Charles R. Austin

Professional Title: 
West Side Congregational Organizer
Community Renewal Society

Charles comes to CRS after 10 plus years at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, where he co-chaired their re-entry committee. That committee negotiated a Re-Entry Housing Pilot Program for ex-offenders with both the Chicago and Cook County Housing Authority. Charles has also worked with the Chicago Teachers Union, Fight For 15, A Better Illinois Fair Tax Campaign and several others. He is a member of RROCI (Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition) and in 2016, worked to pass four bills improving access to employment for people with criminal records (HB 4360 allows those with low level drug offenses employment in schools, HB 4515 allows greater access to Health Care Workers Registry, SB 42 allows professional licensing in health care and SB 3005 allows people with low level nonviolent drug offenses employment in Illinois Park Districts--personal favorite). HB 2373 awaits action by the Governor.

Charles is a licensed minister, since 1994, and is very passionate about justice; not only for West Side residents but all oppressed people.

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