Dear Terra,

In the years since the global pandemic struck, our healthcare system has been strained to the breaking point. All across the country, we're seeing severe nursing shortages that are creating severe stresses for both hospitals and staff.

To help ease the nursing shortage in Illinois, I introduced HB5047. This law, which passed the House last week, would provide automatic short-term licensing for nurses who meet all requirements, enabling them to work for up to six months under appropriate supervision while the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation processes their licensure paperwork.

At a time when more nurses are desperately needed, it doesn't make sense to force qualified nurses to wait four to six months to get their licenses approved. I've even heard that some hospitals have rescinded job offers to good nurses because of these licensing delays.

When our healthcare system is dealing with a workforce shortage, we need to make it easier for qualified nurses to start working and stay on the job. By streamlining this process for nursing professionals, we can help make our healthcare system work better for all of us.

Have fun and be healthy at Lombard's Family Fitness Fair TOMORROW

Spring is a great time to start getting healthier. To help you get a jump start on your fitness goals, Lombard School District 44 is hosting a free Family Fitness Fair tomorrow (Friday), from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Connect 44 Center, 1514 S. Main St.

The Lombard Park District will be on hand for games and giveaways, alongside local businesses and other organizations that will be leading fun fitness activities. There will be food trucks on-site as well.

Spring clean sustainably at Glen Ellyn's Recycling Extravaganza SATURDAY

It's a great feeling to clean out a closet or clear out that chaotic corner of the basement. But it can be a challenge to figure out what to do with your outdated or unneeded household items – especially if you don't want to add increased burdens to our landfills.

If you're looking for a sustainable solution for your spring clean, you can bring your stuff to the Glen Ellyn Recycling Extravaganza, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, April 27, at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., in Parking Lot #6 (from Lambert, west on College Road).

Most items are accepted without charge. The Village asks participants to bring non-perishables to donate to the Glen House Food Pantry. You can click here to learn more and find a list of accepted items.

Touch-A-Truck in Wheaton SATURDAY

Honk, honk! Beep, beep! I don't know why it's so much fun for kids (and adults!) to climb up on big, shiny trucks. But it really is, as you can find out for yourself at Wheaton's Touch-a-Truck event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 27.

Liberty Drive will be closed between Wheaton Avenue and Hale Street to make way for trucks, municipal vehicles, emergency vehicles, and more!

The Downtown Wheaton Association is sponsoring this FREE, family-friendly event. So head over to touch a truck, climb up in the driver's seat, and honk the horn! You can learn more here.

“Engines Off!” Clean Air Initiative in Glen Ellyn seeks to reduce engine idling near schools 

If you sit in the car with the engine running while you wait to pick up a child from school, you should know that you are polluting the air, creating health risks for children, and even damaging your car's engine.

To protect our kids' health, the League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn (LWVGE) is teaming with local schools and community groups to reduce air pollution produced by idling car engines in school drop-off and pick-up lines.

The campaign, which launched this week, is posting anti-idling signs around all five School District 41 schools. They also are handing out car magnets to encourage people to turn off their engines while they wait near schools.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, idling a car wastes up to a half gallon of fuel every hour and releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide for each gallon of fuel burned. That means that, if you sit idling your car for 10 minutes every time you pick up or drop off a child, you're guzzling more than a gallon and a half of gasoline each week. Over the course of a school year, those minutes spent idling translates into more than 50 wasted gallons of gas, and half a ton of carbon dioxide emissions!

To help save our environment and protect children's health, the campaign is asking parents and caregivers in the car line to turn off your vehicle if you have to wait more than 10 seconds. They're also asking you to limit idling in extreme heat and cold. To reduce emissions even further, they're asking parents and children to walk or bike to neighborhood schools and to carpool at much as possible.

For more information on the campaign, please visit here.

Free Public Stargazing in Naperville on SATURDAY

You're invited to view the wonders of the heavens through the Naperville Astronomical Association's observatory telescopes and through members' personal scopes, on Saturday, April 27 from 8:30 to 10 p.m. at the Naperville Astronomical Association's Astronomy Education Center, 3712 Plainfield-Naperville Road.

These events, which are free to the public, are only held on clear nights. The go-or-cancel notice should be displayed on the calendar and on the NAA homepage by 2 p.m. the day of the event. You can click here for more information.

Glen Ellyn Community Blood Drive on TUESDAY

Make a difference on Tuesday, April 30, at our Blood and Food Drive with the Kiwanis Club of Central DuPage and the Glen Ellyn Park District. We'll be collecting donations of blood and food from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, 800 St. Charles Road.

