01312018KS5226 rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) called for the termination of an officer for the Cook County Forest Preserves who failed to adequately respond to a racist verbal attack on a woman in a Cook County forest.

Video emerged this week of an incident on the Northwest Side in which a man threatens, curses at and racially attacks a woman for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag at a pavilion she had rented for a birthday party. The video shows the officer in question repeatedly ignoring her requests for him to detain the threatening individual.

“A woman being verbally abused for simply wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag is another example of how racists feel emboldened in their attacks on minorities and immigrants thanks to the current administration,” Martinez said. “But beyond that, it is inexcusable that a peace officer whose main responsibility is to maintain order and protect the safety and well-being of individuals visiting the forest preserve property would ignore a call for help from someone feeling threatened, no matter their race. He should be terminated immediately.”

The video shows other officers arriving after a bystander called the police, and the man was eventually arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

“Immigrants and minorities in our country feel extremely unsafe right now, and it’s not hard to see why, when racist attacks like this are seemingly given a pass by officers of the law,” Martinez said. “This behavior is unacceptable.”

Category: News

05302018CM0015 rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the Senate voted today to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget that includes full funding for K-12 schools, higher education and programs like immigrant services and welcoming centers:  

“This budget is the result of responsible, bipartisan negotiations, and it takes care of the citizens who need us most,” Martinez said. “I urge my colleagues in the House to approve it and for Governor Rauner to sign it.”

Category: News

05292018CM0979 rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Senate yesterday expanding the Grow Your Own Teacher initiative, a program designed to train people to become teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

The measure extends eligibility for the program to high school students enrolled at dual-credit courses at participating colleges and universities and to all pre-K teachers, not just those teaching at public schools.

“We have a great need for teachers in our state, especially in early childhood education,” Martinez said. “If we have people willing to teach, especially in low-income areas, we should help them.”

The Grow Your Own Teacher initiative provides financial, academic and emotional support to people studying to become teachers. After graduation, participants commit to teaching at least five years at a high-needs school or in a high-needs teaching position, usually at schools with a high percentage of low-income students.

House Bill 4882 passed both the House and the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk.  



Category: News

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