vp 1122SPRINGFIELD – Following the start of the 102nd General Assembly, Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) was named chair of the new Healthcare Access and Availability committee.

“I am happy to serve as chair of this committee, and to continue my work advocating for equity in the health care spectrum,” Van Pelt said. “This role will allow me to better sift through the legislation that my colleagues and I work on to home in on the specific obstacles facing access and availability.”

Healthcare Access and Availability will begin a new committee that will focus on the deeper barriers minorities face in access to health care.

A member of the Senate since 2012, Van Pelt has been an advocate for equality in the health care spectrum as well as criminal justice and other areas. She previously chaired the Public Health committee.

“I will continue to fight for equal health care, including advocating support for the Black Caucus health care agenda, which we hope to pass this sessions.”

Category: Latest

CBS2 murder DNA story 2 screenshotCBS2 Chicago - February 28, 2019 | original article

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some people in Chicago are now demanding answers after CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman first reported on dozens of unsolved murders dating back 20 years. Many of those investigations have been delayed by backlogs in analyzing DNA.

A group prayed and read off the names of the 50 victims at a community meeting Wednesday night.

CBS 2 disclosed that those women were strangled, their bodies dumped in abandoned buildings, alleys and even garbage containers. Some were even set on fire.

“I saw the piece that you did and it was shocking,” said Beverly Reed Scott, who organized the meeting.

Among the attendees was State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, who had previously asked police about a possible serial killer.

“And they assured us that there was not any evidence of it,” she said. “But with that piece that aired the other night on channel 2, it raises the question again that maybe there is.”

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CBS2 video screenshot CBS2 Chicago - February 27, 2019 | original article

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago alderman and a state senator are demanding answers about the unsolved cases of 50 women’s murders after CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman asked last week if there is a serial killer loose in Chicago.

Beverly Reed Scott organized a meeting and plans to organize the community to press for action in the women’s cases. Attendees honored the 50 women with prayer and reciting their names.

Since 2001 they are some of the women who have been beaten, raped, and strangled; and had their bodies dumped in alleys, vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and garbage containers. Some were set on fire.

“I’d like to see the superintendent cry over these 50 women,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) says she’ll call for City Council hearings.

“There’s too many black women that lost their lives, and we don’t know what happened to them,” she said. “They just disappeared.”

As CBS 2 disclosed, Thomas Hargrave, of the Murder Accountability Project, believes that similarities in many of the cases point to a possible serial killer.

“We think it’s extremely likely that there are common killers in the Chicago series,” he said.

A cousin of the most recent victim, Reo Renee Holyfield, described his frustrations getting information from the police.

“They told us to just wait,” Ricardo Holyfield said. “Until CBS Pam came and told us that she dug a little bit more. When Pam came she spoke up loud enough that they gave all that stuff to us and we got a chance to put her to rest.”

“This is raising some questions that need to be answered,” said State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt. “I think these young ladies are falling between the cracks.”

The police department has previously told CBS 2 they don’t believe that at this time there is any actionable evidence that points to a serial killer in these cases. Police officials have refused to do an on-camera interview.

Category: Latest

vanpelt 100518CHICAGO –– State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) released the following statement today as the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald has ended with verdicts of guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm:

“I will continue to pray for the McDonald family as I have since Laquan was taken from them. The verdict will not bring Laquan back or undo this tragedy. 

“The jury’s verdict simply makes a statement about the long journey ahead of us to repair and improve relations between our police and our community. 

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