Illinois is in its last week of the fiscal year and legislators are currently meeting in Springfield for a special session. We are poised to enter our third year without a full budget, increasing the damage to our communities, schools, human service and healthcare sectors.
Illinois senators will soon vote on a bill that would enhance Illinois’ already harsh sentencing policies but not reduce violence. This proposal is a continuation of harmful public policies that studies have shown are ineffective.
The Chicago City Council is days away from voting on how to spend millions of surplus funds. Low participation in the city’s property tax rebate program has resulted in a surplus of $14 million. We are joining community organizations across the city and calling on aldermen to use this unique opportunity to fund essential violence prevention programs, which invest in our youth and curb the violence devastating our communities.
One week ago today, hundreds of us filled St. Mark United Methodist Church to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and denounce systems of racial injustice. We featured a panel of noted experts, who offered us analysis and action steps for addressing racism. Together we lamented racism’s destructive effects on our lives by naming seven manifestations of racism, and collectively answered a call to action for us, the beloved community, to dismantle racism.
The Illinois General Assembly will convene for the “Lame Duck” session on Monday, January 9, 2017. Take action now and send an email to your state representatives to oppose legislation that will increase sentences for second time gun possession but not make our communities safer.
As of January 1, 2017 four new laws in Illinois are opening doors for people with past felony convictions to work in Illinois schools, park districts and health care facilities. Take action now and help to spread the word about these new employment laws.