Join the Coalition for A Better 6th for a Town Hall with Special Guest Jan Schakowsky!

The Coalition for A Better Illinois 6th Hosts Adopt-a-District Town Hall with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Saturday, June 3rd at Fremd High School!

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Saturday, June 3rd
Doors open 4:30PM

Fremd High School Auditorium
1000 S Quentin Rd
Palatine, IL

Join the Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th as we host Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky for the first open town hall meeting with a sitting Member of the U.S. Congress in Illinois’ 6th congressional district in a very long time! Everyone is encouraged to attend, whether you live in the Illinois 6th or not.

Whether you want to learn about what’s going on in Washington, express your opinion about a national or local issue, find out where to sign up to get involved, or just ask your adopted Member of Congress a question, this is your opportunity!

Advance Registration Preferred


Action Steps 5/24/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 5/24/17


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


Boots on the Ground


Immigrant rights continue to be under attack due to the current presidential administration. Local governing bodies are taking steps to protect the rights of all their residents, however, including SB 31 in the Illinois House—legislation, called the TRUST Act, that would set sensible, constitutional limits on how local police forces in Illinois interact with federal immigration officials. Contact your state representative as soon as possible to ask for their support of the TRUST Act and in preserving rights of all residents of Illinois. The legislation will come to a vote sometime before May 31, so call soon.


Have you considered running for office? Working on a campaign you believe in? More and more people are interested in standing for elected office as the resistance continues, which means trainings are popping up to help equip those interested with the skills and strategies to be successful. Northside Democracy for America will host a two-day training on July 29 and 30, with registration now open. The training will take place at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, and it will cover topics like planning, finances, messaging, and getting out the vote.


Add Your Name


Despite years of research demonstrating that mandatory minimums for drug offenses—a core tenet of the War on Drugs—is ineffectual, inequitably applied, and racist, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doubling down on the problematic policy. A unilateral return to mandatory minimums would be catastrophic for Illinois families and communities. Add your name to this ACLU petition against Sessions’s plans to return the United States to failed drug policy.


Proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency would include a reduction of the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The GLRI, launched in 2010 with bipartisan support, is the major player in restoring and protecting the Great Lakes, which is the largest surface freshwater source in the world. Add your name to this petition to demonstrate the importance of the Great Lakes and the continued need to protect them through the GLRI.


Raise Your Consciousness


On June 19, cities across the country will participate in a Juneteenth Day of Action organized by the Black Land & Liberation Initiative and supported by the Movement for Black Lives. This event includes substantial planning and critical goals, as well as important historical context for understanding the action. Plan to join an informational call about the event on Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m., to get prepared for the nationwide Juneteenth Day of Action.


Action Steps 5/17/15

IL-9 Action Newsletter 5/17/17


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


Boots on the Ground


Children’s education and wellness are at risk due to policy decisions of the current Republican administration—and children are vulnerable both now and in the future, as effects of policy impact their rights and opportunities as they grow. Saturday offers an opportunity to involve youth in the resistance (or to show support for the youth in your life regardless of whether you have kids): the Chicago Children’s March for the Future will take place May 20, from 10-11:30 a.m., at Daley Plaza.


Too many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, unable to save for a stronger financial future or to respond to unplanned expenses like a health crisis or a car accident—all because the minimum wage in this country is too low to support the typical worker, let alone a family. Regardless of the numbers on your own paycheck, make a plan to stand in solidarity with workers demanding a minimum wage that is also a living wage. The March on McDonald’s, part of the nationwide Fight for $15, will take place Tuesday, May 23, from 4-6 p.m., at Daley Plaza.


Add Your Voice, Share Your Story


Both the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate have passed HB40, which would guarantee women’s reproductive rights and access to vital reproductive health care even in the event of federal legislation removing existing guarantees. Yet Gov. Rauner has threatened to veto the bill. Rauner’s threat is purely political and extremely disgraceful—despite running for office on a pro-women’s health and choice platform, the governor is now willing to sacrifice women’s health to court more conservative voters. Call the governor to make it known that he should sign the bill into law and defend the rights of women in Illinois. Reach Gov. Rauner at his Springfield (217-782-0244) or Chicago (312-814-2121) office.


When the president charged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review national monuments, one of those included in the review was Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Bears Ears National Monument is on land of great cultural significance for a number of Native American tribes, including over 100,000 individual cultural sites of importance. If you or someone you know has visited Bears Ears, or if you’re simply willing to add your voice to the calls to honor Native American tribes and traditions, add your support for maintaining the monument before the public comment period ends on May 26.


Raise Your Consciousness


If you continue to have questions and concerns about treatment of immigrants and refugees under this administration, make plans to attend an event put on by the Chicago Action Alliance and the 47th Ward Democrats on Monday, May 22, from 6:30-8 p.m., at Conrad Sulzer Regional Library in Chicago. “Land of the Free? The State of Immigration in Illinois” will feature a panel including a state representative, the executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, and attorneys active in immigrants’ rights in Illinois. Learn more about travel bans, ICE, and deportations from experts on how these policies are impacting Illinois.

