Gun Dealer Licensing: protecting our communities

Work to stop illegal guns from entering our communities continues in a new effort, SB337, the Combatting Illegal Gun Trafficking Act.  This bipartisan legislation incorporates key provisions of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act which was vetoed by Governor Rauner in March, but adds provisions to better record and track private sales.  It treats all gun dealers the same, eliminating the “big box store exemption” in previous legislation.  Most importantly, it gives law enforcement a policy on which to stand in combatting corrupt gun dealing.

House legislators are lining up to support the bill — make sure your rep is in the mix:  check HERE to see is they are signed on as a co-sponsor and if they are NOT, urge them to do that now HERE.

Whole communities are hunkered down in fear of gun violence.  Compassion calls us to stand with our neighbors in solidarity to get guns out of the hands of those who would do us all harm.

In partnership with Community Renewal Society

The Poor People’s Campaign: Compassion and justice for families in poverty

The Poor People’s Campaign:  A National Call for Moral Revival kicks off Monday, May 14 (gather at the Lincoln statue in Springfield, 2pm), for a week-long focus on women, youth, and children in poverty.  

Children from poor communities, especially children of color, are subject to arrest many times more often than our other children.  Just one day in jail can change the trajectory of a child’s life.  Let’s make arrest for children and youth the beginning of rehabilitation and restorative justice and not the dead end of a criminal life.

HB4543 amends the Juvenile Court Act to limit the minimum age at which a child may be detained to 13 years (it is now 10 years), with alternative foster detention for younger children.   HB4543 also amends the Children and Family Services Act by providing youth support services to reduce the use of detention and to prevent deeper criminal involvement.

At a hearing in April, voters expressed strong support for the bill.  But it needs support in the legislature.  Check HERE to see if your legislator is signed on as a co-sponsor.  If not, send them a message HERE urging them to support the youth of our state, to redirect them out of crime’s way.  Our future depends on the deep nurture of ALL our children!

A Fair Tax for Illinois -- committing to the common good

Illinois legislators are moving quickly toward affirming a resolution to establish a graduated income tax for Illinois.   A graduated income tax represents a  fair and equitable way for Illinois to glean the revenue it needs to support programming for all its citizens, especially the most vulnerable.

Illinois Representatives have been signing onto HR1025 this past week, and we need you to do two things:   Check HERE to see if your representative is on board -- if they are not, click HERE to urge them to support HR1025.

Secondly, the Committee for Finance and Revenue is holding a hearing on the bill
THIS WEDNESDAY, May 2 at  2:30pm on the 6th floor of the Bilandic Center  (C-600) in Chicago.  If you are in Chicago, plan to be there! In any case, file a witness slip HERE to vote your support (the pro’s and opp’s are running neck on neck!)  Here’s how to do that:

    Section 1:  Fill in your info, register yourself as “self” or “UUANI”

    Section 2:  Register yourself as “self”, “citizen, “UUANI”

    Section 3:  Select “Proponent”

    Section 4:  select “Record of Appearance only,” unless you plan to be there

    Sign onto the ILGA terms of agreement (left corner), and “create slip” (right corner)

Done!  Thank you!
Let our legislators know we are watching!


Immigration Safe Zones : A Matter of Compassion

The Immigration Safe Zones Act has been moving quickly through the Senate and gathering momentum. It is now on the calendar for its final consideration and vote.

The Immigration Safe Zones Act establishes sanctuary for immigrants and refugees within the state of Illinois.  It provides that law enforcement in the State of Illinois shall not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement (ICE) in these contexts:  Schools and education centers receiving state funding, state-funded health-care facilities, public libraries, facilities operated by the Office of the Secretary of State, and state courts.  The Act provides that an in-state law enforcement official shall not assist or support any immigration operation by an immigration agent in or around any of those agencies unless said officials present a valid and properly issued criminal warrant related to the investigation or prosecution of any criminal offense.  It provides that all applications, questionnaires, and interview forms used in relation to benefits, opportunities, or services provided by a State agency, or tuition verification, scholarships, grants, or services provided by a public elementary or secondary school or public institution of higher education shall not ask questions regarding citizenship or immigration status.  
Check HERE to see if your Senator has expressed support by co-sponsoring this bill.  If not, click HERE to urge them to sign on as co-sponsor.


A Fair Tax for Illinois -- for the common good!

