Profile: Silvana Tabares, journalist, advocate, legislator championing rights of residents
Full-time legislator 21st Legislative District; A.A, Richard J. Daley College; B.A., broadcast journalism, Columbia College Chicago; former managing editor, Extra Bilingual Newspaper; raised on Chicago’s Southwest Side by her single mother; resides in Garfield Ridge; married.
Silvana Tabares is serving her third term as State Representative of the 21st District, which includes portions of Bedford Park, Cicero, Forest View, Lyons, McCook, Riverside, Stickney and Summit, and the Chicago neighborhoods of Archer Heights, Brighton Park, Garfield Ridge, Lower West Side, McKinley Park, Little Village and South Lawndale.
Silvana’s legislative priorities include giving local students a stronger education, fighting to keep our neighborhoods safe from violence and crime and holding the line on property taxes.
As the first member of her family to attend college, Silvana understands the importance of education and making sure our children have access to the best schools and teachers. She supports efforts to increase students’ time in the classroom and will work with parents and educators to make sure our kids are given the tools they need to succeed.
Silvana voted to require the Chicago Public Schools to provide free transportation for students walking along safe passage routes. She also passed legislation requiring school boards to adopt teen dating violence policies for students in grades 7 through 12 to ensure a safer learning environment for all students. When bureaucrats threatened to cut state funding for schools, Silvana fought back and passed state budgets that increased education funding by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Silvana also spearheaded efforts in Springfield to repeal the Cook County Sugary Beverage Tax. She is also working to keep our children safe in our schools and neighborhoods. She voted to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines and assault weapons like those used in tragic school shootings and passed a law closing a loophole that had allowed dangerous sexual predators to stalk children at playgrounds. She supports mandatory 30-year prison sentences for convicted child sex abusers and will work to increase penalties on sexual predators who contact children over the internet.
Committed to public service, Silvana rejected a taxpayer-funded legislative pension and she voted to cut lawmakers’ pay, including her own. She is working to eliminate free taxpayer-funded health care for retired politicians and she wants to make it illegal for former politicians charged with a felony to receive a state pension.
Growing up in a single-parent household, Silvana knows that many local homeowners are struggling to make ends meet, so she continues her work to provide tax relief and boost the local economy. To hold the line on property taxes, she supports legislation to freeze property taxes when home values decline. Silvana knows that Illinois needs financial stability for businesses to create and retain needed jobs for local residents. That’s why she has worked to pass budgets that ensure the state lives within its means, pays down billions of dollars in old bills, and keeps the pension systems funded. To protect jobs and taxpayer dollars, Silvana supports passing a law to require businesses that ship jobs out of Illinois to repay any tax breaks they may have received.
Silvana is devoted to the constituents and neighborhoods of the 21st District. Since taking office, she has met with thousands of local residents at their doors to listen to their concerns and hosted events to stay in touch with local issues. Silvana created a neighborhood graffiti removal program to help clean and beautify our neighborhoods, and she has brought state services to our neighborhoods by hosting satellite office hours throughout the district and events to assist local residents with state programs.
Silvana earned an associate’s degree from Richard J. Daley College and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago. She started her career in public service by working as a youth educator for WRTE Radio Arte 90.5 FM. After working as a youth educator, Silvana became managing editor of EXTRA Bilingual Newspaper. Under her leadership and direction, the newspaper received numerous awards, and she used the newspaper’s platform to increase awareness on issues important to the community, such as public safety, jobs and education.
Silvana was raised on the Southwest Side of Chicago in the neighborhood of Brighton Park by her single mother, who taught her the importance of hard work. Silvana currently resides in Garfield Ridge.
Tabares sponsors legislation to freeze property taxes for two-years to bring relief to homeowners.