Press Release



By: Elsie Sy-Niebar


*To all the Filipino Americans and ASIAN AMERICANS in Chicago: If you want a Fil- Am/ASIAN AMERICAN First Lady for the first time in the history of Chicago, Vote for JERRY JOYCE as next Mayor; his wife is a Filipino ASIAN American pediatrician!

*To all qualified VOTERS: Participate in the affairs of our government. Go Out and Vote. Please…

*ILLINOIS, the only state to get ‘A’ in Parity Law, which provides coverage for mental health and substance use disorder; Philippine President Duterte should implement similar Law instead of killing drug addicts

*Chicago Nightingales’ president-elect Rose San Diego, leads the ‘Tribute to the Fallen Filipino revolutionaries in the town of Balangiga during the Philippine American War, and the WWII Fil-Am Vets

Today, a very dramatic political history is going on in Chicago, “the City that works”!

When current Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he ain’t running no more for the third time, more than a dozen mayoral aspirants jumped into the Mayoral Bandwagon ready to take over! As of press time, the following Chicagoans are working hard collecting signatures to qualify them for “admission” to the Mayoral Race. Hard work! Big bucks! Community Outreach!

As of press time, there are 19 mayoral candidates on the list. Most of them are recognizable without any introduction, especially incumbent government officials currently serving government offices. The candidates for Mayor are as follows: William “Bill” Daley; Toni Preckwinkle, Paul Vallas, Gary McCarthy, Dorothy Brown, Gery Chico, Amara Eniya, La Shawn K. Ford, JA’Mai Green, John Kass, William T. Kelly, John Kozlar, Troy LaRoviere, Lori Lightfoot, Walther Roney. Neal Sales Griffin, William Walls, Willi Wilson and Jerry Joyce!

The election for Mayor of Chicago is on February 26, 2019. Being officially non-partisan, the winner will be elected to serve a four-year term. If no candidates will receive a majority of votes, a run-off election will be held on April 2, 2019.

So, you may ask: How come Via Times only features ATTY. JERRY JOYCE?

Well, dear Readers… because Mr. Joyce, is married to a lovely Filipina doctor, a pediatrician named Dr. Jannine Caoili Joyce, whose parentage hails from Cebu and the Ilocos region. A very charming Mom, she is very proud of her husband whom she calls a caring and loving person whose heart is close to the people of Chicago. And that’s why he entered into the most historical Mayoral race of Chicago! In an interview with Jannine, she said:

“My husband, JERRY JOYCE, and I have been married for 19 years. We met in college. We were classmates. He is a very loving and compassionate person, with a great moral compass. We have four wonderful children – Jeremiah, Karina, Christian, and Keyli, all adopted from Guatemala.” He’s a man of action which bring in positive results.”

I asked her: “If your husband gets elected as Chicago Mayor, you will make history as the first Asian American First Lady of Chicago. What contributions would you like to make to your husband’s city government agenda?

Dr. Janine Joyce: As a pediatrician – I’ve dedicate my career to taking care of the medical needs of hospitalized children of this city. I would hope to serve as an advocate for children’s health care for all children in Chicago.”

Now comes THE CANDIDATE, Atty. Jerry Joyce, for Mayor: Speaking about his Filipino American wife, Jerry said: “I am very blessed being married to this beautiful lady and wonderful wife. She loves people. I love her family as she loves mine. Being married to Jannine whose parents immigrated from the Philippines makes me sensitive to the immigration issues that affect many of our Chicago residents. Oh, yes, I enjoy Filipino food. It is delicious and healthy,” he quips, smiling.

ESN: What motivated you to join this most “full house” race for Mayor with a dozen or more candidates running to catch the “ball”?

JJ: “I, like many of my fellow neighbors, were alarmed by the escalating violence on our streets and neighborhood. If I become the Mayor, first thing I’ll do is address this issue and will start by hiring more police officers.”

ESN: But Chicago’s coffer is getting empty: How are you going to solve this problem?

JJ::”We will work to generate more income and jobs for the people.”

Here are some of Jerry Joyce’s vision for Chicago when elected Mayor:

Safety: “I will work to make every neighborhood safe and livable for all Chicago residents. No parents in Chicago should stay awake at night worrying about the safety of their children due to violence in their own neighborhood. Chicago needs more police officers. Our police are overworked. We need to replace those who have retired and increase the number tantamount to the problem that the city is having. Education: I will prioritize the needs of our public schools to provide the children a safe and clean, environment. TAXES: I will demand that every Chicago taxpayer receives a fair and transparent tax process.”

