Patricia Van Pelt is a member of the Illinois Senate that has her constituents concerns at heart. She is the Illinois state senator of the 5th district, which is mostly within Cook County, but includes some other counties as well. She is not a US senator, that would mean she represents the state of Illinois. Rather, she represents only the 5th district.
Senator Van Pelt is a strong believer in communication, honesty, and going right to the people to hear what they have to say. Members of the Chicago Leader Newspaper recently met with Senator Van Pelt and we had a very productive conversation.
The overall tone of the meeting was calm and sincere. This is indicative of Senator Van Pelt’s intentions with members of the community. Too many times, communities are governed by people that only want power. Yet Senator Van Pelt never seemed to be like that. She listened to the concerns of the members and explained herself calmly. Senator Van Pelt seems like a decent senator. However, no one should blindly trust a politician no matter how nice they are up front.
Senator Van Pelt’s job is to listen to members of the community, introduce legislation based on the community’s suggestions, and then receive criticism from the community once that process is done. On a basic level, senators pass legislation and occasionally write grants. Being a senator is a very prestigious and powerful position to be in. Senator Van Pelt believes that she must use her power to do everything she can for the community. According to her, she passed a law that helps fight against reverse mortgage fraud.
One of the themes of our meeting was activism work. Senator Van Pelt has a lifetime’s worth of activism work. Before running for state senate, she fought for many things to help her community. Later in her life, she became a state senator, and has been one now for 9 years and counting. Senator Van Pelt has been at this for a very long time. However, for a person that has been in office for that long, not many people know her very well.
Thus far, this community has been much more connected to their state representative, Lakeisha Collins. It would be great if Senator Van Pelt could make more local appearances. She must be a busy woman, but a better relationship with their state senator would be better for everyone.
The meeting with Senator Van Pelt overall was very enjoyable. One of the interviewers said, “I think we should stand up for our community and find the problems, figure out the solution, and go to the senator for support”. The meeting greatly impacted everyone involved and instilled many with hope for the future of Chicago and the marginalized people within. There are still many problems that need to be addressed in Chicago.
A Better Future
There is gun violence, economic exploitation, and even gentrification. However, if everyone can work together to solve these issues, then Chicago could be a better place. People like Senator Van Pelt are a part of that process. Communication between representatives and community leaders can be a great asset in the overall project of the advancement of the community.
In conclusion, Senator Van Pelt is a state senator who represents the 5th district of Illinois. She has been in that position for 9 years and she wants to help. She wants more people to apply for grants so that she can help great organizations thrive in the many communities of Chicago. Organizations like “Boxing Out Negativity”, or “A Safe Haven” foundation. Senator Van Pelt only wants the best for this community, so if people want to get in contact with her, her information is widely available. One can simply google her name and her office number will show up. Email or contact her if you are ready for a better Chicago.
Written by Kenneth Mazerat
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Featured, Top, and inset Image Courtesy of TNS intern Tiffany Fleming