Ben Head's blog

Take Back Local Government!

The next election for most voters in Illinois is April 4th, 2017.  Most people aren’t even aware that these elections are happening—but GOP Super PACs and dark money organizations are paying close attention.

For too long, the GOP has organized and beaten us at the local level—mayors, school boards, township trustees—and that local dominance is part of the reason they now control  the White House, Congress, and the Governor’s mansion.  If we want to reclaim our country and deliver it from the forces of misogyny, racism, hatred, fear, and bigotry, we have to start at the true grassroots: local elections.

Will you join us?  Click here to sign up!

While these elections may be local, their consequences are not.  Mayors determine whether or not the local police force will be part of Trump’s deportation force or if they’ll stand against it as a sanctuary city.  School boards decide not only how much funding your public schools get, but how things like climate change and evolution are taught.  Trustees determine whether or not families in crisis have the resources they need to get back on their feet. 

We can’t vote Trump out of office until 2020.  We can’t vote Rauner out of office until 2018.  But on April 4th, 2017 we can make a real impact right here in our own communities.  These are smaller elections so every vote—and every volunteer—counts even more.

Will you join us?  Click here to sign up!

Across Illinois, outside groups are spending money and influence to recruit, train, and support candidates who push an extreme agenda that includes cutting or eliminating food bank resources, mental health services, programs for the severely disabled and children in crisis.  In other places, there are three fantastic candidates who support immigrants, women’s rights, and worker’s rights.  They’re up against anti-choice, anti-worker, and anti-immigrant candidates that are seeking to enact Trump and Rauner’s agenda at the local level.

This is our chance to make a difference—not in two years, not in four years, but right here and right now.

Will you join us?  Click here to sign up!

There are enough people who vote Democratic in Presidential elections that if a fraction of them came out to vote in their local races, we’d win every race by a mile.  Unfortunately, most of these Democratic voters don’t come out to vote in municipal elections.

That’s where we come in.  We are going to shine a light on these important elections to help create voter enthusiasm and participation.  Help us run a comprehensive Get Out The Vote phone bank operation!  We’re going to call fellow Democrats in these areas, educate them about the upcoming election, and get their commitment to get out and vote!

Will you join us?  Click here to sign up!

Action Steps 2/22/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 2/22/17


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




If you live in Evanston, don’t forget that February 28 is a consolidated primary election. Find the list of candidates--all on the nonpartisan ballot--from the Cook County Clerk’s office, as well as information about voting hours and early voting.


And if you live in an area not voting on February 28, look ahead in your calendar and flag April 4, which is election day for the 2017 consolidated general election.


Money Talks


Have you seen coverage of how the Seattle City Council voted to divest from Wells Fargo in conjunction with that bank’s financial support of the Dakota Access Pipeline? The DeFund DAPL - Seattle Action Coalition, which helped to lead the divestment action, put together a guide on “How To Divest Your City From DAPL,” including step by step instructions and sample documents to help other municipalities pull their money from banks funding the pipeline. Step 1 is to find out where your city, town, or village banks; the guide has tips for finding this information. If you’re concerned your municipality might not respond to a call for divestment based on issues, look to Iowa City, which divested on the basis of financial performance.


Boots on the Ground


Over 850,000 Illinois residents stand to lose their health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and Planned Parenthood is defunded. Health workers across the country are standing in opposition to plans to repeal without replacement, and Chicagoland health professionals will be demonstrating in front of Gov. Rauner’s Chicago office on Saturday, February 25, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Demonstrators will deliver a letter from area health workers and show that professionals directly connected to providing healthcare to residents think unilateral repeal and defunding are bad ideas.


The president has written a memo calling for the Department of Homeland Security to return any migrants entering the United States from Mexico back to Mexico--regardless of whether those migrants are citizens of Mexico or another country. This continued disregard for and aggression toward our Latino neighbors is a core rallying point for the Latinxs Against Trump Protest happening at Cloud Gate on Saturday, February 25, from 2-6 p.m. All immigrants and people of color are invited to participate, and Chicagoland Latinos are particularly invited and encouraged to bring flags representing countries of family origin.


