Action Steps 5/3/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 5/3/17


5 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Make Voting Easier


There are currently four separate bills (IL HB 626; IL HB 3182; IL HB 3695; IL SB 1933) that have been introduced in the Illinois House and Senate that would implement an automatic voter registration system in the state; that is, any person who successfully applies for or updates their Illinois driver’s license or state ID card would be notified that they will be registered to vote. This opt-out procedure streamlines voter registration for Illinois residents, rather than requiring them to fill out additional paperwork mailed to them after visiting the DMV. Contact your state senator and representative to urge them to support legislation that will simplify voter registration in Illinois; here’s a tool to find contact info for your state legislators. Read more about these efforts nationwide.


Write a Postcard


It’s well documented that reading expands your worldview, and reading fiction in particular helps you to develop greater empathy—both of which would benefit our commander in chief, who has said he doesn’t have time to read. Participate in “Read a Book, Mr. Trump,” an initiative created by author John Corey Whaley and supported by a growing number of additional authors, many of them writing for young adult audiences. “Read a Book, Mr. Trump” asks participants to send the president a postcard sharing a book he should read, as well as why he should read it. Photos of postcards will be shared online throughout May using the hashtag #ReadABookMrTrump. This action is particularly well suited to the whole family.


Raise Your Consciousness


Nasty Women Art Chicago is a one-night show and fundraiser in solidarity with similar events across the country. The show will feature artists who identify as “nasty women,” reclaiming the term the now-president hurled at Hillary Clinton at a debate last fall and embracing the values that it implies: belief in the necessity of women’s equality, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and more. Nasty Women Art Chicago will take place Friday, May 5, from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at Moonlight Studios.


Civil rights lawyer and legal scholar Michelle Alexander will be in conversation with award-winning journalist Naomi Klein at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on Tuesday, May 9, at 7 p.m. The conversation will include such topics as mass incarceration, deportation, police violence, and the potential of mass movements to affect change in a democracy. This is a ticketed event, so be sure to get tickets if you plan to attend.


Income inequality remains a massive and pervasive issue in this country, including in the microcosm that is the IL-9. Set aside time this week to read “Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong” from The Atlantic. The article explores the work of MIT economist Peter Temin describing just how difficult it is to do what the American Dream suggests: to pull oneself up by the bootstraps and fight the way out of poverty by hard work alone.