Working for Illinois Caucus

House Downstate Democrats work for the good people of Illinois



Bristow tours Chestnut Health Systems in Granite City

State Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton) toured Chestnut Health Systems in Granite City last week to meet with staff and to learn more about the organization’s work surrounding mental health.  

“As a member of the House Mental Health Committee, I appreciated being able to learn more about Chestnut and their important work to help improve mental health,” Bristow said. “With rising accessibility problems to mental health services and the ongoing battle with the opioid crisis, organizations like Chestnut play a vital role, now more than ever, in improving the quality of life for people when they need help. As state representative, I have made mental health one of my top priorities, and I look forward to working with Chestnut more to ensure that our region has the proper resources and funding to provide these critical services.”

Chestnut Health Systems is a nonprofit organization serving the Metro East and other parts of the state providing a full range of behavioral health and human services. Chestnut also offers extensive care for those dealing with substance use addiction. As a member of the House Mental Health Committee, Bristow has worked in Springfield to improve mental health across the state, including sponsoring a variety of legislation to create greater access to mental health services. Bristow is also dedicated to working with law enforcement and community partners, such as Chestnut, to combat the opioid crisis and to better deal with all forms of behavioral health.

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July 25, 2019 at 09:59AM

Crowe, Bristow partner on food donations

WOOD RIVER – State Sen. Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon, and state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, are partnering to bring in non-perishable food items for those in need in the Metro East.

“We can all make a difference right here in our own neighborhoods by donating a few food items to those in need,” Crowe said. “This food will be available to our friends and neighbors who are struggling to find their next meal.”

Non-perishable food items are being collected at Crowe’s office at 111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A, in Wood River, and at Bristow’s office 102 W. 9th St., Suite 104, in Alton.

Hunger relief is one of the core programs Operation Blessing employs to help families rise up out of poverty. The nonprofit, humanitarian organization — with a branch in Wood River — is dedicated to alleviating human need and suffering.

Crowe also is coordinating with the Goshen Market to bring its “Beet Box” program to Wood River by the end of the month. For more information, call 618-251-9840.


Region: Metro East,City: Alton,News

via News RSS Feed

July 2, 2019 at 04:31PM

St. Rep. Yednock says extend deceased veterans’ property tax breaks to surviving spouses

St. Rep. Lance Yednock says he’ll support legislation to extend a property tax credit to the surviving spouses of military members and veterans who qualified for it. It would apply in situations where the military member was killed in action and where a veteran’s death was determined to be service-connected.

Yednock says the most severely disabled veterans are eligible to pay no property taxes. The Ottawa Democrat says their spouses shouldn’t be forced out of their homes because of high property taxes.

The bill has already passed the Senate with unanimous support.


Region: Northern,Feeds,News,Region: La Salle


May 11, 2019 at 06:04AM

Rep. Maurice West to host Mother’s Day lunch


May 9, 2019 at 12:55 PM May 9, 2019 at 12:55 PM

ROCKFORD — State Rep. Maurice West II, D-Rockford, will host a free Mother’s Day luncheon from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 11 at Cliffbreakers Event and Conference Center, 700 W. Riverside Blvd.
The Mother’s Day Luncheon will feature former state Rep. Litesa Wallace as a keynote speaker, and food served will come from women-owned local businesses.

RSVP requested: 815-987-7433;



via State – Rockford Register Star

May 9, 2019 at 01:06PM

Bristow Honors Fallen Firefighter | Alton Daily News

This week on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, state Rep. Monica Bristow of Alton, presented House Resolution 190 to honor the life of Godfrey Fire Captain Jake Ringering who lost his life in the line of duty on March 5th, while fighting a house fire.

Bristow hosted Captain Ringering’s wife and three children, along with other members of his family, firefighters from Godfrey and East Alton and other Riverbend area lawmakers.

Bristow offered these words to honor the late fire fighter:

“Jake was a dedicated member of our community, doing what he did best, which was protecting others and keeping us safe. He was a leader to so many and touched and saved countless lives in the process and showed us what bravery is,” said Bristow. “He was a devoted husband and father, to his wife, Alison, and children, Nora, Elaina, and Logan. He always put his family first, and was a loving son, brother, and brother-in-law who never met a stranger. We were joined by his wife and children, parents, many local firefighters, and countless friends and other family members, who helped us honor his life and his dedication to keeping our families safe. It is important that we all take a moment to remember, and to thank those that put their lives on the line every single day to protect the safety of all of us.”

(Photo:  Rep. Monica Bristow, Ringering family, Sen. Michelle Crowe)


(Copyright WBGZ Radio/

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via Alton Daily News

May 3, 2019 at 05:08PM

Bristow hosts prayer breakfast for religious leaders

State Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton) hosted local pastors and faith leaders for a prayer breakfast on Friday to hear their thoughts and concerns on current state issues, and ways to strengthen local communities and improve the Riverbend region.

“The Metro East is incredibly fortunate to have so many churches, pastors and faith leaders who openly participate in our communities and provide much-needed support to local families,” Bristow said. “I truly appreciate our pastors and faith leaders taking the time to offer their prayers for our state and its leadership, and for sharing their thoughts with me on how we can put Illinois back on the right track. Their guidance is something that I value and carry with me as I continue to serve our residents. I also enjoyed hearing about all of the good work they are doing to help our friends and neighbors, and I look forward to working with them more in their efforts to make our region its best.”