Raise Your Consciousness


Equip yourself with the knowledge to be an active participant and ally in the movement for racial justice in Chicago by attending a two-hour training from the Chicago chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice. “Thinking Systemically: A Background to Racism in Chicago,” which will take place on Sunday, February 26, from 2-4 p.m. downtown, will discuss and define systemic racism, its presence in Chicagoland institutions, and strategies for building connections between these institutions and the chapter’s work. RSVP for this important training using the Eventbrite listing.


Bonus Action Beyond the Resistance


If you’re looking for ways to get involved in your community beyond the resistance, plan to attend Chicago Volunteer Expo 2017 on Sunday, February 26, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The expo is an opportunity to connect with local nonprofits and community-based organizations in need of volunteers to conduct their work.


Action Steps 2/16

IL-9 Action Newsletter 2/16/17


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


Raise Your Consciousness

Whether you’re personally an immigrant or refugee, or if you know someone who is, take a few minutes to review and share this resource from the ACLU, “What To Do If Immigration Agents (ICE) Are At Your Door.” The step-by-step guide explains what might happen if ICE were to come to a personal residence; what they legally can and cannot ask you to do; and what to do if you’re stopped by police, if you’ve been asked about your immigration status, or if you feel your rights have been violated. This resource cannot be shared enough in the current climate with a massive uptick in immigration raids.


Money Talks


Demonstrate your commitment to the United States as a country welcoming of everyone by dining at a local restaurant run by immigrants and featuring foods from all corners of the globe. If you’d like suggestions for where to start, check out the article “Eat Trump’s Immigration Ban” from The Chicago Reader for ideas.


It was big news last week when Nordstrom announced they’ll no longer be selling Trump family products. While the company claims their decision was due to poor sales, the call to boycott companies doing business with Trump may have contributed to their bottom line. Check out this list from Grab Your Wallet to see what companies are still doing business with Trump and family; the site includes contact information so you can call companies to explain that you won’t be a customer so long as they continue to sell Trump products.


Boots on the Ground


Answer Chicago is organizing a protest march on Sunday, February 19, from noon to 4 p.m. The march, called “Stop the Trump Agenda,” will begin outside Trump Tower and proceed to Federal Plaza for a rally. The event specifically stands against the racism, sexism, and bigotry of the Trump administration.


Join the nationwide Not My President’s Day demonstrations at the Chicago site. On Monday, February, 20--President’s Day--people will rally in front of Trump Tower from noon until 4 p.m. The event is meant to demonstrate that Trump’s values are not echoed by all Americans, and to show that many Americans demand better from the person who holds our nation’s highest office.




Action Steps 2/8/17

IL-9 Action Newsletter 2/8/17


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


Write a Letter


Many children and families will be making valentines to share next week. While the craft supplies are out, consider creating postcards or writing letters to the White House about climate change and the environment as part of the Kids 4 Planet Earth 1 Million Letters initiative. Sending letters about issues that affect our youngest generations is a great way to involve kids in organizing and resistance efforts.


Boots on the Ground


Show your support for reproductive rights, which are facing increasing threat across the nation. Join the Rally for Reproductive Justice organized by the Chicago Campaign to Expose Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which will take place Friday, February 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the James R. Thompson Center downtown.


If you’re a resident of Rogers Park and are concerned about the recent executive actions and rhetoric against immigrants and refugees, plan to attend this neighborhood action meeting on Monday, February 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Living Water Community Church. The meeting will focus on understanding the full scope of recent actions impacting immigrants and refugees as well as brainstorming solutions to keep neighbors safe.


Add Your Name


Illinois Women Moving Forward has articulated core principles pertaining to women’s health care, economic security, and justice in Illinois. Take a few minutes to read the principles, then sign on to add your support to upholding these values in our state.


