Avelar Named to R3 Board, Emphasizes Need to Support Communities Hurt by War on Drugs

Wed Jan 05 2022 06:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Avelar Named to R3 Board, Emphasizes Need to Support Communities Hurt by War on Drugs
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BOLINGBROOK, Ill. – As Illinois rolls out new funding for communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, state Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, will help oversee the effort as a newly-named member of the state’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program board.

“The War on Drugs created systemic, long-term damage in low-income communities and communities of color,” Avelar said. “The R3 program is an important step by our state to repair this harm and support areas that continue to face adverse effects. I’m honored to accept this appointment as a means of defending and uplifting the voices of those who have not had a seat at the table.”

The bipartisan R3 Board is responsible for making funding decisions with the R3 program. Created in conjunction with cannabis legalization in 2019, the R3 program is funded through 25% of adult-use cannabis tax revenue. R3 grants fund programs engaged in civic legal aid, economic development, reentry, violence prevention and youth development.

Members of the board include the lieutenant governor, state agency leadership, elected officials, service providers, violence prevention experts and individuals who have been directly impacted by incarceration.

In December, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a $45 million funding opportunity under the R3 grant program. Application information for qualified organizations can be found at r3.illinois.gov.

“I will work hard with my fellow board members to ensure we appropriately deliver the funds from the R3 program into organizations, businesses and local governments that need additional resources to thrive,” Avelar said. “This program has the potential to uplift countless lives, let’s make sure it’s handled right.”