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.

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Category: Social Justice

Hunter-MandelaWhile living in The Republic of South Africa from 1994-1996 I will never forget the day I met President Nelson and Winnie Mandela while visiting Parliament. The excitement and electricity ran through my body as we greeted another with a hand shake. It was a short amount of time, but I will always cherish that moment. I was in the country on invitation by the South African National Council on Alcohol and Drugs in partnership with the South African Black Social Workers Association to help educate, promote awareness and train South African social workers on alcohol and drug prevention. Watching daily the transformation of this country from a segregated society as a result of apartheid to the integration into mainstream society was the most fascinating experience in my life.

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Category: Social Equality

Dear Constituent:

Thank you for contacting my office and expressing your concern about my recent vote for pension reform.

This was one of the toughest decisions I have made this year, if not in my career. Please know that I took the time to think through this decision, weighed all options and finally decided to vote for pension reform for the following reasons:

• Funding for health care, mental health, public housing, child care and the homeless are targeted when the state cannot balance the budget. As the Chair of the Illinois Senate Human Services Committee, I could no longer, in good conscience, watch social and human services suffer cuts in the name of balancing the budget.

• I have stood by teachers, state employees and unions from the time I entered office. I have voted in favor of most measures aimed toward helping those affected by pension reform.

• This problem has been decades in the making and is the result of the state not putting enough money into the pension systems. I opposed previous plans because they took too much away from workers and retirees to make up for the state’s inaction. The plan I supported includes nearly $30 billion in added state funding for worker pensions. I supported this compromise because it puts the burden on the state, where it belongs.

• Unions representing public employees have already threatened legal action if the governor signs this bill. If that happens, the Supreme Court ultimately will decide whether the bill is constitutional. We can revisit SB 2404 if it is struck down, which I believe is much fairer and passes constitutional muster.

I understand your frustration with the system, with my vote and with the situation that Illinois is facing. We would have faced a $2.4 billion shortfall in the next budget if we didn’t act on the pension changes. My vote was to stop the bleeding.

Thank you for being engaged in this issue.



Category: Press Releases

IMG 1963Senator Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat, will join fellow State Senators Emil Jones, III, and Napoleon Harris and Representative Ken Dunkin for a holiday senior luncheon. They are partnering with the Institute of Positive Living to honor Red Hatters, retired nurses and teachers on Friday December 13th at the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The event will include Chicagoan Vanessa Holmes performing A Tribute to the Motown Greats. Guests can dance to the sounds of Martha & the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Stevie Wonder. Mom’s MAYBE, Mr. Taps and line dancers will round out the entertainment.

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Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
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