022124CM0752resizedSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Willie Preston (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the governor’s annual budget and state of the state address:

“I agree that we need a holistic and humane approach when discussing this year’s budget to encourage structure in Illinois. The governor’s proposed budget offers several investments to help working families. However, I would like to see our existing vulnerable neighborhoods as a higher priority.

“I commend Governor Pritzker for his commitment to put Illinois on the path to financial recovery by outlining a budget that continues investments to expand education and economic opportunities, addresses health care disparities, and modernizes prevention programs in high-risk communities. We must be aggressive in our response to public safety concerns, funding programs that uplift our most vulnerable communities and address the root causes of violence.

“Public safety remains an issue and must be worthy of our attention as much as any other issue our state faces. I believe investing in trade programs provides purpose for youth who have been subjected to the ills of disinvestment and systemic neglect leading to instability and hopelessness.

“Becoming a carpenter changed my life’s trajectory. It gave me purpose, skill and a sense of pride in my work. I am calling for Illinois’ largest investment in trade schools in modern history, specifically targeting young people in Chicago.

“This spring, I would like to work with my colleagues, the governor’s office and other stakeholders to negotiate a budget that invests in high-quality, accessible vocational education to give our communities the tools they need to build a better future. The path to stability in Illinois is a budget that targets disinvestment and systemic neglect in our existing underserved and underresourced communities.”

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus called a press conference Wednesday to offer their responses to Governor Pritzker’s annual budget address.

Category: Press Releases

022024CM0091resizedCHICAGO — State Senator Willie Preston advanced new legislation to ban harmful chemicals in candy, soda and other food items sold and produced in Illinois.

“People should be able to trust that the food they buy is safe,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “As a father, it really concerns me that some of my family’s favorite food items have harmful chemicals in them.”

Senate Bill 2637 will ban specific, dangerous food additives from being used in the manufacturing, delivering, distributing, holding or selling of food products. These additives include brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye no. 3.

As a father of six, Preston stressed that the legislation prioritizes children, who face heightened risks from these chemicals due to their developing bodies and increased consumption of these types of food products.

“These food additives are linked to extreme health risks and have not been properly regulated,” said Preston. “As legislators, we have a responsibility to our constituents to prioritize their health and set a precedent for consumer safety.”

Preston intends to work alongside his colleagues this legislative season to include additional additives in the scope of the bill, such as titanium dioxide. Additionally, his proposed legislation will call for studies on the potential health risks of BHA and BHT.

Senate Bill 2637 passed the Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday. It now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

02 02 2024 01

CHICAGO — State Senator Willie Preston issued the following statement after participating in the Communities in Action forum at the White House:

“The impact of the Biden-Harris Administration in my district has been monumental to my efforts in the Senate. Communities throughout the 16th District have been impacted greatly by the affordable housing crisis. The federal funding from the Biden-Harris Administration allowed us to expand our housing supply, strengthening communities and supporting economic development in our district and across Illinois.

“With record-number investments in housing opportunities under the Biden-Harris Administration, I made it a priority of mine to ensure underserved communities were supported. Individuals returning to society often face barriers to gaining access to the resources they need for successful reentry into their communities. Capitalizing on these investments, I led the passage of legislation securing state IDs for formerly incarcerated folks upon reentry into society — a critical step in accessing expanded housing programs.

“I had the pleasure of joining colleagues, business owners, community organizers and leaders in labor, nonprofits, education and health care from across the region to share in our collective accomplishments in partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration. The forum was especially celebratory for me, as it was my birthday as well. Having space to share the work we are leading in our communities was an extremely exhilarating experience. I am inspired by our conversations and look forward to continued collaborations across local, state and federal governments for the betterment of people in the sweet 16th District.”

Category: Press Releases

Preston WHCHICAGO — State Senator Willie Preston will join elected officials and community leaders from Illinois and Indiana in Washington, D.C. to highlight the impacts of the collective collaboration with the Biden-Harris Administration on communities across his district.

“Working across multiple levels of government and municipalities is crucial in our mission to dismantling systemic barriers for communities that have historically left behind,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “I have been a longtime advocate for our trades, and I strive to do everything I can to support our local commerce and provide transformative opportunities for residents in the 16th District.”

As the owner of a small construction firm, Preston recognizes the value in trade careers. With the increasing availability of union jobs thanks to investments from the Biden-Harris Administration, Preston partnered with a local school to transport young adults to workforce centers to apply for career opportunities.

The impact of the Biden-Harris Administration in Preston’s district has been monumental to his efforts in the Senate, including leading legislation to create more successful reentry pathways for returning residents. Under the administration, there have been significant investments in housing units in historically underserved communities. Capitalizing on these investments, Preston led the passage of House Bill 3702 and House Bill 3345 to promote more successful reentry pathways for formerly incarcerated individuals.

“Individuals returning to society often face barriers to gaining access to the resources they need for successful reentry into their communities,” said Preston. “With record-number investments in housing opportunities, I made it a priority of mine to help pave the way for folks’ successful reentry.”


Category: Press Releases
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