A Springfield Scorecard for 2018

Our UUANI campaigns of Spring 2018 yielded some sweet victories and some disappointment.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
We joined our efforts with UU Prison Ministry of Illinois and Community Renewal Society of Chicago to support legislation that promoted restorative justice.   Two bills passed both houses and were signed into law by Governor Rauner:
    •    SB3388 Adult Redeploy Act expands the availability to probation-eligible people of support services such as counseling, life coaching, problem-solving courts, and other restorative justice processes. 
    •    HB5341  "Fair Access to Employment (F.A.T.E.)" provides that outstanding fees, fines, and court costs cannot stand in the way of determining whether someone can have their criminal record sealed. 

And one bill was passed by both houses, but vetoed (amendatory) by Governor Rauner:
    •    HB4469  "Know your rights" affirms access to voting rights for pre-trial and post-incarceration people.   The Governor objected to being the first state to install voting booths in jails. 

IMMIGRANT JUSTICE
We joined our efforts with  the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to support legislation promoting the safety and welfare of undocumented people. 
We won:
•    SB3488  Anti-registry Act -- Provides that agencies may not create registry lists based on discriminatory characteristics such as national origin, religion, disability, race, color, gender identity, immigration status. 
•  SB3109 Professional licensing may be awarded regardless of immigrant or citizenship status

 We lost:
    •    SB35:  Immigration Safe Zones -- Provides that public buildings and agencies funded by state taxes be declared areas safe for all people regardless of immigration status.  
    •    SB34 Voices Act -- Requires law enforcement to provide visas to qualifying individuals who are survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking or other criminal activity without requiring them to jeopardize their safety as undocumented people.    
    •    SB3103 Immigrant tenant protection. Tenants rights for undocumented people.
In these bills, Governor Rauner felt that the legislation violated federal law by attempting to supercede it. 

GUN SAFETY
One victory, and one on hold.
    •    HB2354 "Red flag" Firearms Restraining Order -- Allows a citizen to register a lethal restraining order mandating that a citizen demonstrating real and present danger to a community be denied purchase or ownership of firearms. 

 •    SB337 Gun Dealer Licensing, now Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking, Passed both houses, but is being held away from the Governor's desk.

ENVIRONMENT
We got no traction for environment protection bills, but the chances may change with the results of the November elections.

NEXT STEP: Voter engagement. Promote voter registration and get out the vote!

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UUANI BOARD
Urge Governor Rauner to sign HB4469

Governor Rauner is poised to decide this next week whether to sign into law HB4469, extending an opportunity for voting to people being held in jail and connecting folks coming out of incarceration to their restored voting rights. Our voting rights are so much a part of who we are as citizens in Illinois. In HB4469, we have the opportunity to help folks in the criminal justice system connect with their legal rights.

All over Illinois this week, organizations are joining forces to persuade Governor Rauner to do the right thing. Let's join our UU voices to that effort! TAKE ACTION to urge Governor Rauner to sign HB469 Voting Rights in Jail!

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UUANI BOARD
Urge Governor Rauner to support gun dealer licensing

In the wake of a weekend (and continuing!) of unprecedented gun violence in Chicago, we ask Governor Rauner to heed the will of his constituency in the General Assembly and SIGN SB337, The Combatting Illegal Gun Trafficking Act.

SB337 encourages better business practices among gun dealers and defeats corrupt gun dealers. Other states that have adopted similar requirements have seen the incidence of gun crimes reduced by more than half.

Recognizing the deleterious effect of illegal gun trafficking in our communities, legislators of both houses of the General Assembly have passed the bill this spring with bipartisan support. We know Chicago does not represent the prevalence of gun violence for the entire state of Illinois, but all our sizable cities have seen an uptick in gun violence. The citizens of all our urban communities need the protection of this bill.

TAKE ACTION to urge Governor Rauner to sign SB337 NOW!

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UUANI BOARD
Governor Rauner, your signature, please!

UUANI and our partners worked very hard this spring to persuade legislators to pass several suites of bills to protect the people of Illinois — A significant number of those bills were passed by both houses and now await the signature of our governor. Passed by a majority of our legislators, they represent the voice of the people of Illinois — and yet they have not been signed into law. Governor Rauner has 60 days from passage in the legislature (end of May) to sign and HIS TIME IS RUNNING OUT. No signature amounts to a veto. Demand that Governor Rauner heed the will of the people and sign these bills:

Supporting restorative justice — HB4469 “Know your rights” affirms access to voting rights for people in jail and after incarceration; HB5341 Fair Access to Employment provides that outstanding fees and fines cannot stand in the way of sealing records in order to gain employment; SB3388 “Adult Redeploy” extends support services to a wider range of post-incarceration people.

