Watch the FORCE Project Video

The CRS FORCE Project has produced a new video. Check it out!


Sealing Bill Passes General Assembly

On August 2, 2013 Governor Quinn signed the Illinois Sealing Bill into law! The FORCE Project fought for over 2 years to make this bill to expand opportunities for employment, housing, and education for people with records a reality!


We're Moving!

On October 25th, Community Renewal Society is moving to 111 West Jackson, Suite 820 Chicago, IL 60604. Please update your records.

CRS Puts Faith into Action on King Day!

1000 CRS members, FORCE Project leaders, and partner organizations took action on martin Luther King Day and won commitments from Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and more than a dozen members of the Illinois General Assembly!


Our Issues

F.O.R.C.E. Employment Campaign
Watch the new FORCE Video


Get on the bus!!

On April 8, we will answer our call to put our faith into action! 

Along with more than 500 other church leaders in our orange CRS t-shirts, you will speak with the legislators that represent your community and CRS.

Buses will leave from churches across Chicago and the suburbs beginning at 6 am. We will provide breakfast and training (and prayer) on the buses. Once you arrive in Springfield, your team--led by a trained team captain--will set out to find your target legislators to speak with them about the issues on the CRS Platform for Renewal.

You will ask them to:

  • Support and co-sponsor legislation to reduce the statutory time to preliminary hearings from 30 days to 10 days in Illinois;
  • Support and co-sponsor HJRCA33 or SJRCA40 for a Fair Tax;
  • Vote against HB5672 and any other new or enhanced mandatory minimum sentences; and
  • Vote for legislation to remove absolute bars to employment for people with records in public healthcare and education.

Your team will take a break to have lunch (provided by CRS), and then in the afternoon we will gather back together again for an action and a prayer rally.Then, we will load back onto our buses at 2:45 pm and head back home. 

While we will take a free-will offering on the bus ride home to help cover the costs of the day, there is no charge to come, so reserve your seat on a bus today by calling Kristin at (312) 673-3844.

How can I learn more about the issues on CRS's Platform for Renewal?

You can sign up for call-in issue briefings led by CRS Policy staff on: 
March 31st at 7pm -
April 5th at 10am -
April 6th at 7pm -

For call-in info contact Luis Carrizales 312.673.3810 or

How did we arrive at the issues on the Platform for Renewal?

CRS is continually listening to leaders and community residents in member congregations. Over the summer, congregational leaders and staff spoke with more than 1200 people in churches and communities through one-on-ones, house meetings, and neighborhood canvasses. At the end of August, the Strategy Team, a group of high-level leaders elected by the membership, met to distill the learning from this listening and empower issue teams to work on campaigns. From these conversations, leaders from churches have developed the 2013-2014 Platform for Renewal including some ongoing campaigns from last year as well as new initiatives. 

From these conversations, leaders from churches developed issue teams, and, at the Annual Membership Assembly on October 5, 2013, more than 300 church leaders voted to launch the Platform for Renewal, including campaigns for a Fair Tax, removing absolute bars to employment for people with records, reducing the time to preliminary hearings, and opposing mandatory minimums.

Join with Faith Leaders for a prayer service and press conference on Tuesday, February 25th from 10:15 - 11:30 am, at The Chicago Temple, as we call for a Fair Tax with A Better Illinois!

All religious traditions believe in justice and fairness. Our scriptures declare that we should care for the widow, the orphan and the immigrant. Our religious practices call upon us to give aid to the poor and show compassion for those who are sick and vulnerable. Our faiths demand that we live not for ourselves, but that we show concern for all of God’s creation, for all of God’s children.

We believe in fairness—embodied by the principle that those who have been blessed with plentiful resources should contribute to the common good. We live in a time when the wealthiest have benefitted greatly, while the pressures on lower-income and middle-class families have grown. It’s time to ask those with great resources to do their part to ensure that our society may prosper. “For everyone to whom much is given, much will be required.”

We have joined with A Better Illinois, a growing coalition of advocates, small business leaders, faith leaders and educators concerned with the future of our state. We are inviting you to participate in a press conference and prayer vigil of faith leaders from across the state to call on our leaders in Springfield to pass a fair income tax, one with lower rates for lower incomes and higher rates for higher incomes.

RSVP online HERE.


To: Governor Quinn, Senate President Cullerton, House Speaker Madigan, Senate Minority Leader Radogno, House Minority Leader Durkin, and Members of the Illinois General Assembly: 

All religious traditions preach, teach and mandate that faithfulness to God and each other is expressed in justice and fairness toward our fellow human beings. Our scriptures declare that we should care for the widow, the orphan, and the immigrant. Our religious practices call upon us to be charitable to the poor and show compassion for those who are sick and vulnerable. Our faith demands that we live not for ourselves, but that we show concern in word and action for all of God’s creation, for all of God’s children.

This demand is especially true for those who have been blessed with great wealth. The wealthy have benefited greatly in our times and it is right and just to ask that they share their resources so that our society may prosper.

As clergy, people of faith, and people of good will, we call upon you, our elected representatives, to institute a system of taxation in the State of Illinois that asks those who have been blessed with great wealth to pay their fair share. We stand with a broad coalition of citizen’s and service organizations called A Better Illinois.

We ask that you stand with us and support a constitutional amendment to allow a fair tax—a graduated income tax.

A fair tax would allow for higher rates on those with higher incomes, and lower rates for those with lower incomes. A fair tax would provide resources for our schools and ensure that services to the vulnerable in our communities are maintained. A fair tax would stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and provide a means for Illinois to repair our crumbling infrastructure. A fair tax would provide desperately needed revenue for our state that has been lost because corporations have used loopholes to avoid paying their fair share.

The time is now for the leaders of our state to take action. We urge you to support HJRCA33 and SJRCA40 to allow a fair income tax in Illinois


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