Raise Your Consciousness


As news continues to break at a fast pace, it’s increasingly important to think critically about what types of news sources you’re reading. Take a few minutes to review your news sources and habits with the help of “How to Spot Fake News” from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The infographic shares tips for determining whether an article you come across online is something to take seriously or not.




Join the Resistance!

Want to turn your anger into action?  Check out the below for direct actions that YOU can take to fight back right now.  Stay up to date on upcoming issues and actions by signing up for Jan Schakowsky’s email newsletter and by following!



1.      Read the Indivisible Guide!

To access the free guide, visit

2.      Read and share FACT-CHECKED info about the progress we made under President Obama

To read the info, visit

3.      Tweet at Governor Rauner about protecting Medicaid!

Sample language ”Hey .@GovRauner, stop delaying and do your job! We need a budget that doesn’t hurt our community!”

4.      Email Government Accountability Office about auditing Donald Trump!

Suggested statement: "I'm contacting the GAO in support of an audit of our incoming President Elect's finances, to prohibit conflicts of interest that would prevent him from carrying out the responsibilities of the office without corrupt influence."

Emails:, and

5.      Tweet at Donald Trump about protecting the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood!

Sample language “.@realDonaldTrump don't #MakeAmericaSickAgain. Hands off ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood!”

6.      Call your State Legislator and tell them to repeal the Illinois Abortion Trigger Law!

Find your State Representative’s contact information here

Find your State Senator’s contact information here

7.      Fight back against Donald Trump’s injustice by volunteering at the Inaugural Service Day for Social Justice in Chicago—help the people he is hurting!

To sign up or for more information, visit

GOTV Volunteer Opportunities

Join fellow volunteers to phone bank and canvass for Democratic candidates!

We only have a short time left to make a difference and ensure that our Democratic values prevail on Tuesday, November 8th.  We need your help.  Join us and be a part of this historic campaign!

Email to sign up!


Democratic Party of Evanston

747 Custer Evanston IL

9AM - 9PM

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking


49th Ward Democrats

1774 W Greenleaf Chicago IL

Monday 5PM - 9PM

Tuesday 9AM - 9PM

Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking


48th Ward Democrats

5539 N Broadway, Chicago IL

9AM - 9PM

Sunday, Monday Tuesday

Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking


46th Ward Democrats

4802 N Broadway #200, Chicago IL

6PM - 9PM


Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking


Maine Township Democrats

6767 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles IL

9AM - 9PM

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking


New Trier Democrats

800 Oak St, Winnetka IL

9AM - 9PM

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking


Northwest Suburban Democrats

1310 W Northwest Highway #A, Arlington Heights IL

9AM - 9PM

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Please bring a phone and computer if phone banking

Niles Township Democrats

4119 Maine St, Skokie IL

9AM - 9PM

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday



Jan Awards WWII Veteran His Medals After 71 Years!

See Jan Perform on Stage at the Black Ensemble Theater!


Come see Jan perform live on stage at the Black Ensemble Theater!

Visit for more information!

Click here for tickets

2016 Primary Early Vote Info

Early Voting has begun across the State of Illinois.  

Don't wait until March 15th to cast your ballot!

If you live in Chicago, you can find information about early voting and voting by mail at

If you live in suburban Cook County, you can find information about early voting and voting by mail at

For any questions about voting, early voting, vote-by-mail, or your voter registration status, please contact Cook County Clerk David Orr at

Don't wait until it's too late.  Make sure your voice is heard today.

Hillary in Iowa


Want to be part of Hillary's historic Presidential Campaign?

Sign up here!



Hillary Needs Your Help!

This starts with you. Commit to volunteer for Hillary between now and February 1st to be a part of Hillary’s historic presidential campaign.


We are going to Davenport, Iowa every weekend in January to make sure Hillary wins Iowa!


Car pools from Chicago will be meeting at the Fullerton Red Line (Fullerton and Sheffield), at 9:45am each Saturday and Sunday in January.


If you'd rather drive straight to Iowa from the suburbs or elsewhere, please contact Christina Granfield at


Hillary needs your help. RSVP here to reserve your seat today!