CHICAGO–The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement after West Side Democratic committeepersons selected State Representative Lakesia Collins to replace 5th District State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, who resigned in late July:

“From East Garfield Park to North Lawndale and Austin to West Humboldt Park, the 5th State Senate District residents need a Springfield champion willing to uplift the needs of working families, union educators, young people and the most vulnerable residents.

“As a union organizer, nursing home worker and a single mother of three boys, Collins is keenly aware of what it takes to keep our community safe, our neighborhood public schools thriving and make this city a place that is equitable for all–no matter their color, creed, citizenship status or ZIP code.”

“Whether she is holding a bullhorn, holding the boss accountable or holding the line on necessary legislation in the State House, Collins is a living and breathing example of what we need in the State Capitol.”

“For these reasons and more, we applaud the West Side committeepersons for appointing Lakesia Collins to the State Senate, and we look forward to working with the newly minted Senator Collins on the fight forward for the schools our students deserve.”

The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the more than 300,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at