Action Steps 5/11/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 5/10/17


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


Add Your Voice


SB1657, called the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, would require that anyone in Illinois engaged in selling, leasing, or transferring firearms be licensed by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Volunteers are needed to phone bank to constituents in districts where state legislators’ support of this bill is not yet secured. Phone banking efforts are being coordinated by G-PAC and the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. For more information and to get started phone banking in support of reasonable gun laws, contact John Gruber with the Brady Campaign.


As the school year winds down, many families are thinking about summer rather than school lunches. Not so the new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who has suspended provisions aimed at ensuring school lunches are nutritious and aimed at supporting students to learn. Whether you have school-age children or not, grab a postcard and a pen and write to Perdue to make clear that you oppose such measures that make school lunches less healthy. Mail your postcard to Sec. Sonny Purdue, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250.


Support Climate Science


Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have had a tough job so far under the new administration. Show your continued support for the dedicated workers at the EPA by participating in a Stand with EPA rally on Thursday, May 11, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Federal Center and Plaza downtown. It’s all good vibes here to demonstrate that we know EPA employees continue to do difficult and needed work in the current political climate.


Show your support for climate action and insist that the United States continue to honor the Paris Agreement. Add your name to this petition from 350, an organization dedicated to working for climate justice and a better, more equitable future.


Raise Your Consciousness


Art often goes beyond the simply aesthetic—it can be a touchstone and a teaching tool, a way to engage with events and stories from our history. Head to the Midwest Buddhist Temple on Saturday, May 13, from 1-5 p.m., for “ReLocation: Quilting Japanese and African American Migration.” The 1940s saw an influx to Chicagoland of Japanese Americans (resettling after incarceration during WWII) and African Americans (moving from the South in the Great Migration). Three teaching artists will share examples of quilts that honor the cultures, experiences, and stories of these communities. The event is free, although RSVPs are requested.


Late Addition Bonus Action

This week’s five actions were already set when news broke of the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. This removal of the head of the FBI by the president, while that president and his administration are under scrutiny for possible collusion with a foreign entity, is unprecedented and raises concerns about whether the firing is motivated by a desire to cover up the administration’s actions. Add your name to a MoveOn petition started by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) to demand an independent, bipartisan commission to lead the investigation into the administration’s entanglements with Russia.



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.


Action Steps 4/26/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 4/26/17


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


Boots on the Ground


On Saturday, April 29, marches and demonstrations will happen all over the country as part of the People’s Climate March. The event aims to bring to the forefront demands for justice for both the climate and communities affected by it. Join the Chicago march, which will take place from 12-4 p.m., as it begins at Federal Plaza downtown.


Cap off your Saturday night in support of trans lives at the Unicorn Ball hosted by the Trans Liberation Collective. The event will take place on Saturday, April 29 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Shapiro Ballroom. The Unicorn Ball will feature stories, performances, and music from and in support of the Chicago trans community. While there is no cover charge, trans and ally organizations will be fundraising for Trans Liberation Collective at the event. Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend.


On May Day, the R3 Coalition in Chicago will be demonstrating to underscore the connections between racial justice and economic justice—black communities in the Chicagoland area are both policed and affected by poverty at disproportionate levels. The march on May 1, beginning at 11 a.m., will start off at Ogden and Roosevelt before joining up with a citywide march in Union Park at 1 p.m. This action is in conjunction with the Movement for Black Lives.


Raise Your Consciousness


Add to your resistance toolkit by learning more about the role of advocacy in affecting policy. Make plans to attend “Advocacy 101,” a workshop led by Illinois State Representative Lou Lang and Action for a Better Tomorrow founder Georgia Logothetis, on Saturday, April 29, from 4-6 p.m. in Evanston. The event, which is open to the public, will discuss how advocacy is different from activism, when advocacy is the best tool for promoting policy reform, and how the Illinois state legislature works from an advocacy perspective. This workshop will be interactive.


Learn more about Cook County’s “sanctuary” status as well as the status and implications of existing immigration policy at a free public forum on Sunday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m. in Evanston. The Immigration Policy Forum, moderated by Jerome McDonnell from WBEZ’s Worldview, will feature guests from the Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic at DePaul University College of Law, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and the National Immigrant Justice Center as well as the Cook County Commissioner from the 13th District. Refreshments will be served at the forum.


Action Steps 4/19/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 4/19/17


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


Boots on the Ground


Whether or not you’ve been following the progress of HB40 in the Illinois House, now is the time to take serious action to ensure state legislators know it is vital that they support legislation that will preserve Illinois women’s access to safe, comprehensive reproductive health coverage, even in the event of an overturning of Roe v. Wade at the federal level. Volunteers are needed to canvass door-to-door, phone bank at local offices, and host phone bank house parties to urge pro-choice residents to contact their legislators to support HB40. You can choose an option that suits your schedule. Get more information and sign up to volunteer here.


Join the hundreds of thousands of scientists and science supporters around the country who will participate in nationwide events on Saturday, April 22 for the March for Science. The Chicago march downtown will start with a rally at 10 a.m. on S. Columbus Dr. just south of E. Jackson Dr., followed by the march at 11 a.m. down Columbus Drive to the Museum Campus. An expo will follow the march so that participants may continue to celebrate and advocate for the importance of science.


