NOTICIAS

Dems want to replace Connor by Friday

May 4, 2022
 – 
Herald News, Bob Okon

Democrats hope to have a substitute state senator in place in the 43rd District by Friday... Will County Progressive leaders put out a statement Sunday urging Democrats to wait until the primary and put the winner in the seat or to put in someone not seeking election. The two candidates are Will County Board Member Rachel Ventura, who is aligned with the Progressives, and Eric Mattson, a Joliet firefighter.

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Will County Progressives want ‘lame duck’ to replace Connor

May 1, 2022
 – 
Herald News, Denise M. Baran-Unland

"With less than 60 days until the primary we are frustrated to see an attempt to hand off the 43rd State Senate seat to the favored candidate of the political machine,” the statement said. “This move is politics at its worse, done over and over again to keep power in the hands of a select few without letting voters have the first say.”

Ibarra and Bright said on Sunday that the Will County Democratic party should appoint a ‘lame duck’ — someone not seeking that seat — to replace Connor in the interim.

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Rachel Ventura, State Senate 43rd District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

April 30, 2022
 – 
Shaw Local News Network

"The climate crisis is an issue that will impact all of us and many of the residents of the 43rd District will be impacted as we shift away from fossil fuels towards a renewable energy future. It will be important to make sure that we have a just transition and attract local green collar jobs to maintain a stable base of employment.

As the Joliet aquafer dries up, we have a water crisis that is going to require major infrastructure improvements throughout the 43rd District and in neighboring Crest Hill. This will be a high priority of mine as a State Senator.

I support robust, high-speed public broadband that will provide stable support for technology companies that want to set up shop in Will County. Building a competitive infrastructure will save ratepayers money and provide high quality service that keeps young people in Will County."

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Ventura’s Campaign For State Senate Files Objection To Primary Candidate’s Signatures

March 25, 2022
 – 
WJOL

The Rachel Ventura Campaign for State Senate in Illinois’ 43rd District filed an objection to Eric Mattson’s signatures this week. Both candidates are running in the Democratic Primary to replace John Connor, who is running for judge. The challenge was officially filed by 43rd District residents, Janet Diaz, Roger A McReynolds, and Joel Brown, but according to the campaign press release, “Ventura is owning the challenge and personally did some of the research behind the objection.”

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Candidate Ventura implicates county clerk in case against campaign opponent

March 25, 2022
 – 
Herald News, Bob Okon

Ventura filed with election authorities against Eric Mattson, her opponent in the June 28 Democratic primary, contending that Mattson signed as circulator for at least four petition sheets that he did not circulate.

“We want our elected officials to follow the law,” she said. “There are rules for getting on the ballot. This is one of the first steps.”

Candidates running for office need to collect signatures on nominating petitions from a percentage of potential voters to get on the ballot. Whoever circulates the petitions is required to sign them before a notary public attesting that the signatures were collected in the presence of the person signing as circulator.

Ventura dijo que su campaña ha recopilado 10 declaraciones juradas de personas para presentar su caso ante la junta estatal.

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State House, Senate seats in Will County up for grabs in 2022 election

March 23, 2022
 – 
Herald News, Alex Ortiz

The state legislature redrew it’s own district boundaries ahead of this year’s election.

Senate District 43

This seat is open after Sen. John Connor chose to run for an open circuit court seat.

Two Democrats, Eric Mattson and Rachel Ventura, will vie to replace Connor. Mattson of Joliet is a Joliet firefighter and president of the union representing the city’s firefighter supervisors. Ventura of Joliet is a Will County Board member and works for Joliet Township government.

The Republican primary also features two candidates, Diane Harris and Michelle Lee. Harris of Joliet sits on the Joliet Public Library Board and serves as the vice chair of the Joliet Township Republican Organization. Lee of Shorewood is a trustee on the Joliet Junior College Board.

The district stretches from Bolingbrook to south of Joliet.

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Candidates File Petitions In Illinois State Board Of Elections

March 8, 2022
 – 
WJOL

Rachel Ventura filed roughly 1,500 signatures at the Illinois State Board of Elections for the office of State Senate in Illinois’ 43rd District on Monday, March 7th. Ventura and her campaign were third in line to file petitions and participate in the political tradition of waiting through the cold night to be among the first to file their petitions and potentially earn a top ballot position.

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Hundreds gather to get their names on the 2022 ballot

Monday, March 6, 2022
 – 
WGEM, Lizzie Seils

Behind her was the first Democrat in line, Rachel Ventura of Joliet is looking to take the open Illinois House seat in her newly-drawn district. She brought her twin daughters to stand in line for her first state race and slept in a tent overnight. She’s currently on the Will county board.

“We think it’s really important to be here, and show the voters how important this election is,” Ventura said.

It’s a tradition in Illinois politics to line up outside the election office to deposit your petitions on the first day they’re accepted. Candidates will have the entire week to submit their signatures, but filing them today gives them a chance to be the first name on the ballot for their race.

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Illinois County Appoints First Muslim Board Member

March 7, 2022
 – 
About Islam & News Agencies

Will County has appointed Saud Gazanfer as the first American Muslim to serve on the county board, setting a precedent in the county’s history. Rachel Ventura, who has served as a Will County Board member since December 2018, has also shared a congratulatory message to Gazanfer. "The Will County Board made a historic appointment this morning when Saud Gazanfer became the first Muslim American on the board. A Bolingbrook resident, IT professional, active community member, and member of the Masjid Al-Jumu’ah mosque. "

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Will County takes personal approach to increase vaccination rate

Monday, July 26, 2021
 – 
John Garcia

Will County health officials said they are trying to overcome mistrust and misconceptions about the safety of the vaccine, particularly in Black and brown communities.

Warehouse employees in Will County say they have worked in close quarters throughout the pandemic, and they are among those most at risk from people who have not been vaccinated. So they are taking the message of the importance of vaccination door-to-door.

"It takes a lot of one-to-one conversations to address these issues," said Vinita Voss, Will County's vaccine equity manager.

Will County health officials said they are trying to overcome mistrust and misconceptions about the safety of the vaccine, particularly in Black and brown communities.

"Working with community-based organizations, they'll have the best success because they have already built trust in those communities," said Rachel Ventura, Will County Board member.

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POLITICO Illinois Playbook

June 15, 2021
 – 
Shia Kapos

— Rachel Ventura, a Will County District 9 board member, will run for state Senate in the revamped 43rd District next year. In making her announcement, she said incumbent Sen. John Connor won’t seek re-election as he’s running for judge. The Illinois primary is June 28, 2022. Ventura ran unsuccessfully against Congressman Bill Foster in the 2020 Democratic primary.

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Ventura announces bid for Illinois State Senate seat

June 14, 2021
 – 
The Times Weekly, Rex Robinson

“This is a transformative time in our government, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be your next state senator,” Ventura said.

While much had been accomplished in the past year, from expanding voter rights, closing immigration detention centers, requiring environmental clean-ups, and passing a balanced budget, Ventura said there is still much more work to be done.

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Ventura announces bid for Illinois State Senate seat

June 14, 2021

A Will County board member has announced plans to run for an Illinois State Senate seat. Standing before family, friends and supporters at Bolingbrook Town Hall on Saturday, Will County board member Rachel Ventura (D-9) of Joliet on Saturday announced she will run for Illinois State Senate 43rd District.

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Will County hires former census worker to be equity director for COVID-19 vaccinations

May 6, 2021
 – 
Chicago Tribune, Alicia Fabbre

Will County Board member Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, also applauded the move. Ventura, who heads the county board’s public health and safety committee, also has been critical of the health department and the vaccine roll out.

“I definitely feel like we have gone 180 degrees from where we were,” Ventura said Thursday. “I feel like we’re starting to pick up speed.”

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Will County residents can make direct vaccination appointments through health department beginning Monday

April 9, 2021
 – 
Chicago Tribune, Alicia Fabbre

Olenek’s update Wednesday drew support from county board member Rachel Ventura, who heads the committee and in recent weeks has expressed concerns over the health department’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout. In recent weeks, community based organizations and other board members have also expressed concerns over the health department’s efforts.

“In the last month things have really accelerated quickly and that is a testament to you listening and working with the community,” Ventura told Olenek. “I know I’ve been a tough critic, but I think you’ve really stepped up to the plate and I think that needs to be said.”

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Will Co. Officials Want Answers For 'Such Little' Vaccine Supply

March 8, 2021
 – 
The Patch, Abhinanda Datta

WILL COUNTY, IL — Officials in Will County are questioning the low supply of COVID-19 vaccines that various local providers have received. During a board meeting Wednesday, Sue Olenek, the executive director of the Will County Health Department, talked about the discrepancy in the number of doses they have received in relation to the county's population.

"With Will County being an extremely high-population county in Illinois, it's really unusual that we would be provided with such little vaccine," she said.

Board member Rachel Ventura asked if Olenek had received any explanation for this from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Will County Board Approves Renewable Natural Gas Plant

February 10, 2021
 – 
WJOL

The Will County Board approved an agreement with Waste Management to build a renewable natural gas (RNG) plant at the county-owned Prairie View landfill. In 2010, the county began an agreement with Waste Management to convert a portion of the methane gas created from decomposing the landfill to power a 4.8 megawatt Gas to Electricity (GTE) plant. This electricity is then sold on the local market to residents and businesses. Currently the county receives $450,000 annually from the sale of this methane gas which helps fund county operations.

The new agreement will allow for the sale of all the methane gas. After an initial investment of an estimated $46 million to build the RNG plant and pipeline, the county could receive $12 – $20 million annually, based upon market prices, in non-taxpayer revenue for more than 25 years. It is estimated that the RNG Plant and pipeline will cost several million dollars to operate.

