Springfield victories for racial justice!

Collaborating with Community Renewal Society of Greater Chicago and the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois, we won three legislative victories passing bills that will expand employment opportunities for people with criminal records wanting to turn their lives around -- jobs in schools, park districts, and health care are now open to them through HB4360, SB3005, SB42, and HB4515. They passed with significant bipartisan support. These barriers affect people of color most particularly, as they are committed to prison for non-violent offenses at a dangerously high rate of discrimination. Hard work in this impasse legislative year -- and we say, Yay!

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UUANI allies with UU Prison Ministry of Illinois

In our commitment to combat racial injustice, UUANI has partnered with the UU Prison Ministry of Illinois. Representing people of color in communities around the state, UU Prison Ministry is advocating to end unlimited solitary confinement and lifetime bars to employment in public sectors for people with records. Together, we are also committed to supporting legislation that protects juveniles in the criminal justice system. Rep Robyn Gabel has introduced legislation in this fall veto session that would protect juveniles coming into the criminal justice system by giving them the right to be heard by a judge within 24 hours of coming into police custody. Ask your legislators to support HB5619.

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Clean Jobs bill is still alive!

The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill has emerged as the only bill that can protect the consumers and the environment while creating an estimated 32,000 jobs annually. “The Illinois Clean Jobs bill has the most grassroots and legislative support of any energy-related bill pending in the General Assembly this year,” said state Sen. Don Harmon. “And the news for consumers and clean energy keeps getting better: the state’s leading watchdog for utility customers — Citizen’s Utility Board — found that the Illinois Clean Jobs bill will save people a total $1.6 billion by 2030.” The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill will strengthen policies to ramp up renewable energy like wind and solar to 35 percent by 2030 and cut energy use through efficiency by 20 percent by 2025. This initiative, over two years in legislative process, is gaining significant bipartisan support and is likely to move to passage in the veto session this fall. Ask your legislators to support SB1485 and HB2607. And if they do, say "Thank you!"

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Minimum wage is poverty wage -- let's lift these families up by raising the minimum wage

Victoria Bruton talks about what it takes to piece together a life on tipped minimum wage which has been frozen at $2.13/hour for more than 20 years.