Illinois state Rep. Yoni Pizer (D-12th District) issued a letter stating that he would retire Dec. 31 "because of the State's policy to effectively terminate health insurance for me and my family on 12/31/20, even though my term ends on January 13, 2021."
Pizer added, "I have been in touch with my successor, Representative-elect Margaret Croke, and my staff and I are working closely with her to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.
"Even though I will no longer serve as your State Representative, I will continue to advocate for this community as Congressman Mike Quigley's District Community Liaison, a position I held for [five] years until early 2020."
The letter also included what Pizer said were highlights of his legislative tenure, which began Feb. 10, 2020, filling a vacancy left by former state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz's switch to a post in the Illinois state Senate.
"In May's Special Legislative Session, we were able to meet (in a safer alternate forum) and pass much-needed coronavirus relief; increases in funding for unemployment, medicaid, and medicare programs; and support for Paycheck Protection Program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and Business Interruption Grants," Pizer noted.
"In that same session, we passed a budget focused on public health, providing $719 million for COVID-19 testing, and enhanced contact tracing efforts. I was proud to help draft and co-sponsor a bill to aid our struggling restaurant and bar industry with HB 2682, also known as Cocktails-to-Go. Additionally, we strengthened our state's democratic process by expanding voting access for this year's election.
"Additionally, I fought for funding projects that highlight the resiliency of our community, including: $1,495,000 for the AIDS Garden at Belmont Avenue and Lake Shore Drive; $2,500,000 for Howard Brown's new Broadway Youth Center; $600,000 for Advocate Masonic Hospital's new Pediatric Development Center and expanded outpatient counseling services; $200,000 for improvements to Orleans Park in Old Town; $500,000 for improvements to Lincoln Park near North Avenue; and $841,000 for Kelly Park in Lakeview."
Pizer concluded the letter thusly: "Thank you for your support. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the community as an advocate, an ally, and most importantly, a neighbor. I look forward to seeing you out in the communityvirtually and, hopefully, in person soon. Best wishes to all for a safe and healthy New Year."