Earlier this week, the FBI reported that hate crimes in 2020 had surged to a 12-year high. Of the hate crimes related to race, the majority were motivated by anti-Black bias. The release of this report came days after the 66th anniversary of the lynching of Emmett Till last Saturday. It underscores the importance of our continued fight to advance the Emmett Till Antilyching Act (H.R. 55) and make lynching a federal hate crime.
But as we know, race-based bias is generally far more subtle than direct attacks. I have also been working to address one vestige of Jim Crow that continues to plague communities of color — racial discrimination in housing appraisals. Recently, I called for a study to shine a light on the issue of discriminatory home appraisals, which affects too many minority homeowners in the 1st District and across the country, and which I experienced firsthand.
In other news, I hope you will take a moment to visit my new official website, which was recently redesigned to make it easier for you to contact me and see updates about what I am working on.
Finally, if you are a high school student interested in attending a U.S. service academy, or a middle or high school student interested in STEM, be sure to check out the Upcoming Deadlines section of this newsletter for some exciting opportunities.
It is an honor to represent you in Congress. Never hesitate to reach out to my office if we can assist you by calling (773) 779-2400.
Bobby L. Rush
Member of Congress
Out and About in the 1st District
This August, I had the welcome opportunity to attend a number of events here in the 1st District. One of the highlights was participating in the Bud Billiken Parade as an honorary parade dignitary. My first time marching in the Bud Billiken Parade was as part of the Boy Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps when I was 11 years old. Over the years, the parade has become more familiar, but it’s never gotten any less exciting.
With art competition winner Arthur Roby and his winning piece.
Earlier in August, I hosted an art reception for the finalists of this year's 1st District Congressional Art Competition. I was proud to award Arthur Roby of Kenwood Academy High School 1st place for his remarkable portrait of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. I look forward to seeing his artwork on display in the U.S. Capitol.
I also had the chance to tour the site for Lion Electric's new manufacturing facility in Joliet and drive one of their fully electric school buses. Investing in and bringing down the cost of e
lectric vehicles to fight air pollution and climate change continues to be a top priority in my work as Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee.
I joined artists and performers at a #GunsDownChicago press conference to speak out against the epidemic of gun violence in our communities.
On August 24th, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that allows us to begin drafting a transformative legislative package that will create jobs, lower costs for working families, and make sure the U.S. can lead the race towards a clean energy future.
We will do this by cracking down on corporate tax dodgers and making sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. No one making less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in taxes — in fact, working families will get a massive tax cut.
I look forward to working as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Agriculture Committee to make this vision a reality and ensure that the final bill contains the resources necessary to improve the lives of working families in the 1st District.
Also on August 24th, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4). I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation, which would restore the landmark Voting Rights Act and protect our sacred right to vote against a recent and nearly unprecedented wave of voter suppression efforts.
Speaking at a voting rights press conference at RAINBOW Push Coalition.
COVID-19 cases are surging again, fueled by the Delta variant. Many regions in Illinois and across the nation face a shortage of ICU beds. Being vaccinated dramatically reduces your risk of infection, severe illness, and death from COVID-19. If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, now is your chance! Remember: treatment for COVID-19 can be costly, but the vaccines are free.
Visit www.vaccines.gov to find the vaccination location nearest you or text your zip code to 438829. All Chicago residents are also eligible for in-home vaccination, which comes with a $25 Visa gift card.
On the housing front, you may have seen that the Supreme Court recently struck down President Biden's extended eviction moratorium. The State of Illinois has an eviction moratorium in place through October 3rd. I strongly support extending the eviction moratorium and am a cosponsor of the Protecting Renters from Evictions Act of 2021, which would extend the eviction moratorium through December.
I have compiled a list of housing and utility assistance programs available to 1st District residents, as well as free legal aid, on my website at Rush.House.Gov/Housing.
If you are a small business owner, don't miss out on these grant opportunities!
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has recently launched a $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grant program, which aims to deploy small businesses recovery grants for those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants range from $5,000 to $150,000 per business for eligible small businesses. Applications are open and will be available until October 13th or until funds are depleted.
The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) Small Grants application is now open and available. NOF grants go to projects that have a catalytic impact on their neighborhood and lead to the construction or rehabilitation of new and existing publicly accessible commercial spaces or cultural establishments. The application deadline is Friday, September 24th.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides low-interest loans for entrepreneurs experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and apply by December 31, 2021.
In addition, I am proud to announce a number of recent grants for organizations in the 1st District, including $4,421,308 for Chicago Commons Association for Head Start programs, $125,000 for the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois, and $4,265,931 for the University of Chicago for research related to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
Thanks to Leo High School for hosting our recent Immigration Resource Fair!
Academy Nominations: Each year, I have the privilege of nominating individuals to the U.S. service academies. My office is currently accepting applications for military academy nominations. All application materials must be received by October 29, 2021.
Visit Rush.House.Gov/Academy for more information and to access the application.
Congressional App Challenge: This is a great chance for middle and high schoolers in the 1st District to showcase your creativity and get hands-on STEM experience by designing and coding an app. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2021.
Visit my website for more information and register for our upcoming information session on September 22.
My office recently held seven pop-ups throughout the 1st District to give constituents nearby, in-person assistance with issues related to federal agencies.
Congratulations to Nicholas Xavier Kaple of Carl Sandburg High School for being selected for the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship! Nicholas will spend the upcoming academic year studying abroad in Germany while living with a German host family.
I would also like to congratulate two extraordinarily talented young musicians from the 1st District, Aidan Sinclair Daniels and Gabriel Hsieh, on their selection for the competitive 2021 National Youth Orchestra program!
Finally, I'd like to congratulate Charles Liang and Jonah McArthur for being awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal this year!
For the latest updates, follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
Washington, DC Office
2188 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4372
11750 S. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: (773) 779-2400
Displaying Life Under New Stronger COVID Variants Will Be Hard (w/ Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding).