CHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) has worked closely with members of the communities he represents to support people in need during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To date, his office has provided and participated in:

  • Calls to more than 100,000 constituents to offer assistance and to answer questions,
  • Regular newsletter updates, FAQs, and resource guides with the latest information,
  • Wellness check calls made to 6,139 seniors, speaking with 855 of them to connect them to vital federal, state, and local services,
  • Assisting on 122 COVID-19 related constituent cases, having resolved 64 of them,
  • 59 food pantry/grocery deliveries,
  • Creation of a GoFundMe that raised approximately $15,000 in support of local food pantries,
  • Coordination of constituent services with other governmental offices and,
  • Several online presentations and briefings with fellow local lawmakers and community leaders, including town halls on resources for small businesses, first responders, and schools. 

“People need the support of their elected officials more than ever during this unsettling time,” Villivalam said. “I encourage anyone in the 8th District who needs help and/or has suggestions on how we can help to reach out to my office.” 

To contact Villivalam and his staff, call (872) 208-5188 or visit his website, www.senatorram.com, to send an email.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Dick Durbin and State Senator Ram VillivalamOn Friday, February 7, 2020, State Sen. Ram Villivalam and Dinkar Karumuri, a local Technology entrepreneur and a community leader, met U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, along with a few immigrant family members from various backgrounds, all of them waiting for more than a decade in the green card approval queue.

Sen. Durbin took the time to hear their stories and explain the improvements he negotiated to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (S. 386). Dinkar Karumuri thanked the senator for his advocacy and support of immigrants throughout his career in public service, while also indicating the desperate nature of the immigrant community’s situation, that there are several stories to share, and that, at the meeting, they had representatives reflective of the population. Sen. Durbin was interested in hearing the stories.

Tanmayi Achanti, a recent graduate of UIC, explained her plight of having to convert her immigration status to an international student visa during her finals and how aging out hindered the opportunities in her job hunt. “I came here along with my parents in the year 2000, as a 3-year-old kid. Chicago is my home, but I am and feel like an alien in my own home now. I moved to a student visa, and it was devastating for my parents and me. At the same time, we see the job offers get rejected even after I am qualified and for the sole reason of companies not being able to sponsor for my work visa per their policy. I stayed strong to console my parent's pain," she said.

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Ram VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) and Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) recently announced new legislation to help volunteer firefighters and EMT’s with their expenses.

Senate Bill 3224 creates a $500 tax credit that qualifying volunteer firefighters and EMTs can claim when they file their Illinois income taxes. It is designed to help volunteer firefighters and EMTs pay for expenses, such as medical and fire equipment, training, licensure, and even insurance. Villivalam and Barickman hope that reducing the financial burden of volunteering can help local fire departments to recruit new volunteers to bolster their efforts to protect the public.

"Volunteer EMS and fire services, like Hatzalah in the district I represent, supplement and boost the critical work of our firefighters throughout the entire state," said Senator Villivalam. "This tax credit will enable volunteer services to boost recruitment and continue providing lifesaving, high quality assistance."

“Volunteer firefighters and EMTs put their lives on the line for us with little or no pay of any kind, even though they have to pay equipment and training costs,” said Sen. Barickman. “This legislation will help offset some of their costs and hopefully make it easier to do their job, which is to protect all of us.”

Senate Bill 3224 has been assigned to the subcommittee on tax exemptions and credits.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Ram VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), the newly appointed chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, sent a letter to his colleagues inviting them to reintroduce any legislation that Villivalam’s predecessor refused to give an open hearing.

“It has been widely reported that the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee from 2009 to October of 2019 conducted meetings and approached policy, as it relates to transportation issues, without making the public good and/or public policy his top priority,” Villivalam said. “As the new chair, I have vowed to create and implement an open, transparent and accountable process for legislation that will maintain and improve our transportation and infrastructure system in a data-driven, equitable way.”

Villivalam pledged to provide an open, fair and transparent process for all legislation assigned to the Transportation Committee this year. He also encouraged his colleagues in the General Assembly to notify him if a bill in the Transportation Committee was assigned to the committee in a previous year but never heard.

“I am committed to holding hearings throughout the state to enable local people to comment on the transportation issues that matter most to them,” Villivalam said. “The government works for the people, so it works best when everyone gets a chance to voice their opinions, and we legislators make the best, most informed decisions when we talk to both experts and the people whose everyday lives are effected by our decisions.”

The Senate Transportation Committee normally meets on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office
3851 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(872) 208-5188

Springfield Office
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5500

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