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.

Gun Dealer Licensing -- a matter of compassion and justice

We say, no more!  We can stop the easy access to guns that results in senseless killing.  Right now in Illinois, SB1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, has just been brought to the floor for discussion (3rd Reading) and a proposed vote.  The Gun Dealer Licensing Act doesn’t do it all, but it does provide for oversight by licensing of all gun dealers.  From there regulations can be imposed that a dealer must follow in order to retain a license.  Without the licensing requirement, further regulation of “bump stocks,” “multiple magazines,” age limits of purchasers, etc., is poorly enforced.  SB 1657 would give Illinois the ability to promote better business practices and hold corrupt dealers accountable by law and not merely by conscience.
Click HERE to urge your legislators, both Senate and House, to move SB1657 forward!

A Fair Tax for Illinois -- A compassionate response to budget shortfall

Send a valentine to your legislators — urge them to “have a heart” and pass a Fair Tax for Illinois to support a fully funded budget.  Our “flat tax” state income tax structure, one of the last of its kind in our nation, unnecessarily limits the resources our legislators need to fund so many aspects of our state programs serving our most vulnerable citizens.  A Fair graduated Tax asking our more wealthy citizens of Illinois to pay a bit more to allow Illinois to fully fund its budget is only fair!

Our UUs are rallying in Springfield to respond to Governor Rauner’s budget address.  Our Rev Scott Aaseng is among the faith leaders offering a public response.

Click HERE to ask your legislators to support a Fair Tax for Illinois now!

Reforming Juvenile Justice in Illinois: A matter of compassion in justice

Let’s interrupt the “preschool to prison” conduit of mass incarceration!  In Illinois, young people arrested for nonviolent alleged offenses face a difficult road:  As young as 10 years old, they will be jailed for up to 40 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) before an initial hearing, with the support of no mandated youth services.  In her charge to represent the needs of families, Rep Robyn Gabel has introduced a suite of bills aimed at changing that trajectory:  raising the minimum age of detention to 13 years (HB4336); limiting the time of detention to 24 hours including weekends and holidays (HB4473); and establishing services that allow detention to be a last resort, along with implementing youth support services to prevent deeper criminal involvement (HB4543).  

Click HERE to urge your state representative to support compassionate treatment of our youngest offenders to help them change the direction of their young lives.

Immigration Safe Zones for Illinois -- Love Resists!

As the fate of Dreamers continues to be held in balance nationally, we remember that their immigrant families are also on the line. If the nation can’t move, we can do the right thing in Illinois.  HB426 creates safe sanctuary for immigrants in Illinois through the Immigration Safe Zones Act. It  provides that schools, health care facilities and places of worship may bar access by law enforcement agents seeking to detain or arrest individuals for violation of federal immigration law without a warrant.  It also prohibits employees of public schools and institutions of higher education from asking about the immigration status of the student or their family.
It is time for Illinois to stand with the movement to develop sanctuary for immigrants on the state level.  Cities around the state are crafting welcoming platforms as sanctuary cities. Let’s send a strong message to our Illinois legislators to stand with this grassroots initiative.
Click HERE to urge your legislator to support HB 426

ACTION OF THE WEEK: Compassion for Dreamers

The Dream Act (S1615/H.R.3340) is on the ropes and needs your URGENT action.  Congress proposes to vote on the Dream Act this Friday.  Please urge your congressperson to support a clean Dream Act.  

DACA recipients are still without a road to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status or U.S. citizenship. Meanwhile, on September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it is ending the program, then were forced to stay that action through court injunction. This has left people who either still have DACA or whose DACA has expired in limbo with respect to their future in the only country they’ve known as home since they were children. The Dream Act of 2017 is a strong bill that includes a path to U.S. citizenship. In its various iterations, the Dream Act has long enjoyed bipartisan support in the congress and the overwhelming support of the American people.  However, congress now proposes adding elements to the bill that fund increased interior enforcement, detention centers, and a mandatory E-verify system.  This compromised Dream Act will protect our Dreamers while endangering the wider immigrant community.  We need a clean DREAM ACT.

Click HERE to urge your congress people to support a clean Dream Act NOW.

Renew CHIP Funding without gutting ACA: A matter of justice, equity, and compassion

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) brings health insurance to children whose working families make too much to qualify for medicaid but too little to cover their kids through employee plans.  Your Congresspeople have passed HR 3922 to renew CHIP funding.   HOWEVER, the bill calls for funding CHIP by cutting 75% of funding for the ACA's Prevention and Public Health Fun and by reducing access to health insurance for many others.  It is unacceptable to use CHIP funding as a bargaining tool to undermine popular aspects of the ACA.  Right now, the bill has been recalled for reconsideration.  

Click HERE to urge your congresspeople to renew funding of CHIP without drawing funds from other vital sources of health insurance for our most vulnerable families.

Congress needs to know we are watching!

Stopping Bail Profiteering: A Matter of Worth, Dignity and Justice

The $2 billion bail industry makes an enormous profit from people’s inability to come up with cash. For-profit bail takes the already exploitative bail system and charges a 10% non-refundable fee as well as outrageous interest rates. Even if all charges are dropped, no one gets their money back.

Click here to tell big insurance companies to get out of the business of making profit off of bail.