Social Justice

Hunter070214State Senator Mattie Hunter’s plan to include African-Americans in the planning process of minority-focused programs was signed into law today. The law changes the composition and objectives of the Illinois African-American Family Commission.                    

“Including African-Americans in the development and planning process of policies is another step toward promoting equality within Illinois,” said Hunter, a Chicago Democrat and member of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. “With collected statistics, we can address problems often overlooked within the African-American community.”


Hunter052014Plans to create a youth substance abuse working group and juvenile justice advisory council sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) gained Senate approval this month. The plans aim to reduce substance abuse among teens and end minority disparities in the juvenile justice system.

“Ignoring signs of youth substance abuse leads to preventable health problems once they are adults,” said Hunter, member of the Senate Public Health Committee. Hunter saw the ill effects of unaddressed youth substance abuse firsthand during her years as a drug and abuse counselor. “Intervening once children are adults is too late. That’s why the working group will help families and communities educate our youth about addiction.”


Hunter-DCFS2When authorities in July found the tortured, broken body of 8-year-old Gizzell Ford lying among trash in an Austin apartment, it became yet another heartbreaking example of the failings of the state’s child welfare system.

It’s a tragic scene that happens far too often in Illinois. Over the past five years, more than 450 children have died from abuse and neglect, and recent numbers from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services show the annual death toll is rising.

State Senator Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat and longtime child welfare advocate, wants changes.


Senator Hunter says abuse and neglect deaths are unacceptable, demands improvement

HUnter-DCFSFrustrated by the number of children dying from abuse and angered by the tragic story of one Chicago girl’s recent death, Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter confronted the state’s child welfare agency on Tuesday and demanded changes.

“We have 111 children that have died. That is not acceptable. Every single one of you all need to resign,” Hunter, a Chicago Democrat, told top administrators at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services during a hearing.

Hunter, a member of the Senate Democrat’s leadership team, has long been an advocate for the state’s neediest children. Tuesday’s convening of a special Senate panel examining issues at DCFS comes in response to record high child fatality numbers and the high-profile death of an 8-year-old Chicago girl.


001hunter10One hundred women legislators and one hundred women community leaders from more than 35 states gathered Monday morning steps from the Capitol to call on Congress to work together to end the brinksmanship and get back to business doing the work of the people. The group is part of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and its program, the Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL), a national nonpartisan network of women state legislators, who work together to influence federal policy and budget priorities.

“Our country is slowly recovering from one of the worst economic periods in our nation’s history and prolonging the budget process is a political cat and mouse game that is affecting our nation’s economy and people’s ability to provide for their families,” Illinois State Senate Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter said. “We need to do what is best for the people of our country and shutting down the government as a political maneuver is unconscionable and irresponsible.”


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