OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce January 2022

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce January 2022

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce January 2022 (Essex, IL) – “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I was reminded of these powerful words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when I gave a brief speech in Kankakee earlier this month at a prayer breakfast on the birthday of the celebrated civil rights leader. We have seen our local, state, and national politics too often devolve into a contest to see who can be the most polarizing, the most sensational, and the most derogatory to our “political opponents.”

We have turned a devastating pandemic into ideological warfare, where we assume the worst of our leaders’ decisions while our health care community suffers the consequences. We find problems instead of solutions, disagreements instead of discourse, darkness and hate instead of light and love. Dr. King would be deeply disappointed in us if he was here today.

Entering 2022

But as we enter 2022, I refuse to give up hope because I see, in often small ways, how we can come together and renew our faith in each other. I worked last year with my colleagues and the agriculture community on a series of new laws taking effect in 2022 to promote one of our state’s most vital industries. One of those laws will make it easier for students to get college and university credit for taking agricultural sciences and agriculture education courses in high school.

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools is out with its new study of the state’s teacher shortage crisis. No surprise, but schools are struggling to find qualified teachers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made the problem even worse. You can read the latest findings and ways the problem is being addressed at https://iarss.org/.

We need more young people to consider a rewarding career in education, especially in subject areas such as agriculture education. I worked on a new law last year to make it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom to teach students, which will help in the short term. But we will continue to work on more long-term solutions for our shortage.

Nomination for Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame

We have family members, friends and neighbors who have made our communities better over their long lives, and they deserve our thanks for their contributions. Please consider nominating those you know for the Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame, through my office.

If you or someone you know is struggling to keep a roof overhead or pay your mortgage or rent, Illinois continues to offer rental and related assistance. Learn more at: https://www.illinoishousinghelp.org/.

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has delayed our 2022 legislative session in Springfield, but we are busy working on renewable energy, local tax rebates, Kankakee River re development and other issues important to the 40 th Senate District. I will provide more updates as we progress this spring.

Take a minute this week to think about how you can take Dr. King’s words personally and show someone else you care about them.

I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at: http://www.senatorpatrickjoyce.com/.

I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page:

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

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce January 2022

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