Add Your Name, Add Your Voice


North Carolina recently repealed HB2, commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” under immense pressure from organizations who pulled their business engagements from the state due to the discriminatory law. Businesses who had been boycotting the state, including the NCAA, then agreed to once again conduct business in North Carolina. Yet the state replaced this first law with HB142, a law that makes it illegal for local governments to pass ordinances that protect their residents from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Tell the NCAA that HB142 still creates a discriminatory environment in North Carolina, and demand that they commit to withholding events and championships in the state until all discriminatory laws are repealed. The state took notice when the NCAA pulled its support before, and the organization should maintain their ground on expecting non-discriminatory partners for their business.


The Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of Scott Pruitt, is taking steps toward removing vital regulations that protect both the environment and the wellbeing of residents of our country. The EPA has called for comments on existing regulations as they evaluate which they might repeal, replace, or modify. These regulations cover things like air pollutants from vehicles, use of toxic pesticides, and standards for radiation protection—all of which have significant impact on the environment and humans. It’s clear the EPA expects to receive comments from businesses and special interest groups for whom regulations are an obstacle. Join citizens in favor of regulations that protect our planet and our health in adding comments in support of existing regulations. Don’t let the only voices the EPA hears be those of special interests.


Raise Your Consciousness

Have you been feeling overwhelmed by the state of our country? The pace of the news? The desire to continually participate in the resistance? Take some time to read this piece from Slate about self care—a term that has recently had connotations of pampering oneself, but that has its roots in the civil rights movement and has returned to the realm of radical action in the post-election landscape. Learn about the concept and take steps to preserve your own self and wellbeing. To quote Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”


Action Steps 4/13/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 4/12/17


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


Get Involved


Are you looking for strategies to be more involved in the resistance in a virtual capacity? Organizing For Action is hosting an online training on this very topic. Digital Organizing 101, part of a series of trainings called Turning Action into Organizing, will take place on Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. You’ll need to register to participate; registrants will be emailed a call-in number and PIN to take part in the live training event.


Talk With Your Representatives


Congress is on a state work period until April 21, with federal elected officials traveling home to their districts to meet with their constituents.


Jan is holding a Town Hall meeting on April 18th at 6:30pm at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. Click here to RSVP!


Find out when and where your other elected officials will be making an appearance using the Find A Town Hall search function from the Town Hall Project. Once you see your officials’ recess schedule, make plans to attend at least one town hall or other appearance. Better yet, bring friends and plan to ask questions about the issues that matter most to you. While you’re making plans to visit your officials, also look to see when your state representatives will be hosting town halls or office hours. Use the ACLU’s tool to find your Illinois legislators’ availability, then make a plan to show up and discuss issues that are important to you.


Ask your representatives to back HB40, a state bill currently awaiting a vote that would guarantee Illinois residents access to comprehensive reproductive health care even in the event of legislative changes at the federal level.


You can volunteer to support HB40 and protect reproductive health care in Illinois by signing up here



Boots on the Ground


Demonstrators around the country will be marching on April 15 in the Tax March, an event to demand that the president release his tax returns—or that Congress take action to demand as much. Only by seeing the president’s full tax returns can the American people understand whether special and foreign interests may be influencing our executive branch of government. The Chicago demonstration will take place on Saturday, April 15, at 11 a.m. downtown. Register as an attendee at the official Tax March site.


Raise Your Consciousness


Poetry can be a soothing balm or an inspiring flame. Whether you’re looking for calm, motivation, or camaraderie in what remains of the first 100 days of this new administration, poetry can provide that much-needed quality. The Poetry Foundation has put together a list of poems of protest, resistance, and empowerment for easy browsing—take a few minutes each morning this week to read one and set your mindset for the day.


Repro Rights Phone Banks

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Protect Reproductive Rights!

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Abortion and birth control are not as safe in Illinois as you might think.  That’s why we need your help to fight.

President Trump and his anti-choice cabal—including recently-appointed anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch—are working night and day to overturn Roe v. Wade and take reproductive freedom away from American women.  If they’re successful, things will be especially bad in Illinois.

Illinois has a “trigger” law that will immediately criminalize abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, known as the Illinois Abortion Trigger Law.  Pro-choice advocates around the state are coming together to support legislation called HB40, which would repeal the awful Illinois Abortion Trigger Law.  HB40 will ensure that reproductive freedom is secure in Illinois—no matter what Donald Trump and his anti-choice allies do in Washington!

In order to pass HB40 and secure reproductive rights for women in Illinois, we need a few more votes in the Illinois State Legislature.  To get those votes and pass this bill, we need pro-choice volunteers from across Illinois to band together and fight back by contacting pro-choice voters in target districts and urging them to contact their representative in Springfield. 

We need your help contacting thousands of pro-choice voters across the state through phone banking and door-to-door canvassing.  We will give you all of the information and materials you need to be a champion for choice in Illinois.

Will you join us?

Sign up to canvass door-to-door (Saturdays)

Sign up to host your own phone bank house party (Any Day)

Sign up to phone bank at a local office (Weekdays)