data-dataset-word-data-deluge.jpgCHICAGO –With the Chicago Police Department poised to unveil a new gang member database in light of pervasive concerns about the current system, Senator Patricia Van Pelt called on police to ensure the new registry is designed with effectiveness as well as justice in mind.

“The public demands that this law enforcement tool be effective, but we must all demand that it be just and fair to all Chicagoans, and in particular the people of color who were disproportionately targeted by the current system,” Van Pelt said. “If the Criminal Enterprise Information System does what it’s supposed to, it could be a great boon to public safety. But to do that, it must have strong and constant oversight.”

A report from the Inspector General last April showed the operation of the original gang database to be unethical and unreliable in ways that harmed citizens who were not guilty of any crime. It overwhelmingly affected people of color, who made up 90 percent of the database. Once entered, there is no way for a registrant’s name to be removed. The entry also appears on a person’s background check, exposing them to housing and job discrimination and even deportation.

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Category: Press Releases

02182020CM0307.JPGSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) recently filed legislation that would require an employer to reimburse an employee within 30-45 days after the receipt of a required business expense, a common workplace scenario that currently isn’t governed by any sort of statute.

“A lot of employees despair of ever seeing their business expenses reimbursed,” Van Pelt said. “This should be a common labor protection, just as a 40-hour workweek is. Employees who float costs for their employers should receive reimbursements in a timelier manner.”

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Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – Last April, a man named Elisha Brittman was found naked and unresponsive under a car in Chicago, beaten so badly his face was unrecognizable. The police failed to identify him through fingerprints or DNA. Instead, they used a mugshot to identify him as Alfonso Bennett. In turn, the hospital notified Bennett’s family, who decided to take Brittman off life support. Now, both of the families involved are filing a lawsuit.

After learning of what happened to her constituent, Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is leading an effort to make sure no other family is ever faced with such an unthinkable situation.

“Hospitals must make life or death decisions every day, but they must take every possible precaution in cases like this. Though the misidentification was the fault of the police, Mercy shouldn’t have notified the family until they were absolutely sure,” Van Pelt said. “That is why I’m sponsoring legislation to prevent things like this from happening in the future.”

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Category: Press Releases

imagesCHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt is leading an effort to allow an early learning and youth development center to purchase the state-owned property it has occupied for decades from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services control, a move that would require General Assembly approval.

Last year, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning received approvals for this transaction from the Governor Pritzker’s office and DCFS. However, because the property is not in the surplus property queue, the transaction requires specific legislation.

“The Carole Robertson Center is in need of renovations that the state is simply unable to perform,” Van Pelt said. “Selling off state property is not a move anybody involved makes lightly, but in this case it is the right thing to do. Thousands of disadvantaged children on Chicago’s West Side served by the Carole Robertson Center will benefit from renovations that will now be possible to the site under the Center’s ownership. I am proud to lead the effort to support families in our community with this legislative action.” 

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