everyone,” said Welch in a recent statement. “As mayor for 16 years, Frank gave so much to Bellwood, and this small token of gratitude will solidify a legacy of community service for many more years to come.”

Lower left photo: Pasquale shares a light moment with Hillside Mayor Joseph T. Tamburino and Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson. | Tara Gray  


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Briefly: Honorary Street Named After Hillside Pastor | A Maywood Brotherhood to Give Away 350 Toys to Needy| More Inside

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Apostle Donald L. Alford was honored with a street-signing named after him during a Dec. 4 ceremony at his Hillside church, Progressive Life-Giving Word Cathedral, which was located in Maywood before moving west in 2002. || Photos: David Dickerson/Facebook

Progressive.jpgTuesday, December 13, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 9:22 p.m. 

Apostle Donald Alford, the longtime pastor of Progressive Life-Giving Word Cathedral in Hillside, recently received a rare distinction.

A portion of Frontage Road in Hillside, where the church is located, will be renamed Donald Alford, Sr. Road, according to members of the church who were in attendance at a service held earlier this month where the distinction was announced.

When Progressive was founded in Maywood in 1925, it was considered the first church in the village affiliated with the Church of God in Christ — the 6.5 million-member, predominantly African American Pentecostal-Holiness Christian denomination.

Alford’s father, James Alford, was named pastor of the church in 1941. The younger Alford succeeded his father as pastor in 1983. In the decades before moving to Hillside in 2002 — into a building that once housed a Leow’s movie theater complex — the church worshiped at various locations in Maywood. For a long time, it’s home was a converted Jewish Synagogue located at 431 S. 13th Ave.

Numerous elected officials, including state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th), were in attendance at the Dec. 4 service where Alford learned about the honor.

A brotherhood looks to rebuild the Maywood block responsible for its bond

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A group of Maywood natives who form the group 13th Positive. | Photo submitted

A group of men who hail from 13th Ave. in Maywood are trying to transform their old stomping grounds one Christmas at a time. The group, called 13th Positive, is planning to host its second annual holiday toy drive.

“Last year, we went door-to-door passing out 150 toys,” Anthony Lindsey, one of the members of that group. “This year, we want to give out 350 toys.”

This year, instead of going door-to-door, the men of 13th Positive will be at the Maywood Multipurpose Building, 200 S. 5th Ave., on Dec. 23. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., they’ll be at the facility “passing out toys until we run out,” Lindsey said, adding that the group will also provide holiday music and refreshments.

“We don’t ask for [monetary] donations because we don’t want to give people any reason to be suspicious,” he said. “We just want to give back and put families in a better position for the holidays — whether it’s two or 30 of them.”

From now until Dec. 22, community members can drop off unwrapped toys (for children 8 years old and up) at any of the following drop-off locations:

  • Hair Dreams, 1919 W. Roosevelt Rd., Broadview
  • Dynasties Hair Creations, 4321 St. Charles Rd., Bellwood
  • Scotty’s Customs, 711 Mannheim Rd., Bellwood
  • Naps Barber Shop, 1109 W. Roosevelt Rd., Maywood
  • Stylistic Salon, 905A S. 5th Ave., Maywood
  • Re’Lux Hair Studio, 703 S. 5th Ave., Maywood
  • Hair Illusions, 1151 Portsmouth, Westchester

The brothers of 13th Positive

Charles Stump, master barber and entrepreneur | Reginald Neal, recovery specialist team lead for the Law Offices of Blitt & Gaines P.C. | Anthony Lindsey, contract manager at Department of Education | Leroy Davis, vice president of Hackie Cement Corporation | Clifford Williams, engineer for Union Pacific Railroad and real estate investor For IMEX INC. | Thomas B. Thompson, chairman, The NativeLight Group, Inc. and NativeLight Digital Studios, LLC (website development).  | Jason Henderson, retired Whitney Porter Forklift operator | James Truman, vice president of business development at TYLO Security | Clayton Howard, C&C Auto Sales | Clarence Frison, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Mississippi | Donald E. White, Jr., production supervisor for Johns Manville | Lorenzo Williams, Uber partner and president of Zinzo Clothing Inc. | Albert W. Stump, Jr., operations supervisor for Dart Container.