It’s Tax Day, good people!  And we remember that our state’s tax structure is deeply unfair to its middle-income and working-class taxpayers, and inadequate to funding vital investments like education, human services, healthcare, higher education, infrastructure and public safety.  As one of the few states in the country with a flat income tax, Illinois fails to tap vital resources through levying fair taxes on the wealthy, which leaves the state failing to fund essential services we all need.

A new poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale shows that 72% of Illinois voters — including Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural, upstate and downstate — support the concept of a Fair Tax to fund our state services.  A Fair Tax will actually effect a tax break for 90% of our citizens.  

We can  move NOW toward a Fair Tax for Illinois.  We have 3 weeks left to put an amendment to the state constitution on the 2018 ballot in November, to let voters decide what kind of tax system we want.  To do that, we need to pass a resolution through both houses of the Illinois General Assembly — SJRCA 1 and HJRCA39 — by May 6th!

CLICK HERE to ask your legislators to support a ballot appeal in November for a Fair Tax Amendment for Illinois.

Restorative justice through voter rights

Registering to vote is the gateway to being civically engaged.  Right now, citizens who are being held pre-trial in jail, citizens returning from incarceration, and citizens who have a past felony are all eligible to vote.  And yet, most feel they have been permanently disenfranchised by their involvement in criminal conviction.  HB4469 allows for providing voting facilities in jails and prisons and for making available voter registration for post-incarceration citizens.

On Tuesday, the Elections and Campaign Finance Committee will meet to consider bringing to the floor HB4469.  You can let your voice be heard by filing a Witness Slip in favor.  Here is how you do that:

Click HERE
Under Section I, fill in your identification information (under business write “UUANI” or “SELF”)
Again in Section II, write “UUANI” or “SELF.”
In Section III, select “Proponent”
In Section IV, select “Record of Appearance only”
Agree to the ILGA terms of agreement (left bottom)
Click "Create Slip" (right bottom)

Now check HERE to see if your representative is signed onto this initiative.  If not, check HERE to urge them to support restorative justice through voter rights

Thank you!
Recommended by the UU Prison Ministry of Illinois


Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment: Award dignity to every person

The ERA again??!! The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by the U.S. Congress in March, 1972.   To become an amendment, it needs to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, or 38 states.  State-by-state, it has been moved toward full ratification over the intervening 45 years, and Nevada became state number 36 on March 22, 2017.  Illinois has tried almost annually, but has yet to ratify the amendment with a super-majority vote in both houses.  This year looks hopeful.  New legislation has been introduced and figures to come before the Senate, then the House beginning April 10.  The Constitution of Illinois guarantees equal rights unabridged by sexual orientation, so this should not be a re-think!  Let’s get it done!  Send a strong message to your legislators to support SJRCA 4, NOW.
Click HERE to urge your legislators to get this done NOW!

Protect the environment with fracking transparency!

Illinois People’s Action fracking transparency bill — SB3174 — emends the Oil and Gas Act to make information available to the public regarding fracking assessments and movements.  Since the Oil and Gas Act of 1951, newer scientific evidence is overwhelming that current fracking practices are polluting water, soil, air, and human health, and must be more closely monitored.  Even since the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act of 2012, five years ago, what we know about the risks of fracking has changed.  The public cannot monitor without accurate information, which is now classified confidential.  

This Bill is newly-introduced and needs the support of your legislator.  Check HERE to see if your senator is on board, and if not, click HERE to ask them to co-sponsor the bill.

Governor Rauner, Affirm Gun Dealer Licensing!

We have one more legislative step to passing SB1657, Gun Dealer Licensing in Illinois — the governor needs to sign it.  Send a letter to Governor Rauner today asking him to affirm what the Illinois General Assembly, in rare bipartisan form, has agreed to —All parties involved in the dealing of guns will be required to be licensed, and to be compliant with the laws of the State of Illinois in order to be licensed.  
Click HERE to ask to Governor Rauner to sign SB1657

Thank you to legislators who passed SB1657, the Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Act

Write a "thank you" to your legislators who just passed SB1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which guarantees that all dealers in guns in Illinois be licensed, and through licensing regulated.  It is a solid foundation for providing gun safety for our citizens -- a matter of compassion as well as justice.

Click HERE to send a letter of thanks.  Let our legislators know we are watching.