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UPCOMING EVENTS & ACTION
Monday May 15, 12 noon: Kickoff event for March to Springfield for a People and Planet First Budget at the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph, Chicago). Listening events on the state budget crisis will be held:
•    Monday May 15 at 7pm in Chicago
•    Wednesday May 17 at 7pm in Joliet
•    Saturday May 20 at 7pm in Dwight
•    Wednesday May 24 at 7pm in Bloomington
•    Monday May 29 at 7pm: Springfield
An Arrival March and Rally will be held Tuesday May 30 at 10:30am in Springfield. Buses from Chicago will leave at 6m.

Tuesday May 16, 7pm: “Keep Families Together” gathering to share resources and information on immigration issues, at UU Congregation Quad Cities (3707 Eastern Ave, Davenport IA)

Saturday May 20, 7pm: Fundraiser for Black Youth Summer Intern Program at DuPage UU (1828 Old Naperville Road, Naperville).

Tuesday May 23, 4pm: Fight for $15 March on McDonald’s during corporate shareholder meeting, from Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington, Chicago).

June 20-21: Pre-GA Racial Justice Training in New Orleans.

Saturday June 24, 1pm: Panel discussion on the state budget crisis with gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Daniel Biss, at Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge Avenue).

ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

Join Black Lives of UU in donating to the National Mamas Bail Out Day campaign to bail out black and brown mothers and advocate for an end to the cash bail system.

Click here to urge your elected state officials to pass a responsible, full year, fully funded budget.

Click here to advocate that the Illinois Solar for All Program be properly funded.

Click here to urge your elected leaders to disentangle local police from federal immigration enforcement.

Click here to urge your state senator to ban the box on college applications to expand access to higher education for people with criminal records.

ACTION ISSUES

EPA Protections: Safeguarding the Interdependent Web

Executive Orders 13777 and 13783 together present the biggest attack on climate action and climate safeguards in U.S. history. These orders not only strike down the Clean Power Plan and other carbon reducing regulations, but specifically direct the Environmental Protection Agency to identify rules to roll back or weaken. The EPA docket for collecting public comments on all environmental regulations is open until May 15.

Here’s a sample comment to copy and paste. Taking a moment to customize it—sharing why the environment is important to you—will have an even greater impact:

As a concerned citizen, I am in favor of strong EPA protections, based on a rigorous, evidence-based scientific process, that prioritize public health and make sure our environment is livable for future generations. We are part of and dependent on our environment, and we cannot afford to destroy the very earth that supports life.

I am especially concerned that the Clean Power Plan not be weakened, but rather strengthened to reduce the catastrophic effects of climate change. Power plants are one of the largest source of carbon pollution, and the Clean Power Plan is expected to reduce carbon emissions by one-third below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

I also strongly oppose any weakening of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, or Toxic Wastewater Protections, as evidence suggests these rules save both money and lives.

Click here to submit your comment to the EPA in support of environmental protections, based on a rigorous scientific process, that protect public health and safeguard our environment for future generations.
Comments that have been submitted so far have been overwhelmingly in favor of continued or even stronger environmental safeguards. Let’s make sure that the EPA continues to uphold these safeguards for the sake of our communities, our children, and our planet.

 

Welcoming immigrants and refugees:  A matter of equity and compassion

We have managed to effect a stay of execution for President Trump’s executive order for a de facto Muslim ban and the suspension of the US refugee resettlement program. Our congresspeople need to stay vigilant to overturn the order not only in the courts but in the legislature. This executive order continues to violate our core values of religious freedom, protection of the vulnerable, and welcome to all. It is a stain on our nation’s conscience, and our elected officials must do all they can to see effective legislation enacted. Send a message to your member of Congress advocating legislation protecting refugees and immigrants. TAKE ACTION HERE!

Affirming the right of conscience:  Abortion rights

UUs have long affirmed the right of conscience in making choices about the morally complex issue of abortion. A bill now before the Illinois House (HB40) would eliminate a trigger provision that would make abortion illegal if the US Supreme Court modifies or overturns Roe v Wade.

UPDATE:  The Illinois House and Senate have both passed HB40 which would eliminate a trigger provision that would make abortion illegal if the US Supreme Court modifies or overturns Roe v Wade. The bill now goes on the Governor.

Connecting for the Long Haul: The Interdependent Web and the Democratic Process

This week, try reaching out and connecting in one of the following ways:
Have a conversation with someone in your congregation about ways you can support each other in doing this work over the long haul.
Set up a meeting with someone from a local advocacy organization that your congregation is connected to.
Connect with one of the dozens of “Indivisible” groups or Women’s March “huddles” that have sprung up around Illinois.
Find out when your Congressional Rep is having a town hall and go with a group from your congregation.
See this article from The Nation for other ways to get involved, including strategies for “red,” “blue” and “swing” districts. To be clear, this is not just about partisan politics, but about advocating for our values in the face of an administration which is expressing values and pursuing policies contrary to every one of our UU Principles.

 A Responsible State Budget: A Matter of Equity and Compassion

Illinois’ budget crisis continues, affecting those most vulnerable among us most severely.  Movement toward a budget has begun, but our elected officials need to hear from their constituents to make the difficult choices required to resolve this crisis. Now is a critical time for our elected leaders to hear from their constituents that Illinois needs a full year, fully funded budget supported by adequate revenue.

  • Please click here to urge your elected state officials to pass a responsible, full year, fully funded budget NOW.