The following testimony was given my Mary Dungy-Akenji at Community Renewal Society’s annual MLK Faith in Action Assembly held on January 18, 2016. Mary spoke in support of the Fair Tax which would address Illinois budget issues by raising the revenue Illinois needs for education and social services by asking the wealthiest in our state to pay their fair share. Mary is a member of the Faith in Action Team at Urban Village Church in Wicker Park.
My name is Mary Dungy-Akenji, Member of Urban Village Church. I am also a parent and have my daughters Eva and Emilie here with me. I am here today because I am tired of seeing my state at the brink of collapse. I demand a long-term revenue source that will protect our families and the services we desperately need.
I am here because I want a FAIR TAX.
After my second daughter was born, money was tight. We often had to choose between groceries and bills. No parent should look in their child’s eyes and wonder how or what they are going to feed them. We used credit cards and other loans to get by. (Still paying that off). Without basic services like Medicaid, LINK and WIC I don’t how we could have survived.
Meanwhile our state has been without a budget for over 6 months, and our families in Illinois are paying the price. Governor Rauner and others are saying our state is broke. That’s garbage! We have a lot of wealth in this state, it’s just stuck at the top.
The fair tax is an equitable solution to this problem. Right now, the wealthiest in our state pay the same tax rate that you and I pay. Billionaires in Illinois pay the same tax rate as you and I pay!
Does that sound fair to you?
The fair tax changes that. Those who have more pay more, those who have less pay less. A fair tax in Illinois is long overdue. We are all suffering the consequences of inaction to adequately and fairly raise revenue.
The Bible taught me that true worship is to work for justice and care for the poor and oppressed. In Illinois, we don't care about the middle class, let alone the poor and oppressed!
I want to know what it will take for the for the Illinois general assembly to act to protect our families and state. We need our state officials to endorse the platform for renewal because the time for a fair tax is NOW!