We had a very exciting Inaugural Convention on Sunday. Thanks to all of you who worked so hard to make it a huge success! Below is a summary of how the day went. We will also be posting a highlights video on our website in the coming days.
The convention was planned by a group of about 40 leaders, who started working on this in February! At the actual event, 35 leaders spoke on stage, another 30 leaders helped guide us as floor team/registration team, and 14 leaders acted as media spokespeople.
Over 1,000 members and allies turned out to the convention (despite a Blackhawks playoff game!). We also had a good representation from our elected officials. With us were Alderman Burnett, Alderman Fioretti, Alderman Tunney, Alderman Smith, Chicago Police Department Commander Voulgaris and Chief Gulliford, United States Congressman Davis, State Representative Harris, Senate President Cullerton, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Governor Quinn. Please thank these officials for joining us.
Several other elected officials did not confirm their attendance, and some cancelled at the last minute.
Our convention was an opportunity to gain some important commitments from our officials, and we also announced commitments made leading up to the convention. Below is a list of those commitments and other issues discussed:
- We celebrated the victory of 57 new affordable units at the Children’s Memorial Hospital site in Lincoln Park, along with Alderman Michele Smith and the president of McCaffery Interests, the developer (McCaffery is developing 54 affordable units and the City will develop 3 assisted living units).
- Aldermen Smith, Tunney, Fioretti and Burnett agreed to sign onto and help build support for our SRO Preservation Ordinance, called Chicago for All. Prior to the meeting, Aldermen Pawar, Waguespack, Burns and Dowell committed their support. We plan to introduce this ordinance at the May 28th city council meeting.
- The Mental Health Justice Team presented their proposal for 800 new police officers trained in Crisis Intervention, but CPD Chief Gulliford did not respond.
- The Education Team asked Senate President Cullerton and Governor Quinn to support legislation to expand the Grow Your Own Teacher program, and they agreed.
- We released our survey results regarding the future of Stewart School, and made it clear that we are going to push for Stewart to remain a community asset. Survey results can be found HERE.
- We announced that Jewel Osco had agreed to remove the felony box from their job applications (“ban the box”).
- The Governor and Senate President Cullerton agreed to support the “ban the box” state legislation, HB 5701, which just passed out of the Illinois House last week. Soon, Illinois will join 11 other states who have banned the box and opened the door for equal employment for ex-offenders!
- We announced the commitment made by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky to sign on to the Robin Hood Tax bill. This would create a small tax on Wall Street trades could raise $350 billion per year in revenue. She is the first US Congressperson from Illinois to sign onto this bill.
- Congressman Danny Davis agreed to support strengthening Social Security by creating a credit for people who take time off work to care for family (a caregiver credit).
- On state level corporate tax transparency – the Governor publicly stated his support for this bill that we have been pushing for the last 2 years. In the days before the convention, Representative Kelly Cassidy signed on as a sponsor. Still an uphill battle, but we’re one step closer. We hope to make Illinois the first state in the country to require corporate tax transparency, so we can know which corporations in Illinois are paying their fair share.
Check out the video about our Convention!