Supporting immigrant and refugee rights — SB35 Immigration Safe Zones designates public buildings as areas off-limits to unwarranted arrest and harassment for all people; SB34 the VOICES Act requires law enforcement to provide visas to qualified individuals without requiring them to jeopardize their safety as undocumented individuals; SB3488 the Anti-registry Act forbids agencies to create registry lists based on discriminatory characteristics such as national origin, religion, race, gender identity and immigration status.

Gun Safety — Governor Rauner just signed into law HB2354 the “Red Flag Firearms Restraining Order,” allowing a citizen to register a restraining order against the purchase or ownership of a gun for a person demonstrating real and present danger to a community; but not SB337 Combatting Illegal Gun Trafficking (formerly Gun Dealer Licensing).

If any of these issues resonate with you, TAKE ACTION and send a letter to Governor Rauner TODAY. Apparently, he still needs to hear the voice of the people! Use the bill number(s) in your letter subject and your best voice of outrage in your letter, with perhaps a hint that you have a vote to cast in the fall election.

Let our elected officials know we are watching them!

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UUANI BOARD
Urge Governor Rauner to protect our immigrant neighbors

Amid the national uproar over the treatment of immigrants, remember that our Illinois state legislators this spring have passed important safeguards for our own immigrant people. THIS WEEK, Governor Rauner is slated to sign these into law — or not. Urge Governor Rauner to affirm the desire of Illinois citizens for compassion and justice for these beleaguered people.

The Immigration Safe Zones Act, SB35, provides that public buildings and sites of taxpayer-funded agencies be declared areas safe for all people regardless of immigration status, which includes sanctuary from arrest without warrant. The Voices Act of 2018, SB34, requires state agencies to provide visas to qualifying individuals who are survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking or other criminal activity without requiring them to jeopardize their safety by identifying as undocumented people. The Anti-registry Act, SB3488, provides that agencies may not create registry lists based on discriminatory characteristics such as nation of origin, religion, race, gender identity and immigration status.

We should be proud that Illinois has led the way in immigrant justice — let’s continue our exemplary protection for our immigrant people.

TAKE ACTION to ask Governor Rauner to sign these bills!

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UUANI BOARD
Protect our border families - VOTE NO for H.R. 4760

We are all appalled — as well we should be — at the practice of separating families at the southwestern border. Members of Congress are crafting legislation to end this practice through an omnibus bill filled with their favorite anti-immigrant initiatives. BUT the administration does not need Congress to pass legislation to end their “zero-tolerance” practice — the administration can do this by executive order.

Meanwhile Congress is floating on our outrage a bill that will not only NOT end the practice of separating families, it will worsen the injustices faced by asylum seekers and their children. It will drastically cut legal immigration quotas, eliminate green cards for family reunification and increase detention and deportation. Further, these bills do not offer a workable path to citizenship for the Dreamers among us.

TAKE ACTION to urge your congressperson to vote NO on the Securing America’s Future Act (HR4760) and the proposed Border Security and Immigration Reform Act.

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UUANI BOARD
Urge Governor Rauner to support restorative justice!

Our Illinois legislature has done a fine job passing several bills supporting restorative justice and working against recidivism in folks caught in the criminal justice system. Now we need to ask Governor Rauner to sign the bills: HB5341 allows fair access to employment by not allowing sealing or expungement of records to be denied on the basis of outstanding financial obligations like fees, fines, and court costs; SB3388 extends the availability of Adult Redeploy, a program offering counseling, life coaching, problem-solving courts, and other restorative justice processes; and HB4469 affirms access to voting rights for pre-trial detainees and post-incarceration citizens.

Governor Rauner has expressed support of restorative justice measures. TAKE ACTION to urge him to sign these bills that allow formerly incarcerated people to reintegrate into their communities as productive citizens

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UUANI BOARD
Clean water for ALL our people

This coming Moral Monday, the Poor People’s Campaign lifts up the imperative to fight environmental injustice that disproportionately imperils poor communities. Do your part by asking your Illinois legislator to support SB3080, which amends the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to mandate communities to replace lead water piping infrastructure. SB3080 further amends the Public Utilities Act to establish a comprehensive assistance policy and program for citizens of low-income, assuring uninterrupted access to clean water and sewer facilities.

We have been agonizing for years about the levels of lead in drinking water for our most vulnerable families. Illinois is stepping up this spring to forge a plan to replace lead infrastructure in community drinking water systems. This is THE clean water effort of the spring legislative session. And we are close to getting it done. Urge your Senator to get on board!

Check HERE to see if your legislator is signed on. If they are not, TAKE ACTION to urge them to support SB3080.

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UUANI BOARD
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, TAKE ACTION to urge them to get on board.

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

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UUANI BOARD
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. HB 4543 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, TAKE ACTION urging them to support the youth of our state, to redirect them out of crime’s way. Let’s nurture deeply ALL our children!

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UUANI BOARD