Schakowsky Announces Virtual Guest for President Biden’s Congressional Address
EVANSTON - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, announced her virtual guest for President Joe Biden’s first speech to a joint session of Congress.
The Joint Address marks 100 days into the President’s first term. In non-pandemic situations, Members of Congress have often invited constituents to join them in Washington as guests to such speeches. While COVID-19 safety protocols mean this year’s in-person attendance will be limited, Schakowsky has invited Zhanna Soloveychik as her virtual guest as a way to honor the people of Illinois’ 9th Congressional District and lift their stories.
Zhanna Soloveychik works at EZRA, a multi-service social service center in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, where she advocates for seniors in their access to their government benefits programs and food assistance. An immigrant born in Russia, she and her husband Mark have three young children, 13, 11 and 10, and live in Skokie. This weekend, her 13-year-old son will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, the first time her family has been able to have such a ceremony in more than 100 years. With schools reopening, her children have been able to return to school. And with access to the COVID-19 vaccines, her children have been able to see their grandparents again.
“100 Days into our work with this Administration, the American Rescue Plan is delivering shots in arms, money in pockets, children in schools and people in jobs. My guest Zhanna Soloveychik is one of the many true heroes of this recovery, and I am proud to share her story as my virtual guest to the Presidential Address,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky. “Zhanna has directly seen the benefits of the American Rescue Plan, like the Child Care Tax Credit expansion, school reopening assistance, and access to the vaccines for her and her family. And every day in her work, she is helping seniors who may not be proficient in English or in the use of technology, make sure they get their stimulus payments and other benefits.”
“Every day, I am able to help seniors in our community who struggle with technology have access to their benefits, including stimulus checks and other safety net programs,” said Zhanna Soloveychik, who plans to watch the speech at home in Skokie with her family. “I am thankful to President Biden and Congresswoman Schakowsky for the American Rescue Plan, which made sure we had access to vaccines and is helping schools reopen, so that my children can see their friends again and learn in the classroom. And I know my son, who is very interested in politics, looks forward to watching the President’s speech with me.”
100 Days into Congress’s work with President Biden, the American Rescue Plan is delivering shots in arms, money in pockets, children in schools and people in jobs.
SHOTS IN ARMS
- The United States has administered more than 215 million vaccine doses and counting. More than 85 million Americans are fully vaccinated. Half of the adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose. In Cook County, 1,482,293 people have been vaccinated, representing 28.8% of the population. [HERE]
- The American Rescue Plan also recently sent $6 billion to Community Health Centers across the country to help them distribute vaccines, including $269,917,750 to support 45 health centers in Illinois.
MONEY IN POCKETS
- About 159 million stimulus payments have made their way into the hands of hardworking Americans with most eligible families receiving $1,400 per family member. [HERE]
- Over 18 million Americans are able to pay their bills due to unemployment benefits that were extended, including the extra $300 per week.
CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS
- The American Rescue Plan invested $130 billion to help schools reopen safely, stay open safely and make up for lost learning time, including $656,700,372 for Cook County schools.
- The American Rescue Plan also recently sent $39 billion to states to help keep childcare providers on the job and lower costs for working families, including $1.29 billion for providers in Illinois. [HERE]
PEOPLE IN JOBS
- The economy created nearly 1 million jobs in March. In fact, “Job growth boomed in March at the fastest pace since last summer, as stronger economic growth and an aggressive vaccination effort contributed to a surge in hospitality and construction jobs,” according to CNBC.