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OPINION: State Sen. Patrick Joyce – Summer of Hope

State Senator Patrick Joyce
State Senator Patrick Joyce. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

By Sen. Patrick Joyce
D-Essex, 40th State Senate District

ENEWPF – This is a summer of hope, of reconnecting – of getting our lives back.

Since I returned home from the spring legislative session in Springfield at the end of May, I have been on the road traveling the 40th Senate District and conducting meetings and events. I have always enjoyed getting out and meeting my constituents to see how I can address their problems. But after the COVID-19 shutdowns, it’s even more special this summer.

We had a successful event and large turnout on July 13 in South Wilmington for our mobile unit event with the Secretary of State’s office. I know how difficult it has been to get your driver’s license or vehicle registration renewed or take care of other important vehicle service issues during the pandemic, so this is one small way we can make it easier to get your questions answered and needs met. We will continue to do these throughout the district.

After the challenges of the last two school years during the pandemic, it’s critical that our students continue to stay engaged and challenge themselves over the summer. My Summer Book Club asks participating students to read eight books of their choice over their summer break, then record the book names on a form and submit it to my office by August 11. We will ensure everyone who completes the book club challenges received a gift card and certificate for participating. Contact my office at or 708-756-0882 for more information.

I know how important our small businesses are in our communities, and how quickly they can get back on their feet will help speed our recovery.

I am conducting tours of small business throughout the district to talk with the owners and see how we can support them. On July 12, I had the pleasure to visit with the talented and dedicated team at the Kankakee Valley Theatre Association. Few industries were hit as hard as community theatre productions have been these last two years, and it would be easy for them to be frustrated and discouraged.

Instead, the ladies at KVTA are laser focused on a bright future ahead. With the stages set to reopen, the association has an exciting lineup of shows set for these next few months and are encouraging all theater fans to join them in celebrating a return to normal. I wish them well.

As we continue to gather and enjoy each other’s company again, I would encourage you to join me at Starbucks in Bourbonnais on Saturday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a Coffee, Conversation and Constituent Services event. It’s a great opportunity for us to talk about the work I’m doing in Springfield and the district and different ways me and my office can help answer your questions on FOID cards, unemployment concerns and many other issues.

I join many others in closely watching the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. If you haven’t already, please get vaccinated as soon as possible so we can continue to focus on putting this devastating disease behind us.

I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: