Fire.Hydrant.PreventionCHICAGO – In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is reminding people to take fire safety precautions seriously and to follow the guidelines suggested by the Illinois State Fire Marshal. 

“Cooking fires can start and grow very quickly,” Villivalam said. “While COVID-19 safety protocols have been our main focus over the past several months, teaching kids where to be and not to be in the kitchen in addition to adopting good fire safety precautions are keys to safety.”

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the US. Almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen, and according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, in 2019, Illinois Fire Departments responded to nearly 6,500 fires that were either caused by cooking or originated in the kitchen. 

To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit the NFPA website

Category: Press Releases

Flu VaccineCHICAGO – As summer ends and fall weather quickly approaches, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is encouraging all Illinoisans, but especially all older adults, to get a flu vaccine.

“Getting a flu shot is always important, but this year we are fighting both the seasonal flu and COVID-19,” Villivalam said. “Getting a shot will hopefully prevent you from getting the flu and will also help out our health care systems by keeping medical resources available for COVID-19 patients.” 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, older adults and people with chronic health issues are more likely to develop serious complications resulting from an influenza infection. While flu seasons are variable in their severity, people 65 years and older tend to be the most vulnerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 70% to 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in adults 65 years and older. 

“It’s really important for older Illinoisans to get a flu shot,” Villivalam said. “This is a necessary precaution to take in a year when it’s best to avoid a hospital visit and potential exposure to COVID-19.” 

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover one flu shot per flu season. It is always advisable to consult a health care provider before seeking medical treatment. You can find out where to get a flu vaccine with Vaccine Finder

Category: Press Releases

Snow Plow TruckCHICAGO – Now that the Illinois Department of Transportation has begun accepting applications, Senate Transportation Chair Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is encouraging qualified individuals to apply for seasonal snow-and ice removal positions. 

“Snowplow driving is an essential service that keeps our roads clear and our drivers safe,” Villivalam said. “This is a good employment opportunity for people who have struggled to find work.” 

Temporary snowplow drivers are hired every year on a full-time and on-call basis through IDOT’s “snowbird” program. To be considered, applicants must have a commercial driver’s license. Any potential employee must undergo a physical, vision test, and drug and alcohol screening. 

Applicants are selected based on their availability, job-related experience, and qualifications. Veterans are also strongly encouraged to apply. 

“With so many people currently unemployed, I hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to apply for a stable job heading into the winter,” Villivalam said. 

More information about the application process in specific districts, available positions, potential benefits, and salary can be found on IDOT’s website

Category: Press Releases

2020 CensusCHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is strongly encouraging all Asian Americans to fill out the census before the deadline closes.

“We need to ensure Asian Americans have access to all of the same state services as other Illinois residents,” said Villivalam, the first Asian American elected to the Illinois Senate and the Co-Chair of the Illinois General Assembly’s Asian American Caucus. “I represent one of the most culturally diverse districts in the state. I am extremely grateful for the numerous contributions our Asian American neighbors, friends and family have brought to our community – everything from cultural to the culinary traditions.” 

According to the Census Bureau, Asian Americans from countries like India and China are the fastest growing demographic group in Illinois with a population that has increased by 24% since 2010. Asian Americans now account for 5.7% of the people in the state. 

The fact that Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in Illinois is a reminder of how important it is to fill out the census.

“If the Asian American community wants to have the representation it deserves in government and its fair share of federal resources, we all need to fill out the census,” Villivalam said. 

The census can be completed by phone at 844-330-2020, mail, or online at www.2020census.gov

Category: Press Releases

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