JERRY SUPPORTS: Term limits for executive offices; Elected school board; Proper use of TIF district funds; effective allocation of police resources.

Jerry’s PROFESSIONAL and LIFETIME EXPERIENCE: Attorney in private practice; small business owner; Cook County State’s Attorney Office Executive staff; COMMUNITY SERVICE: For over three decades He has been involved in numerous civic, educational and charitable organizations in the community and throughout the city of Chicago.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Marist High School; Yale University and Loyola Law School.

JERRY JOYCE deeply internalizes as well as understands what Chicago needs now to truly make it truly “the City that works” for all the people and not just for the selected few communities with big chunk of voters, like what has been going on for several years now. That is HIS REASON for wanting to be the next Mayor. So, dear readers, Jerry Joyce wants to be YOUR MAYOR. OUR MAYOR. He can’t do this alone. Jerry Joyce needs Our Help to really make Chicago, the City That Works for you and for all Chicagoans. Volunteer and gather signatures for the petition. So when elected, Jerry Joyce will give Chicago a “New Look” with a lovely and caring first Asian Filipino American First Lady. Good luck to you, sir. Mr Jerry Joyce. For CHICAGO MAYOR!

Catching up with JB Prtizker and Gov. Rauner: The two moguls have another somewhat fiery debate at the WGEM station in Quincy, Illinois. Gov. Rauner admitted he was tired, saying: “I’m working my tail off and it’s the end of a long day, a late night. and everyday is long. But we’re working 24/7.” (Well, Gov. You made your bed so you sleep on it.). The subject was about how the governor’s team handled the deadly legionnaire’s crisis at the Quincy Veterans’ Home which caused some deaths.

“It’s heartbreaking and I’ve cried about it,”Gov. Rauner sighed. “I’ve spent much time with the veterans about it and I firmly believe that the team here did everything they could and did a good job in very difficult circumstances.”

But JB Pritzker insisted the governor didn’t act fast enough which caused lost lives. He said Gov. Rauner did not do a good job and promised to change the handling of this kind of problem when elected. Obviously, Pritzker is getting stronger everyday. With the help of fellow Democrats. One of them is my wedding anniversary “Godfather,” the Hon. Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White. Making use of his time as unopposed IL Secretary of State in this coming election. A Role Model politician who truly loves his constituents. God bless you, Ninong.

Chicago Nightingales gave Tribute to our Filipino American War Heroes. Headed by Rose San Diego, Nightingales’ president-elect, the Filipino American Veterans of Illinois (FAVI, in collaboration with the representatives from various groups of the Filipino community and from local veteran organizations, and family supporters, held a luncheon Tribute of Rememberance to WWII FilAm veterans and the fallen Filipino revolutionists vs. the Americans, last Sept. 28, 1901. The celebration was held at the Little Quiapo Restaurat. The tribute was also in conjunction with the celebration of Philippine American History Month (October) in the United States. The 1901 was a tribute to the FALLEN US Army Soldiers in the town of Balangiga who fought in the Philippine American conflict on September 28, 1901. Then America and the Philippines were enemies. The ceremonial program included the Roll Call of the Fallen forty-eight Soldiers of Company “C” US Army 9th Infantry Regiment. Solemnity of the tribute was done by striking and ringing of a bell after each name was called, a total of 78 chimes, the number of Filipino and American revolutionists. Representing WWII Veterans was only Mr. Emil Garcera. Sadly, his contemporaries are getting fewer and weaker. (Let’s include them in our prayers.)

The annual event held in Chicago since 1999 is the only program of its kind in the US which properly pays tribute to our fallen war heroes. America’s defeat against the Filipino revolutionists made history. In retaliation, the defeated American soldiers took the three bells at Balangiga churches reminding them of their defeat. The bells which the Philippines wanted back, have been the subject of “debate” until today between the USA and the Philippines.

Rose thanked those who came to help the celebration saying: “We extend our gratitude to the Lions Club, Chicago Nightingales, Vietnamese Community of IL, the American Legion, and Chicago MARINES for their continued support in preparing this annual tribute to all who gave their ultimate sacrifice that early September morning. We have also extended a special note of appreciation to Malacanang Palace, the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Consulate of Chicago. We would like to ask the continued support of the Filipino community, especially during the month of Philippine American History Month to recognize and pay tribute to the fallen heroes and extend this recognition to the next generations so that the Tribute to The Bells of Samar will never be forgotten. And, more importantly, that the US government would be true to its promise to the Congress of the Philippines, that the historical Three Bells from Balangiga will be respectfully returned to the Philippines soon.”

