Voices from the Community

CRS leaders share their perspectives on faith and policy.

Brett O'Brien

Brett O’Brien talks about the Day of Faith at the Capitol, Community Renewal Society’s annual lobby day that brings hundreds of people of faith from across Chicagoland together to advocate for policies that advance our Platform for Renewal.

It all started with people in churches listening to each other. And it wasn’t about gossip or chitchat. During evening meetings, group gatherings, and one-on-one conversations, trained listeners asked their fellow congregants about the concerns they have for their local community of Arlington Heights.

I’m a FORCE leader and I traveled to Springfield 8 times this session to advocate for HB 2373, which would expand eligibility for records to be sealed.

FORCE leader Dwight Young has been advocating in Springfield for SB 42 so that qualified health care professionals can obtain or renew their health care license.  SB 42 addresses the unintended consequences of 2011 legislation that has meant the loss of quality jobs for a number of Illinoisans, including Dwight who lost his job as registered nurse.  Prior to 2012, Dwight and other individuals with forcible felonies were successfully and safely licensed by the State in health professions.

 The following testimony was given my Mary Dungy-Akenji at CRS' 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.

 “I have gangs in my community and in the area where I go to school, but I find myself more fearful of the police.”

  The following testimony was given by Jack Jackson at the Southside Cook County Public Budget Hearing on October 28, 2015 in support of the Reclaim Campaign’s ask for Cook County Commissioners to increase funding for Restorative Justice.

Reverend Alice Harper-Jones, Associate Pastor for Social Justice at Kenwood United Church of Christ in Chicago speaks at the July 1st Walkout Action and Rally for a fair Budget.

Pastor Daniel Ruen of Grace Lutheran Church of Evanston speaks at the July 1st Walkout Action and Rally for a fair Budget.


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