At one point, Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, had in her district four of the top five ZIP codes in Illinois with the highest rates of coronavirus infection. Her Southwest Side district includes many front-line health care, service industry and retail workers. Villanueva got busy working on federal CARES Act funding for closed businesses, distributing masks and hand sanitizer, and helping constituents navigate unemployment snafus at the Illinois Department of Employment Security. A Little Village native who is bilingual, which is important in this district, Villanueva views the office as an extension of her background in nonprofit work — connecting constituents to government services. She is endorsed over her opponent, Mary Ellen “Mari” Brown, a leader in the local business community, who got into the race late and is running under a third party, Democracy in America.