peters gop respState Rep. Sonya Harper, Joint Chair of The Illinois Black Caucus (ILBC), state Rep. Kam Buckner, House Chair of the ILBC, and state Senator Robert Peters, Senate Chair of the ILBC, released the following statement after today’s Republicans press conference on the SAFE-T Act:

“As usual with the Republican Party, any effort to make the justice system fairer for Black people is called ‘dangerous.’ With this law, we have worked directly with community organizations, legal rights advocates and law enforcement to make our justice system more effective and more just at the same time. That’s why the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement groups continue to work with us on this bill.”

“Many provisions of the SAFE-T Act have not even gone into effect yet, proving the Republican gambit is all for show. In fact, when fully implemented, experts say the SAFE-T Act will help improve public safety by supporting a more holistic approach for first-responders. Instead of coming up with solutions to address crime, Republicans are just trying the same racial scare tactics we see across the country. Today’s press conference is another instance of the Illinois GOP chasing relevancy after years of budget impasses and budget cuts. We trust the public won’t fall for this. We are improving public safety, supporting law enforcement and ending systemic injustice at the same time. We are not going backwards.”

Category: Press Releases

five important issues in construction safetyChicago —  The Tools Up Foundation of Chicago received an Illinois Works Grant to support their pre-apprenticeship program to increase diversity in the construction trades, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

“For too long, many communities have not been adequately represented in the construction industry,” Peters said. “There is so much talent in our community that has been unable to enter into these fields, and I’m glad to see that there is a program available to help give them the support and the mentorship they need.”

The Tools Up Foundation is a nonprofit pre-apprenticeship program, preparing underrepresented groups to enter the construction trades. The Tools Up Foundation received a grant of $326,597 to support their work in building the next generation of diverse talent in the construction industry.

The Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship program is designed to create, a qualified talent pipeline to fill job opportunities with diverse candidates. This program will deliver pre-apprenticeship skills training through a network of non-profit, community-based organizations, including community colleges, faith-based organizations, and business associations.  According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, fewer than 10% of apprentices are women or people of color.

“An expansion of apprenticeship opportunities will not only assist historically unrepresented communities, but will also help grow our economy as a whole,” Peters said. “I whole-heartedly congratulate the Tools Up Foundation for being a recipient of this grant, and I look forward to hearing about their work.”

Participants of the program will attend tuition-free and receive a stipend and other supportive services to help overcome systemic barriers to entering the construction industry.

To learn more about the Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship program, visit the DECO website.   

Category: Press Releases

peters hb3235cSpringfield– In an effort to combat a tactic that allows businesses to receive incentives from the government without public knowledge, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) is sponsoring a bill to prevent the state or any local unit of government from entering into a contract that would include a non-disclosure agreement in economic deals.

“Eliminating non-disclosure agreements will help bring vital transparency and accountability and ensure that local communities have a say in local development,” Peters said. “This is not just a Chicago or Illinois problem, but also a nationwide issue where we frequently see companies making deals they wish to keep out of the public eye.”

Senate Bill 3038 would prevent the state as well as local governments from entering into non-disclosure agreements in economic development deals, eliminating a tactic that frequently allows businesses to secretly lobby while extracting sweetheart deals without the knowledge or input of local residents. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Florida and New York.

Nationwide, state and local governments spend tens of billions of dollars every year on economic development subsidies, according to the American Economic Liberties Project. Non-disclosure agreements help facilitate those subsidy deals by keeping key details, such as the identity of the businesses receiving taxpayer support, secret from the public.

“Public money deserves public scrutiny,” Peters said. “Keeping the government contracts that our governments enter into a secret allows states and local governments to be played against one another. Taxpayers deserve basic transparency from their economic development agencies.”


Category: Press Releases

peters hb15gChicago – More communities are a step closer to addressing the problem of firearm violence related crimes after State Senator Robert Peters’ (D-Chicago) measure to bring gun violence prevention training and services to more areas was signed into law.

“The recent rise in gun violence will not be addressed until we change the policies that disproportionately have a negative impact on Black and Brown communities,” Peters said. “Soon, we will be able to work hand-in-hand with affected communities, intervening with at risk youth, supporting survivors and working from the bottom-up rather than the top-down. People in Illinois deserve public safety for all, not theater.”

The new law will expand upon the Reimagine Public Safety Act to increase the number of communities that can receive grant money for gun violence prevention, based on population size. The law will also allow for five more communities to be eligible statewide and would allow organizations to apply directly for training and technical assistance from contractors.

Peters championed the Reimagine Public Safety Act to address gun violence in Illinois by working with the communities most affected. The act was originally signed into law in June 2021 and created the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to issue grants and provide support to violence prevention organizations in communities affected by gun violence. The measure signed today expands upon the act.

“Many Illinois communities have been impacted by an increase in gun violence,” Peters said. “True public safety belongs to the people, and it demands that we address the underlying causes of violence at the grassroots level.”

House Bill 2791 was signed today and takes immediate effect.  


Category: Press Releases

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