Faith in Progress

Faith in Progress

Al Sharp, Executive Director of PCG, shares his perspective on key issues of the day.

On Friday, June 12th, PCG will host a conference, New Directions for Drug Policy in Illinois. If you believe the following facts — and what might be done to address them — are important, you will surely want to attend...

By any reasonable standard,
our Faith in Action Day in Springfield on Tuesday was a great success. Over
100 individuals traveled from all sections of the state to press for education
funding reform. We delivered petitions to the governor and legislative leaders
signed by close to 700 faith leaders and congregation members from over 80%
of the 118 representative districts in Illinois.

I was casually skimming the pages of _National Review_ during an end-of-day workout last week when I came across a quote that almost made me stop pedaling: "If people get mad about taxes, they don't sit back and carefully think through if they're mad at the state legislature or the county assessor or the federal government," a former Republican congressman observed. "They just get mad about taxes."

Money _is_ controlling politics in Illinois. It dominates what happens at the ballot box. It subverts democracy. And, in the process, it has made Illinois the laughing stock of the nation.

Two weeks ago we asked you to support an increase in the state income tax from the current 3% to the proposed 5% on behalf of education funding in Illinois.

Walter Boyd, director of PCG’s criminal justice program, and I often recall our first experiences in Springfield together. Our purpose was to gain support for measures that would give a fair chance to ex-offenders trying to rebuild their lives upon leaving prison.

This is an extraordinary time in Illinois. We have a new governor and three new
leaders in the General Assembly, and we see early indications of a growing spirit
of cooperation at the Capitol. We now have the opportunity to address some of
the state’s substantial challenges, including the crisis in public education funding.

Who could
possibly be opposed to legislation that addresses global warming, helps the
economy, protects our health, saves us money, and reduces our dependence on
foreign oil?

I predicted in the last issue of The Common Good Network that Governor Rod Blagojevich would be removed from office in no less than three weeks. He was actually gone within six days.

Rod Blagojevich will not be the Governor of Illinois very much longer. His trial in the state senate is scheduled to begin on January 26th. Current estimates are that it will last for no longer than three weeks with removal from office the almost foregone conclusion.

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