We are poised to join these campaigns for 2018:
- Fair Tax Illinois
The Illinois Fair Tax is a proposed amendment to the Illinois state constitution that would change the state income tax system from a flat tax to a graduated income tax. This campaign began in 2012 -- though defeated each election year, it has gained strength and we believe it will pass this year. We join the Responsible Budget Coalition of Illinois. Rally in Springfield February 14, before Governor Rauner's budget address, then add your energy, voice and witness March 15 to May 10 when legislators will be lining up in support of the working classes of Illinois -- or not.
- The Love Resists Campaign of the UUA
The Love Resists campaign gathers the energy of Unitarian Universalists to support the efforts of marginalized people to raise power for equality: Dreamers, people of color caught in the criminal justice web, people facing discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, people facing religious discrimination.
- Environmental Justice campaign of the Illinois Climate Table
We join forces with the Illinois Climate Table to monitor the implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act of Illinois, passed at the end of 2016. We will support legislation designed to enact recommendations of the FEJA.
- The Poor People's Campaign
Challenging a cultural dynamic that supports systemic racism, poverty, and environmental injustice, working for better jobs, better homes, better education, a better day for people disenfranchised by our American world of today. PPC has identified these targets for action this spring:
= Voter Suppression, especially as we conduct all-important mid-term elections this year, includes banning requirement of difficult-to-acquire IDs, the disenfranchisement of people with records
= Ecological Destruction, leading to water contamination, toxic neighborhoods near landfill, lead poisoning and asthma in poor communities
= Economic practices that undergird poverty, including poor wages, mass incarceration which disenfranchises a population, and inequality of taxation -- PPC will continue the Fight for 15 Movement for fair wages and the Fair Tax Campaign
=Militarism, especially the militarism of police actions and the proliferation of poorly-regulated gun ownership.
A Calendar for ACTION 2018
Here are 2018 opportunities to promote our 2018 campaign agenda:
- April 14 - UU congregations in central Illinois convene at Abraham Lincoln UU Church in Springfield for a day of collaboration, training, planning issue campaigns, and raising power together REGISTER HERE
- April 14-17: Tax Day Actions for FAIR TAX at local post offices
- April 17: Rally in Springfield with Community Renewal Society Springfield Day of Action for Transformative Justice REGISTER HERE
- April 21 - UU Just Economic Community "Insist on Justice! Resist Inequality!" A national UU gathering, with speakers Chuck Collins, Dr. Fannie Rushing of Chicago SNCC History Project, Alan Miller of Uptown People's Project, Fred Tsao of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. The Unitarian Church of Evanston, IL REGISTER HERE
- April 26: Rally in Springfield with Faith in Place for renewable energy reform
- May 13 - June 21: Poor People's Campaign 40 Days of Action
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UUANI April Newsletter
Dear UU Advocates for Justice,
The Poor People's Campaign kicked off in Illinois with a rousing press conference in Springfield on February 5, including an impassioned appeal by our own Rev. Krista Taves from the Unitarian Church of Quincy and Rev. Saeed Richardson of the New Poor People's Campaign in ILlinois. That same day in Chicago, a number of UU clergy were part of a 100 Clergy for DREAMers action led by immigrants and DREAMers. UUs were part of the February 14 Peoples Budget Action for a Fair Tax at the Capitol, and out front doing street theater for the March 27 Fair Tax Now rally in Chicago. Meanwhile UUs have been part of organizing Fair Tax town halls around the state, meeting with legislators in nearly a dozen districts from Carbondale and Champaign to Palatine and DeKalb, and setting up our first phone bank at the UU Society of Geneva!
UUANI has been part of organizing each of these actions, and we invite you to join us for one or both of two upcoming actions either in Springfield or by participating in our online Actions of the Week:
The April 17 lobby day for the Fair Tax, restorative justice issues, and overriding the governor's veto of gun dealer licensing, sponsored by Community Renewal Society. The afternoon will be a Poor People's Campaign action in the Capitol rotunda.
To inspire, prepare, and sustain us for this work, UUANI, the UU Prison Ministry of IL, and YaYA Justice co-sponsored the first UU Justice Event for Chicagoland/Northern IL on March 23-24 at Countryside UU in Palatine. Friday evening we heard insights and experiences from four amazing frontline transformative justice activists, who taught us about building communities based on real relationships in which we care for and provide security for each other--starting with housing--and about the importance of being willing to be uncomfortable and go beyond the four walls of our churches. Saturday we had workshops on dignity in re-entry, restorative justice, environmental justice, immigration justice, hands-on volunteering, Beloved Conversations, legislative advocacy, voter engagement, and the Poor People's Campaign. We began the day by gathering stones representing the gifts our communities bring to this work, and we ended by tearing down a "wall of rage" and building a "bridge of solidarity."
We will have our first UU Justice Event for Central/Southern IL on Saturday April 14 at Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation in Springfield. We will begin with worship and networking, followed by workshops on the UU Prison Ministry, environmental justice, immigration, the Fair Tax and voter engagement. The afternoon will consist of the downstate training for the IL Poor People's Campaign. Please register here so we can plan for lunch.
Stay tuned for more opportunities for action during the Poor People's Campaign 40 Days of Action in May and June. Join us as we build community for justice across the state!
UUANI is supported by contributions from Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations in Illinois, and by grants from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the Chicago Area Unitarian Universalist Council, and the Illinois Environmental Council.
We are grateful for each of these forms of support!