On January 16, more than 500 leaders from Community Renewal Society member congregations converged on Kingdom Baptist Church for the second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Faith in Action Assembly. At this powerful gathering, leaders from the Illinois General Assembly, including
Senate President Pro Tem Don Harmon, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, Senator Jacqueline Collins, Housing Chairperson Karen Yarbrough, the Chair of the Black Caucus Representative Will Davis, Representative Robyn Gabel, Representative Camille Lilly, and Representative Rita Mayfield endorsed the Community Renewal Society Platform for Renewal.
Developed through a listening campaign encompassing more than 1000 one-on-one meetings and focus groups, The Platform for Renewal includes adequately funding public education through a progressive income tax, unfreezing the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Rental Housing Support Program Fund, and expanding sealing of non-violent felony records to create jobs for ex-offenders.
We also celebrated a tremendous win at the Assembly. In recent weeks, after CRS leaders met with the Illinois Housing Development Authority and sent thousands of postcards and made hundreds of phone calls, Governor Quinn unfroze the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, making $15 million dollars immediately available for the development of affordable housing! The collective power of congregations in action made this win possible. In the coming months, CRS, in partnership with Access Living and Housing Action Illinois will work to meet directly with Governor Quinn and to expand access to the Rental housing Support Program Fund which provides rental assistance to low-income, homeless, and disabled people throughout the state.
In addition to these wins, congregations pleged to distribute over 10,000 report cards to inform other leaders and community members about the responses of elected officials. CRS leaders also donated more than $2,000 to continue the work of Community Renewal Society and set plans to travel to Springfield for CRS' Day of Faith in Action at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 24.
For more information contact Alex Wiesendanger, (312) 673-3840, firstname.lastname@example.org