February is a short month, but that didn’t stop us from achieving five significant victories! Don’t forget to save the date for ONE Northside’s inaugural convention where we will celebrate our victories and ask for public commitments from our elected officials, local developers and CEOs to advance our current campaigns. The date is Sunday, May 4, 2014, Anshe Emet Synagogue (3751 N. Broadway), doors open at 2pm, meeting from 2:30pm-4:00pm.
Here’s what we achieved in February:
Jewel Osco agreed to remove the “felony” box from their job applications in a meeting with ONE Northside leaders! ONE Northside’s Violence Prevention Coalition has been organizing to create more job opportunities for returning citizens (ex-offenders) in our community. “Ban the Box” is a campaign to allow returning citizens to get in the door with prospective employers. Once they get an interview, the employer can ask about felonies and do a background check. We are working with Jewel Osco officials on a public statement, and to gain their support as we seek statewide legislation. Check out VPC leaders on CBS talking about this campaign HERE.
We have a commitment, written into law, for the first new affordable housing in Lincoln Park in over 40 years! ONE Northside’s Children’s Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Coalition has been organizing for years to ensure we gain a significant number of very affordable units in the new development at the Children’s site. The development will include 57 affordable units. This is only the second development in the entire city to meet the requirement of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance by building affordable units rather than making a contribution to the city’s fund, which is an especially significant achievement in expensive Lincoln Park. Without the persistent organizing that we did, the developer would have easily paid the fee and we would have had no new units in this neighborhood.
Congresswoman Schakowsky signed on as a co-sponsor of the Inclusive Prosperity Act (H.R. 1579)! This bill will establish a Financial Transactions Tax, commonly known as a Robin Hood Tax, on Wall Street trades. She is the first congressperson from Illinois to add her name. We have been meeting with her since July, asking her to co-sponsor this legislation, and she had been resistant. But we were persistent! Sign a postcard to thank her for her support!
Congressman Quigley signed on as a co-sponsor of the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 (H.R. 3118)! ONE Northside and Jane Addams Senior Caucus have been meeting with him over the past two years to ask him to be a stronger champion of Social Security. He heard us and now he is a co-sponsor of a bill that strengthens America’s greatest antipoverty program. This bill ‘Scraps the Cap’ on income subject to the FICA tax – meaning millionaires and billionaires will pay the same rate into Social Security as the rest of us, and the cost of living adjustment will use a calculation that considers how seniors actually spend their money. This is an important step in strengthening programs for the most vulnerable.
Charity Care applications reflect the language we proposed at hospitals across the state! LAC/ONE Northside helped pass a bill that improves access to free care for people who are low income and uninsured at all hospitals in the state. Three big victories were simplifying the financial assistance (aka charity care) applications, making it clear that a Social Security Number is not required, and getting hospitals to adopt a system of presumptive eligibility. Check out the Advocate and Presence charity care applications and see how our proposed language is reflected.