Rainbow flag and blue skies rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) is continuing her effort to introduce an inclusive curriculum to Illinois schools that celebrates the contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Steans’ law requiring public schools to include the contributions of LGBTQ individuals in their history curricula became law today.

“One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” Steans said. “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.”

Currently, Illinois schools are required to teach students about the role and contributions of African-Americans and other ethnic groups, as well as about women’s history, the history of the labor movement and disability history. Steans also thanked the efforts of advocates like Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, the Legacy Project and Equality Illinois for helping to raise awareness of the need for LGBTQ historical figures to be recognized similarly.

“Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for signing the Inclusive Curriculum Bill and ensuring that LGBTQ youth in Illinois will now see themselves in the history they are taught. We are excited this bill is now law in 2019 - the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the modern LGBTQ equality movement,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Also, thank you to Rep. Moeller and Sen. Steans, our fierce champions in the General Assembly. Your bold and unrelenting leadership and advocacy will benefit our youth for decades to come. As a former first grade teacher, I know how an inclusive education system can create change within a community. With this law, we will get closer as a state to telling the whole story of our shared history.”

According to a 2015 survey conducted by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, nearly 70 percent of LGBTQ students in Illinois have been verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation.

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to look to new role models who share life experiences with them.”

House Bill 246 takes effect July 1, 2020.

05242018CM0069 rSPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) that updates Illinois’ suicide prevention strategy was signed by the governor.

Steans’ measure requires the Department of Public Health to strengthen efforts to prevent suicide in Illinois. In 2016, suicide caused more deaths than homicide, motor vehicle accidents, and prevalent diseases like liver disease, hypertension, and HIV.

“When suicide takes a loved one from us, we’re left wondering ‘What could I have done?’” Steans said. “By partnering with advocates and devoting state resources in support of all our knowledge about how to prevent suicide, we’re doing what we can do right now.”

Steans’ law requires the department, working with the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance, to develop recommendations to prevent suicide using evidence based practices and promote any coordinating activity needed to implement them.

“The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention thanks Senator Steans for guiding this bill through the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker for signing it into law,” said Steve Moore, the Co-Chair of the Illinois Chapter of the AFSP. “As the 11th leading cause of death in Illinois, suicide is a serious but preventable public health issue. By creating an effective state government structure for addressing suicide, the enactment of this law will save lives.”
Suicide caused nearly 1,500 deaths in Illinois in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.

In addition to lives lost, suicide has a significant economic impact on Illinois, with each suicide death resulting in more than $1 million in medical costs and work loss costs, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Senate Bill 1425 is effective immediately.

Dear friends,

The Department of Water Management (DWM) would like you to know that the installation of water meters through the MeterSave program has been temporarily suspended while more research is done to determine why an increase in water lead levels is being seen in some homes with meters.

There are very easy steps that residents can take to ensure they have the highest quality water:

1. Filter Sets for metered customers

DWM has sent a letter to every customer who received a meter since 2000 with registration information for a free filter set. The filter sets--a water pitcher and six filters that are NSF-certified to reduce lead if used correctly--can be ordered online at www.ChicagoWaterQuality.org/filters using the custom code in the letter. Over the next few weeks, residents will also be receiving another mailing from DWM with this information.

Please register for this free filter set if you are eligible and have not already done so.

2. Free Lead Testing Program

DWM strongly encourages you to participate in their free lead testing program offered to any resident in Chicago. The testing is done by a certified lab and your results will be sent to you. DWM will also schedule a follow-up visit if necessary. You may request a free lead test kit by calling 311 or by visiting www.ChicagoWaterQuality.org.

If you have requested a test kit, please follow the instructions carefully and return it. The kits have no expiration date.

3. Flushing

One of the most effective tools for ensuring water quality is flushing. Every time you have not used your water for six hours or more, run a tap for five minutes to move the stagnant water out of your system. Doing dishes, laundry, showering or watering the lawn all count towards flushing as well. Also, as always, use cold water from the tap rather than hot water for drinking or cooking.

Flush your water for 5 minutes every time it has been stagnant for six hours or more.

For more information on Chicago’s Water Quality Study and meter installation, you can visit: www.ChicagoWaterQuality.org.

Residents can still register for a meter and they will be added to a waitlist and notified when the program resumes. For more information on the MeterSave program, you can visit: www.metersave.org.

Please see the below flyers from the City of Chicago for more information on keeping yourself and children safe from lead in drinking water.

Also, please watch the video below on the home testing process for people potentially impacted by lead in their water.

As always, feel free to contact me with any comments or concerns you may have at 773-769-1717 or reach out online.


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Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th District

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Chicago, IL 60640
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