C. T. Vivian receives 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom

PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler issued the following statement Friday after news of the death of Peoria civil rights icon C.T. Vivian:

“Rev. C.T. Vivian was a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement and gave pride to all Peorians because of his Peoria roots. I met him years ago when he spoke in Peoria and came away in awe of his dedication and insight on where we need to be headed as a nation. I thank God for the life of this dedicated man. We need to continue his memory to help inspire future generations.”

C.T. Vivian was a civil rights activist whom Martin Luther King Jr. once described as “the greatest preacher to ever live.” Vivian’s career began in Peoria, where he was hired to work for the Carver Community Center. While at Carver Community Center, Vivian participated in his first civil rights sit-in, where he successfully integrated Barton’s Cafeteria.

Category: Press Releases

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PEORIA – To provide residents with an opportunity to improve vital life skills, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced local organizations will receive more than $200,000 in grants from the secretary of state’s office to help adult learners develop reading, mathematics, writing, and English-language skills.

“Providing adult residents with more learning opportunities can only benefit our community. Everyone deserves the opportunity to better themselves, regardless of their age,” Koehler said. “I also encourage all who are able and willing to help their neighbors improve these vital life skills to volunteer.”

More than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs throughout Illinois. Supported by $5.6 million in state funds, the programs will depend on nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors to provide skills training for students, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Adult literacy projects are focused on improving reading, writing and math and are targeted at Illinois adults who read below the 9th-grade level or speak English at a beginning level.

Local organizations receiving these grants include:
- Spoon River College, $54,000
- YWCA Pekin, $65,000
- Neighborhood House, $51,488
- Peoria County Regional Office of Education, $60,597

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – To provide a voice for Downstate Illinois in the recovery process, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) has been appointed to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a group tasked with addressing public health and economic challenges as the state continues the reopening process.

“A safe reopening of Illinois will require input from a broad group of individuals,” Koehler said. “I’m honored to have been chosen to help lead as we continue toward the recovery of our state’s economy. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with my colleagues in the Senate and House to ensure a smooth recovery process.”

The Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission will enable cooperation between the legislative and executive branches in dealing with the public health and economic crises caused by COVID-19. The commission will work closely with the Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity on plans to revive the various sectors of the Illinois economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission is made up of 14 members drawn from both political parties and both chambers of the General Assembly. Members of the commission will serve without compensation.

DCEO will provide a written report to the commission and the General Assembly every month regarding the status of current and proposed recovery efforts, with metrics and other information to monitor the state’s progress. The first report will be delivered July 1.

The Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission was created by Senate Bill 2135.

Category: Press Releases

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PEORIA– Vote by mail legislation signed into law today will provide Illinoisans with a safe way to participate in the upcoming November election, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said.

“It’s important to take into account the sense of unease brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Koehler, who supported Senate Bill 1863. “Those who express hesitation about congregating in large groups deserve to have their concerns recognized. Providing increased access to the vote is a simple way to provide some peace of mind.”

Under Senate Bill 1863 any person who has voted in the past two years — in the 2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election — would receive an application for a vote by mail ballot in their mailbox. It can then be filled out and mailed to your election commission or will include instructions for making the request electronically.

Voters can still go the polls on Election Day, which the legislation makes a state holiday in 2020.

“Our goal is, as always, to encourage as many people as possible to exercise their right to vote,” Koehler said. “This legislation provides a safe, secure means of doing so this November.”

This legislation is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120