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Patricia Van Pelt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Patricia Van Pelt
Patricia Van Pelt (1).png
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 5th district
Assumed office
January 9, 2013 (2013-Jan-09)
Preceded byAnnazette Collins
Personal details
Born (1957-11-12) November 12, 1957 (age 61)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceChicago, Illinois
Alma materRoosevelt University (B.S.)
Spertus Institute (M.S.)
Capella University (Ph.D.)
ProfessionCommunity Organizer
Certified Public Accountant

Patricia Van Pelt Watkins (born November 20, 1957) is a member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 5th district, which is located on the West Side of Chicago.[1] Prior to her service as a member of the Illinois Senate she was a community activist and ran for Mayor of Chicago.

Early life and career

Van Pelt was born on the Near North Side and raised in the Cabrini Green's public housing.[2] Inspired by her mother's ability to work, raise her children and go to school,[3] she took a job as a steelworker while taking classes at Truman College. She earned a bachelor's in public administration and became a CPA after taking accounting classes at DePaul University.[4]

Using her life experience and education, she founded Target Development Corp which worked to improve communities. This including teaching residents how to peacefully evict drug dealers from their neighborhoods.[3] In 2009, she earned a doctorate degree in management of non profit organizations from Capella University.[5]

Chicago mayoral election, 2011

In 2010, Van Pelt announced that she was going to run for mayor in order to bring ideas to the forefront that had been forgotten about. During the campaign, she was accused of "being strung out on crack for twenty years," by candidate and former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun, which Watkins credits to her future political success.[6] She finished fifth on election day.

After the election, Van Pelt was appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education to the State Charter School Commission for a term ending November 1, 2013.[7] The State Charter School Commission authorizes charter schools throughout the State, particularly schools designed to expand opportunities for at-risk students.[8]

Illinois State Senator

2012 Senate election

In 2011, Van Pelt announced that she would challenge Annazette Collins for the Illinois Senate's 5th district. During the primary election she was endorsed by several aldermen from the fifth district,[9] and the Chicago Journal.[10]

Aldermanic endorsements included Walter Burnett and Bob Fioretti. Fioretti stated that "Her integrity is beyond reproach. She will roll her sleeves up and research the issues and make the right decisions for all the people. She won't be beholden to the special interests that control Springfield right now." [11] She was also endorsed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who previously supported Collins, after Collins's corruption came to the forefront.[10] Van Pelt beat Collins by a 54%-46% margin.[6]


Van Pelt was sworn in on January 9, 2013.


  1. ^ Veeneman, Drew. "Map of 5th Senate District" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  2. ^ "About Patricia Van Pelt Watkins". Patricia Van Pelt Watkins for Illinois Senate 5th District. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  3. ^ a b "About Patricia Van Pelt Watkins". Patricia Van Pelt Watkins for Illinois Senate 5th District. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  4. ^ "Senator Patricia Van Pelt Watkins Biography". Project VoteSmart. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  5. ^ "Patricia Van Pelt Watkins Highlights". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  6. ^ a b Meyerson, Ben and La Risa Lynch. "Patricia Van Pelt Watkins ousts Annazette Collins in 5th". Chicago Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  7. ^ Wolff, Jonathan P., ed. (October 31, 2018). "42000 State Charter School Commission" (PDF). Expiration and Vacancy Report for the Governor of Illinois. Illinois Legislative Research Unit. p. 347. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Gruber, Amanda (August 1, 2018). "Publication 425: State Board and Commission Descriptions" (PDF). Illinois Legislative Research Unit. p. 523. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Erbentraut, Joseph (2012-03-16). "Patricia Watkins Challenges Annazette Collins In Nasty Race For Illinois' 5th District Senate Seat". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  10. ^ a b Editorial Board. "Endorsement: Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins for state senate". Chicago Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  11. ^

External links

This page was last edited on 2 March 2019, at 05:41
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