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COVID-19 Call Center To Assist Will County Health Department

February 8, 2021
 – 
The Patch, Andrea Earnest

County Board member and Public Health and Safety Committee Chair and Joliet Democrat Rachel Ventura said in the release that a lack of vaccine stock has hampered the immunization rollout throughout the state and made scheduling appointments difficult.

"Hay escasez de vacunas en Illinois ya nivel nacional", dijo Ventura. "Esto hace que sea muy difícil programar citas porque el departamento de salud no siempre sabe cuándo se entregará su próximo envío, y mucho menos cuántas dosis se incluirán".

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Will County Health seeks new hires, funding for vaccine rollout

February 5, 2021
 – 
Chicago Tribune, Alicia Fabbre

County Board member Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, said when she took over the public health and safety committee at the start of the year, she asked what the health department needs were and if they could presented at committee. The following month there were no requests.

...

Olenek and others point to statewide information showing the county ranking fourth out of all Illinois counties in terms of the number of vaccine doses administered.

“We are vaccinating,” Ventura said. “For all the hiccups, we should be thankful for that.”

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Will County Board debates using marijuana tax revenue for reparations

February 5, 2020
 – 
The Herald News, Alex Ortiz

Member Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, mentioned the issue at the Will County Board Finance Committee meeting. She floated the idea of using a portion of the tax revenue to help people who have been negatively affected by the War on Drugs.

Ventura suggested such a policy would permit residents who had been affected to apply for the money. A board or agency would determine which applicants the money would go to.

The money could be used for expenses like offsetting the costs of starting a business. She argued this type of initiative would "invest taxpayer dollars back into the community."

"I'm not so sure if you're going to say we're going to help people that were negatively impacted, then define what that is," he said during Tuesday's meeting.

Ventura said the county could simply use the parameters the state government established in its Restore, Reinvest and Renew grant program. That program was designed to "address the impact of economic disinvestment, violence and the historical overuse of the criminal justice system," according a state government summary of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

Will County Assistant State's Attorney Philip Mock warned during Tuesday's meeting that state and county law limit what the board could do with the money. Ventura said she'd seek more specific answers about what those limits are.

While some Democrats on the committee voiced interest in the idea, Ventura tried to appeal to her other colleagues to work on a solution.

"Let's find a way so that if we've done something wrong in the past, we feel a law was unjust, that we right some of those wrongs," she said.

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"No Strings Attached" Progressive Shakes Things Up

January 29, 2020
 – 
The Young Turks, Francesca Fiorentini

TYT Network interviews Rachel Ventura on The Conversation with Francesca Fiorentini.

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Ventura on the Joan Esposito Live, Local & Progressive

January 15, 2020
 – 
WCPT 820 AM Progressive Talk Radio

Former CBS 2 Chicago reporter Derrick Blakley interviews Rachel Ventura about the 2020 Democratic presidential debates.

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Will County Board votes to allow marijuana facilities, tax sales

December 19, 2019
 – 
Chicago Tribune, Alicia Fabbre

In discussions earlier this month, board member Rachel Ventura, a Joliet Democrat, suggested setting aside a portion for reparations to help those most affected by laws making marijuana illegal. Others have suggested revenues be used for treatment, education and to offset any increase in law enforcement costs for impaired driving or other infractions related to the new law.

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Will County enacts 4-cent gas tax effective Feb. 1

December 19, 2019
 – 
Chicago Tribune, Alicia Fabbre

The vote, which was largely along party lines, came down to a tie when Rachel Ventura, a Joliet Democrat, broke from her party and voted against the tax. Ventura said while she supported the tax, she was voting against it because there was no provision for property tax relief.

Read Ventura's full statement here: https://www.facebook.com/RachelFVentura/posts/2129913557111939

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Will County set to tax marijuana sales, but may ban sales in unincorporated areas

December 12, 2019
 – 
Chicago Tribune, Alicia Fabbre

Earlier this week, board member Rachel Ventura, a Joliet Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Bill Foster in the Democratic primary for the 11th Congressional District, suggested using a portion of the money for reparations or for programs to help those most adversely affected by marijuana laws.

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Activists hold climate strike in downtown Joliet

December 6, 2019
 – 
The Herald News, Alex Ortiz

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Will County Board to vote on taxing recreational marijuana sales

December 4, 2019
 – 
The Herald News, Alex Ortiz

Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, said she favored some revenue going toward “reparations” to help individuals who had been convicted of using marijuana.

Ventura said that people of color disproportionately were affected by policies outlawing marijuana use. Now that the state government will be able to expunge the records of individuals with marijuana convictions, she said they might need help attaining employment and housing in Will County.

“We want to make sure that we’re setting up opportunities here locally,” she said. Jackie Traynere, D-Bolingbrook, and Harris voiced support for Ventura’s idea.

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Will County adopts framework to be more green

July 18, 2019
 – 
The Herald News, Alex Ortiz

"We have to start having green jobs, innovations to help fight climate change,” said Will County Board member Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet. “These are things that are going to affect us in the near future. It’s really time to take a laser focus.”

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