Over 230 people gathered in Uptown on Monday, August 10, 2015, for the 7th Moral Monday action of the summer. ONE Northside hosted this action, and we were joined by our partners in Fair Economy Illinois, along with other allies. We began at Broadway and Wilson, where we heard testimony from Inspiration Corporation’s Chief Development Officer, Evan Johnson, about the closure of their housing supportive services program due to Governor’s Rauner’s cuts to the supportive housing budget line. We also heard from Wayne Hayer, a student at Truman College, who discussed the recent tuition increase as another example of fees imposed on low-income individuals instead of government raising money from big corporations and the 1%.
From there we marched, taking the streets, to Alternatives, a youth and family services agency. We heard from Willie Dixon, a former Ceasefire Outreach worker who lost his job due to Rauner’s budget cuts in March, as well as from Judy Gall, the director of Alternatives, who shared the cuts that she’s had to make already and what is threatened if Springfield does not pass a budget soon.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senator Steans, and Representative Cassidy joined us to hear our stories of the impact of the budget and to reinforce their commitment to fight for progressive revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes and passing a progressive income tax.
After the speeches, we loaded buses and traveled to Lincoln Park to try to meet with Beth Christie, one of Governor Rauner’s top donors. She donated $400,000 to his campaign, and was the co-chair of his finance committee. We requested a meeting with her, but she never responded. She is also on the board of the Illinois Policy Institute and advocates for low taxes and free market policies — policies that are at the heart of our budget deficit and crisis. She was not home, though someone else was who refused to talk with us. We delivered our testimonies about the harmful impacts of the budget deficit and impass and left a letter for Ms. Christie. Certainly, her neighborhood heard our message loud and clear about the need to raise revenue from big corporations and the very wealthy.
Here is media coverage of our action:
- Progress Illinois “Protestors Call for Fair Illinois Budget Outside Home of Rauner Campaign Donor“
- Huffington Post “Moral Mondays in Chicago; Speaking out against the Rauner Budget” by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
- Fred Klonsky Blog “The Monkey and the Crocodile. Madigan and the Labor Coalition“
- We were also on Fox 32 and Telemundo.
- Check out more photos from the action on Facebook.
To get involved with Moral Mondays and the fight for progressive revenue, contact Hannah at 773-769-3232 x19 or hgelder[at]onenorthside[dot]org.