President Duterte was not the first Philippine president to ask for the return of the bells. In 1994, then-Philippine president Fidel V. Ramos already made the same request to his US counterpart, Bill Clinton, to no avail.

llinois is named the only State to get an “A” grade for mental health Parity Law: Illinois was the only state with an ‘A’ grade (100/100) on the test of compliance with the Federal Parity Law, which calls for providing coverage of mental health and substance use disorders on par with other illnesses. Tennessee was second in the grading with a ‘C’ (79/100). Thirty-two states received failing grades in the assessment ‘Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes’ jointly released by the Kennedy- Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity, The Kennedy Forum, The Carter Center, and Well Being Trust (WBT) Center.

“Our administration’s focus on mental health and substance use disorders is paying off in better care and more comprehensive coverage for Illinoisans,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Our goal is to lead the nation in providing high quality, cost-efficient health care. There is more work to do and our teams are working together to make more advances in these important areas of public health.”

“Our ‘A’ grade on parity demonstrates how this administration is committed to treating mental health and substance use problems the same as other chronic physical conditions like diabetes and heart disease,” said Secretary James Dimas of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). “Too often, stigma impacts how behavioral health problems are covered and prevents individuals from seeking help. We believe that our parity laws in Illinois will lead to greater access to care for those struggling with mental health and substance use issues.”

Gov. Rauner has made mental health and substance use disorder treatment a priority throughout his term, enacting landmark reforms such as the first-ever legislation allowing doctors to substitute medical marijuana for opioids. He also led the effort to begin partnerships between law enforcement agencies and licensed substance abuse service providers.

I suggest that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte should take a look into this “Parity Law” for possible implementation in his government, instead of killing people with drug addiction problems. To-date, it was reported that at least 20,000 Filipinos have been killed.

Personal: One more with more feeling: Thank you to all my guests at my 80th Birthday Thanksgiving Celebration last August 24th. I apologize that ‘till now I am still addressing my “Thank You” card envelopes… amid a hundred-and-one things to be done. Who said I am too old to do all these? Faith.

Happy Autumn, Everyone. Autumn chill is in the air. Autumn Leaves start to fall from the two huge trees in front of my house. Brings sadness to me as I remember my late husband Dennis, raking those leaves with our dogs Lady and Duke jumping into the pile of Autumn Leaves. They all went to Heaven many years ago. Thank you Lord for the Memories#


JERRY JOYCE for CHICAGO MAYOR with VT columnist Elsie Sy-Niebar and his wife, Dr. Janine Joyce


Seated from left are: Chicago Nightingales (CN) board officer Joy Ranchero, WW11 Veteran Emil Garcera, CN President-Elect Rose San Diego, overall organizer. Back row: CN officers Sharon Nicolas, Cora-Silva Odes, Sophia Shah, Samantha Shah, Lourdes Shah, Sania Mangoba, Vice President Ninfa Gancero , Annabel Punsalan and daughter Andie. (Photo by Tam Nguyen)


Seated from left are: Chicago Nightingales (CN) board officer Joy Ranchero, WW11 Veteran Emil Garcera, CN President-Elect Rose San Diego, overall organizer. Back row: CN officers Sharon Nicolas, Cora-Silva Odes, Sophia Shah, Samantha Shah, Lourdes Shah, Sania Mangoba, Vice President Ninfa Gancero , Annabel Punsalan and daughter Andie. (Photo by Tam Nguyen)Seated at front: VIA TIMES editor Elsie Sy- Niebar, who led the singing of the Philipine National Anthem, CN Rose San Diego, Joy Ranchero and Vida Catalla, Back row: Effen Catalla and Dale Asis, president of Bayanihan Foundation Worldwide. (Photo by Tam Nguyen)


Elsie’s three sisters– Remy Cruickshank, Eva Maunders from Aussie, and Vilma Molina, enjoying Apple picking.


Lovely models at our September Street Festival on Milwaukee Avenue and Peterson Streets in Chicago.(ESN)


Diva Chazzy doing a solo as she playfully entertains her audience.(Rosie Reed photo)


“Three Divas in the Fountain” of lovely tunes — Evelyn Tolledo, Sazzy Chazzy Patron, executive producer of a recent successful concert, with Marilou Dichosa, belting their soul out.(Rosie Reed photo)

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