Food items will be donated to the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. Appointments are recommended for blood donations, but walk-ups are welcome.

If you can, please pick up a few extra grocery items this week to donate. Your donation can make a real difference in the life of a family struggling to keep food on the table. You can click here to learn more.

It's Bingo Night in Glen Ellyn on May 3

You can enjoy bingo, pizza, and prizes at the Glen Ellyn Park District 's Family Bingo Night from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 3, at Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, 800 St. Charles Road

Bingo rounds will begin at 5:30 pm, and prizes will be awarded at the end of each round.

No registration is required – just drop in! Bingo is open to all ages; children aged 15 and under must be with an adult. Bingo cards are $1 each. For more information, you can click here.

Ooh-la-lal! Le Lisle French Market returns on Saturdays, starting May 4

Je suis tres, tres heureuse! (That's French for "I'm really happy!")

Lisle's French Market is returning on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting on May 4 through Oct. 12. You're invited to stop in to pick up some tasty baked goods, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other treats, as well as plants, home accessories, and artisan-made jewelry.

The Market is held on Garfield Avenue, near PrairieWalk Pond. Free parking is available in the Garfield Parking Lot, along Main Street, on Burlington Avenue, and in the commuter parking lots located off Burlington Avenue.

To learn more about the French Market, view a map, and see guidelines for shoppers, please visit here.

Nominate someone amazing to join the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame

Do you know an outstanding older adult who deserves recognition for their achievements and contributions? Nominate them today for inclusion in the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

Nominations are made in four categories:

  • Arts, sports, and entertainment
  • Community service
  • Education
  • Labor force


Completed nomination forms may be submitted electronically or returned via U.S. mail, fax, or email. For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit here.

Support Lombard's Chamber at the Lilac Ball

With the lilacs in bloom there's still time to buy your tickets to the Lombard Chamber of Commerce Lilac Ball, to be held on May 10 at The Carlisle, 435 E. Butterfield Road in Lombard.

Tickets include a cocktail hour with appetizers, dinner with an open bar, and dancing. 

There will be games with prizes donated by Lombard businesses, as well as a live auction of "Lombard experiences."

To learn more and buy tickets, you can click here.

Just four days left to place orders for Glen Ellyn's Kiwanis hanging basket/onion sale

The Kiwanis Club of Glen Ellyn is hosting its annual sale of hanging flower baskets and Vidalia onions, to raise money for children in our community.

To order a hanging flower basket, you can click here. You also can order a bag (or more!) of Vidalia onions, now through April 29, by clicking here.

Additional information and order forms can be found here.

Upcoming Events

We have lots of events coming up, so please take a look and mark your calendars today!

May 3-5: Pop-up Book Sale, at the Helen Plum Library, 411 South Main St. in Lombard

May 4: DuPage River Sweep: Lake Ellyn Clean-Up, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road

May 4: Glen Ellyn Park District's Touch-A-Truck, from 10 a.m. to noon at Maryknoll Park, 845 Pershing Ave.

May 4: May the Course Be with You Tournament, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Holes & Knolls, 845 Pershing Ave.

May 6: Soapmaking 101, at 6 p.m. at the Helen Plum Library, 411 South Main St. in Lombard

May 10: Kids on the Course in Glen Ellyn, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Holes & Knolls, 845 Pershing Ave.

May 15: Tails and Tales, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, 800 St. Charles Road in Glen Ellyn

May 17: Glen Ellyn park District's Kids' Night Out, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road

May 18: Lombard Park District's Mutt Strut 5k & 1 Mile, at 8 a.m. at Lilacia Park, 150 S Park Ave.

May 18: Trees for Glen Ellyn, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road

May 18: Spring Clean Flea Market, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Maryknoll Park, 845 Pershing Avenue in Glen Ellyn

May 18: Glen Ellyn Bike Rodeo, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Main Street Recreation Center, 501 Hill Avenue

May 20: B.R. Ryall YMCA's Annual Meeting and Champions Dinner at 5:30 p.m. at Abbington Distinctive Banquets, 3S002 Route 53 in Glen Ellyn

May 23: Blood and Food Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, 800 St. Charles Road in Glen Ellyn

If you have any questions about pending legislation or other issues related to your state government, please don't hesitate to contact my office at 630-812-9292 or

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong,

Terra Costa Howard

State Representative 

42nd District

913 S. Main St.

Lombard, IL 60148

(630) 812-9292

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