News

News: BudgetWatch

We finally have a budget!

July 11, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations It is my sincere pleasure to be able to say to you that as of last Thursday, July 6, 2017, Illinois has in place a budget for the current fiscal year. This means that the Illinois Budget Impasse, which had held our state hostage since 2015, has come to an end.  While this does not mean an end to the partisan fighting in Springfield...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: House's Lifeline budget moves to Senate and several AFC backed bills move out of the House

May 1, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Quick update on a busy at the Capitol. Substantive Legislation Friday marked the deadline in both houses for substantive bills in their original house to be heard, so there was a great flurry of activity going on on the floor of each house. The bills AFC has been working on with partners include: HB 2800 ( Flowers...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: Health care repeal blocked and the state House in session

March 28, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Though the Senate spent last week in recess, the House was in session in Springfield, and I wanted to provide a quick update on how things are progressing in our state capitol.   Budget Update Unfortunately, there has been little public movement on a state budget in Springfield in either house since the Senate’s...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: Several bills move out of committee and to the House floor

March 20, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Good afternoon everyone, just wanted to take a quick moment to update you on a busy week in Springfield.   Substantive Bills This week saw a number of bills AFC is working on moved out of committee and to the House floor:  HB 2800 (Flowers) passed unanimously, 12-0-0, out of the House Human Services...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: The Senate's attempt at a Grand Bargain takes a hit

February 13, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations   A quick update on last week’s session days in Springfield. The Budget Impasse The Senate’s attempt at a Grand Bargain took a hit last week as one of the component pieces of legislation dealing with pension reform was voted down by the Senate. Senate President Cullerton began calling pieces of the deal...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: Gov. Rauner's State of the State

February 1, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations   Greetings all, I just thought I would provide a quick update on what happened during this week of session in Springfield. Governor’s State of the State The governor addressed a joint session of the General Assembly (GA) on Wednesday, Jan. 25, where he highlighted what he believes to be the successes of his...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: Transition from 99th to 100th General Assembly

January 18, 2017

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Good morning everyone, I just wanted to take a moment and update you all on the developments that transpired in Springfield last week as the 99 th General Assembly (GA) came to a close and the 100 th GA got started. Budget Update In the Lame Duck session, there were multiple efforts to address the budget situation in each...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: End of Veto Session wrap-up

December 5, 2016

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Good morning everyone, I just wanted to provide a quick update on the now completed Veto Session that wrapped up last Thursday evening. Substantive Legislation There was little movement on the budget, as expected, during Veto Session. However, a House resolution sponsored by Rep. Dave McSweeney that stated the...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: Springfield passes bill to fund the state through December

July 6, 2016

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Good afternoon, everyone! I wanted to take a quick minute to update you all on the events in Springfield last week. The General Assembly (GA) came together on Wednesday and Thursday to pass a bill that partially appropriated for a short-term, stopgap budget. Governor Bruce Rauner has already signed this budget, SB 2047...
Read more...

BudgetWatch: End of session and still no budget

June 13, 2016

by Dan Frey, Director of Government Relations Just a quick update of the happenings in Springfield regarding state government since my last update early on May 31. Substantive Bills HB 6213 , our MCO quality bill, was unanimously concurred with in the House on May 31, and thus passed both houses of the legislature. That bill, along with HB 4554 (mandated PrEP Medicaid...
Read more...

By Ashley Brown 

 

Lillian Weir is a natural activist, whose strong beliefs and voice rise up to fight for what is right. For years she has marched in the Chicago Pride 

Parade, right in the thick of the crowd, waiving a flag and dancing in support of the rights of marginalized communities nationwide. She’s also loaned her innate activism to the C

hicago Teacher’s Union, the Women’s March in Chicago, marriage equality and for acceptance of all gender identities and sexualities. And she’s accomplished all of this by the young age of 13.  

So, when an opportunity to fundraise for AIDS Run & Walk Chicago presented itself, Lillian jumped at the chance. Lillian and her mother Cynthia both walk and fundraise for the Season of Concern team, a Chicago-based non-profit that provides care and support for those in the entertainment industry experiencing health-related emergencies and medical issues, including HIV and AIDS.

For Lillian’s first walk in 2016, even the rain couldn’t dampen her enthusiasm. Both Lillian and her mother were impressed by the energy, excitement and camaraderie of the teams and the sense of unity and acceptance that permeated the air. Lillian was particularly impacted by the diversity of identities represented.

“I believe people should be represented, so that was a really good experience for me,” she recalls. 

In particular, Cynthia remembers her daughter’s infectious enthusiasm.  

“She didn’t walk the 5k walk, she ran it,” recounts Cynthia with a laugh. “She would run ahead and we wouldn’t see her and then she’d run all the way back because she was so excited and having such a great time. Lillian jumped up at the end of the event and said ‘Let’s do this again every year; this is our tradition!’” 

Lillian agrees, and particularly remembers the excitement of creating a tangible impact for those living with and vulnerable to HIV to allow them to live with dignity and purpose. 

“The general experience of being there was enlightening,” Lillian remembers. “I thought it was incredible to be a part of that.” 

Lillian is excited to continue her involvement into 2017 and beyond, and hopes to continue to raise more funds and get more people involved in the fight to end new HIV infections and health inequity. While Cynthia helps her run her fundraising page, Lillian sets the goals and creates unique incentives to get people excited to give, including a home-cooked meal for people who give more than $100, as well as an original artwork by Lillian for the top contributor. She also spreads the word to family and friends and excitedly monitors her fundraising progress before the big day. To date, Lillian has already surpassed her fundraising goal. 

But despite her passion and dedication, Lillian is modest about her involvement and believes that everyone should stand up for what they believe in, regardless of age. 

“I don’t think age matters,” she says. “If you believe in something, you should protect it and defend it. Stand up for what you believe in.”