Enjoy these neat holiday events 


Washington Dual Language Academy, 1111 Washington Blvd., will host a “Christmas Around the World” assembly on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. at the Academy.

“Take part in wonderful sing-a-longs, emotive poems, and cheering creative performers,” notes a statement on the district’s website. “This is an event the entire family can enjoy.”


Everyone is invited to a Technology Holiday Open House within Maywood’s technology business district, an enterprise established earlier this year by the Economic Growth Initiative.

The open house will be held Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Global Business Center, 840 S. 17th Ave. in Maywood, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies, holiday music and a chocolate fudge raffle. Donations are appreciated. Come out and observe a class, meet our community’s young people, mingle with successful entrepreneurs and learn from our tech facilitators.

Learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycotts online


Nzingha Nommo, the owner of Afriware Books Co., 1701 S. 1st Ave. in Maywood, will lead a class on the Montgomery Bus Boycott called Boycott 101. The textbook, pictured above, is the most comprehensive treaties on the topic known.

The book, authored by Wally G. Vaughn, challenges many longstanding myths about how the boycott started and what most contributed to its success. If this intrigues you, join us!

To start, fill out a short form with your contact information (click here to access the form), pay a course fee and begin reading right away to prepare for the first discussion in January.

For more details about the course, click here. VFP

F E A T U R E D  E V E N T 


In Bellwood, Lightford Blasts Rauner’s Veto of Childcare Bill

Lightford Bellwood press conference

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford with childcare providers and parents during a press conference on Monday outside of Sun Children Day Care in Bellwood. | Provided

Monday, August 29, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) hosted a press conference outside of Sun Children Day Care, 3903 Adams St. in Bellwood, today to blast Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Aug. 26 veto of a bill that would’ve expanded affordable childcare to more families throughout the state.

Senate Bill 730, which was voted on by large majorities in the Illinois House and Senate, would have expanded the Child Care Assistance Program to include families with incomes ranging from 185 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level within two years.

Last year, Rauner changed the monthly income requirements for CCAP eligible families from up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level to up to 50 percent of that level. Later on, he lifted that minimum income threshold to 162 percent of the poverty level.

According to estimates by SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Rauner’s original changes to CCAP eligibility may have forced 55,000 children out of the assistance program. SB 730, they argued, would’ve allowed an estimated 52,000 additional children to benefit from the program.

Explaining his veto, the governor said that SB 730 “irresponsibly imposes an approximately 40 [percent] increase in the overall size of the program without any provision to fund such a broad enlargement.”

During her Aug. 29 press conference, however, Lightford and others said that the governor’s veto spells financial disaster for low-income residents, particularly women and children. SEIU officials noted that women comprise 99 percent of the childcare provider workforce and 94 percent of parents who participate in the CCAP program.

 “Parents in Illinois are paying more per year for infant care than a year of rent or college tuition. Starving the Child Care Assistance Program decreases the pay for providers and increases already high costs for parents,” said Senator Lightford, the SB 730’s chief sponsor. “This legislation creates jobs, and more importantly, creates a path to the middle class for many families.”

“The Child Care Assistance Program is a program that serves and employs women, making it possible for mothers to support their families and to contribute to the local economy,” said childcare provider Faith Arnold, who hosted the event at Sun Children, which she operates out of her Bellwood home.

“Bruce Rauner’s cuts to CCAP are forcing women out of school, out of work, and off the path to greater earnings and advancement,” she said.

Tenai Woods, whose son goes to Sun Children, said she lost her childcare for two months and had to decrease her hours at a local nonprofit just so she could keep her CCAP eligibility.