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April 29, 2019 at 08:59PM

State Rep. Joyce Mason to host diaper drive

GURNEE – State Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, is hosting a diaper drive that will lead up to Mother’s Day, concluding on May 11.

All diapers collected will be donated to Twice As Nice Mother & Child, a nonprofit organization that distributes more than a quarter million diapers each year to families in need throughout Lake County.�

“Diapers are imperative to ensuring families have ample opportunity to succeed in life. Oftentimes, quality child care facilities will not accept a child into their program if that child will not be brought with his or her own supply of diapers,” Mason said in a news release. “This can lead to many already struggling parents being unable to find steady, secure employment because they are lacking viable child care options.”

Residents interested in participating in the drive can bring diapers to Mason’s office at 36100 Brookside Drive in Gurnee during regular business hours. To find an alternative time or location to donate, contact Mason’s constituent service office at 847-485-9986 or email�

“I am a single mother myself. I understand that there are countless, complex issues facing families today, but being forced to choose between buying diapers or buying baby formula should not be one of them,” Mason said in the release. “Children deserve to grow up in healthy, nurturing environments, and parents deserve to have the ability to give that to them.”�


Region: Lake County,Letters,Region: Suburbs,Opinion

via Lake County Journal

April 24, 2019 at 03:40PM

State Rep. Kifowit Recognizes American Legion on 100th Anniversary with House Resolution

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego recently introduced a house resolution to honor the legacy of the American Legion for its centennial anniversary.

HR 310 congratulates the American Legion on the 100th anniversary of its founding.

Kifowit, who herself is a US Marine Corps Veteran, says that the legion has “made great contributions to the welfare of military veterans, their families and communities over the past 100 years.”

The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization with over two million members.

The organization was founded by U.S. World War I military personnel stationed in Paris, France in Mar. 2019. Members of the Legion donate more the 3.7 million hours of volunteer service annually, over 80,000 pints of blood to collection centers nationwide and over $4 million in college scholarships.

Cmdr. of the Amercian Legion Department of Illinois Michael Carder says “veterans serving veterans is truly our mission.”

The Legion marks its centennial anniversary with a 15-month celebration that began with its national convention in August 2018 and culminates on Veterans Day 2019.


Local,Region: South Suburbs,Region: Joliet

via – RSS Results in news/local of type article

April 24, 2019 at 07:57AM

Cass-Morgan members welcome adopted legislator

Farmers from Cass-Morgan Farm Bureau recently welcomed their new adopted legislator, Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, for an educational day. Costa Howard represents a suburban district in DuPage County and joined the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Adopt-A-Legislator program a few months ago.

She first met her adopted farmers at IFB’s state legislative reception in February and graciously offered to visit the county this spring to begin learning more about their farms and the work they do.

The day began with a meet and greet at the county Farm Bureau office where the representative was presented with a welcome basket of locally produced items. The first tour stop took place at North Elementary School in Jacksonville. As a former school board president, Costa Howard has a strong interest in education issues. The school tour provided an opportunity to learn about the concerns of a rural school district, including unfunded mandates and the challenging impact of the state’s new minimum wage law.

Principal Bobbie Mills led the tour and highlighted the building’s newest addition which added a media center, preschool classrooms and more restrooms. Costa Howard also observed an Ag in the Classroom presentation by Lisa Hadden to learn about the program, which teaches students about how their food is grown.

The next stop was John Tomhave’s cow/calf operation. Tomhave’s son, Austin, and daughter-in-law, Lauren, along with their daughters, Gracie and Caroline, gave the representative a tour of their barn to view newborn calves.

The Tomhaves explained how the babies are fed, raised and cared for in all kinds of weather. They also discussed how farmers keep their animals healthy, including responsibly using antibiotics to prevent illness and to treat the animals when they are sick.

Several Cass-Morgan Farm Bureau Board members joined the group for lunch at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. The group had a great conversation covering many issues, including the importance of the sales tax exemption on agricultural inputs, the proposed progressive income tax, economic development and vocational education. The discussion provided a valuable opportunity for Costa Howard to ask direct questions about agriculture and get the farmers’ input on key issues facing the state today.

After lunch, the representative visited the Hadden family farm, a fifth-generation grain and cattle farm. The family also runs a Pioneer seed dealership. Brothers Dale and Gary Hadden walked Costa Howard through their farm, explaining how they are preparing for planting season, as well as work involved in running the seed dealership.

Time was spent inspecting a planter to better understand the machinery and technology used to plant a crop. Afterwards, Costa Howard gained some on-the-job experience by taking a tractor ride and even driving the tractor herself.

The tour concluded with a stop at Wes White’s farm to view agricultural conservation projects. Costa Howard learned how cover crops prevent soil erosion and provide nutrients to improve the soil. The group also took a ride out into the field to observe how filter strips prevent nutrient runoff from the field and protect water quality.

“We appreciate Rep. Costa Howard’s enthusiasm for the Adopt-A-Legislator program and her interest in learning more about agriculture,” said Wes White, Cass-Morgan Farm Bureau president. “The farm tour was a valuable opportunity to share our perspective on a number of important state issues. We look forward to visiting the representative’s district this summer to better understand the issues important to her constituents.”

Christina Nourie serves as Illinois Farm Bureau’s northeast legislative coordinator.  

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April 22, 2019 at 06:46AM

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