Underwood asking Congress for $17 million in local projects in Aurora, Joliet, and other communities 


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JOLIET, IL – Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced on Monday projects in the 14th District that she has selected to be submitted for consideration for Community Project Funding in FY2024, totaling $17 million. 

The projects, spread across various cities including Aurora, Crest Hill, La Salle, Ottawa, Joliet, Hinckley, Yorkville, Romeoville, Plainfield, DeKalb, Lockport, and Newark, aim to address critical needs and improve the quality of life for residents in northern Illinois.

“I have always made it a priority to bring the voices of the 14th District to Congress, and I’m working hard to make sure that our community’s needs are reflected in federal funding bills,” said Underwood. “From addressing health care access in Ottawa and Peru to investing in semiconductor research, these projects will directly benefit families in northern Illinois, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to bring these federal dollars home.”

Underwood emphasized her commitment to transparency and ethics in the funding process, as Community Project Funding allows Members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit their communities, with strict requirements for transparency and ethics. 

Underwood has certified that she and her immediate family have no financial interest in any of the projects selected, in compliance with House Rules and Committee requirements.

Among the projects selected by Underwood is the “Reaching New Heights” initiative, sponsored by the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry, which seeks $650,000 for facility renovations to improve accessibility, expand operations, and address the root causes of food insecurity, poverty, and unemployment in the community. The renovations include installing an elevator, making accessibility improvements, and upgrading various facilities to better serve the community.

Another project is the “Joliet Youth Innovation Center” sponsored by the Greater Joliet Area YMCA, which is requesting $850,000 for renovating 4,000 square feet of youth classrooms at the Joliet Salvation Army Corps Center. The center aims to provide after-school child care, summer day camp, and STEAM enrichment programming to the youth in the community. Renovations include repairing or replacing HVAC systems, upgrading security systems, and purchasing fixtures, furniture, and equipment.

Other projects selected by Underwood include the “North Fire & Ambulance Station” in Ottawa, the “Supportive Services for Sexual Assault Victims” by Guardian Angel Community Services, the “Hinckley Public Library Renovation,” the “Training Activity Operations Apron at Lewis University Airport (LOT) Chicago-Romeoville” by Joliet Regional Port District, and the “Kendall County Food Pantry Infrastructure Improvement” by Kendall County Community Food Pantry, among others.

With these projects, Underwood aims to address critical needs, promote economic development, and improve the overall well-being of the communities in the 14th District. She looks forward to working with her colleagues in Congress to secure federal funding for these projects and bring these much-needed resources to northern Illinois.


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