“Without child care, I can’t work,” she said. “I don’t want to cut back my hours, but without child care, how can I work and support my family?” VFP

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State Frees Up Nearly $2M in Grants to Maywood Park District


Thursday, August 25, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 8/26/16

Nearly $2 million in government funding has been re-released to the Maywood Park District after it had been held up by Gov. Bruce Rauner shortly after he took office. Last year, the governor issued an executive order suspending a range of “nonessential” state spending.

The suspended included two grants worth $1.62 million and $260,000 that the park district had planned on putting toward renovating its long-abandoned 809 W. Madison building and other facilities improvements, respectively.

The grants, the result of three years of legislative legwork by state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), are designed to go to park districts in communities that typically struggle to compete for state funding against wealthier communities. Park districts in nearby Bellwood, Broadview, Forest Park and Hillside, among other area suburbs, also received funding.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn personally delivered a $1.62 million dummy check to the Maywood Park District headquarters during his unsuccessful bid for reelection in October 2014.

“Park districts all over the state are rejoicing and praising their representatives,” said Maywood Park District Commissioner Terrance Jones, who personally thanked state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) and Lightford for their efforts.

Jones said that after Rauner froze the grant money, park district officials from across Illinois lobbied Springfield — writing, calling and visiting with their elected officials to pressure the state to reverse the governor’s decision.

Last month, the governor signed into law a stopgap budget that freed up $26 million in grant funding for 75 projects across the state. The money is part of the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program.

“Governor Rauner stopped all payments on grants after taking office in January of 2015, and then the state went 18 months without a budget,” noted Welch in an Aug. 25 statement.

“However, I am extremely happy that we were able to get this funding into the temporary stopgap budget passed and signed into law,” he said, “because our parks are all depending on this funding. Our parks are safe havens for our children.”

The $1.62 million grant requires the park district to raise 10 percent, or $162,000, on its own in order to receive the total grant. The $262,000 grant requires the district to raise half of the funds on its own before the full amount can be disbursed. In addition to the matching fund requirement, the park district is also required to spend all of the money within two years of receiving it.

After the $1.62 million grant was announced, the park district launched a campaign in order to raise the matching funds, but hadn’t met much of its goal by the time Rauner suspended the grants.

Welch noted that a new law that he and Lightford pushed would allow park districts to receive half of the funding up-front in order to jumpstart projects.

“That really made it easier for us,” Jones said. “That made (our plans) much more realistic, because (Welch and Lightford) understand our (constraints).”

Since the grant was announced, two new commissioners, one of whom was recently named board president, and a new executive director, have been installed at the park district. 

Jones said he’s reacquainting himself with the grant requirements and new board members are just learning the details of the funds. He added that commissioners will “sit down and reconfigure” their original plans and timeline for renovations. 

“We’re planning to sit and work out a plan (soon),” Jones said, “so probably within the next 30 to 60 days, we’ll be doing a press release (announcing those reconfigured plans).” VFP

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New Maywood Dance Studio Weeks Away from Opening

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Maywood Fine Arts’s new dance studio, located at 20 N. 5th Ave., is set to open on Aug. 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. | Courtesy Maywood Fine Arts

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

Maywood Fine Arts, the popular performing and visual arts nonprofit, is weeks away from moving into their new state-of-the-art dance studio, according to a recent statement released by the nonprofit.

The first classes are scheduled to take place on Aug. 29. Before then, the organization will plan a series of events to commemorate the opening of the new studio, located at 20 N. 5th Ave. The site replaces the nonprofit’s old studio, which burned down in a 2010 fire.

On Aug. 20, at 10 a.m., the nonprofit will host a grand opening ribbon-cutting celebration that’s open to the public, which would be able to tour the space and learn more information about courses and registration for the fall session.

Maywood Fine Arts alumni Craig Hall, who recently retired as a soloist with the New York City Ballet, will make a special guest appearance.

According to the statement, once the building opens, the dance studio will host over 500 students a week. Registration for classes begins Aug. 22. VFP

U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S 

Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Annual Back-to-School Fair, July 31

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Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

Monthly Breakfast

Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20 

Old Timers

This year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the annual Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.