IC-SS Weekly Update: March 1, 2021
Phone & Write for Democracy
In its new guide for 2021, Indivisible writes, “In order to pass health care, environmental, immigration, economic, and social policies that we want to see, we need a democracy that actually reflects the will of all its people.”
With the Democrats’ temporary trifecta, we must “ensure that democracy reform is structural to rebalance power towards the people. That means fixing the Senate, fixing the courts, and taking away McConnell’s veto so legislating is possible.” Let’s take action for democracy each week!
Phonebank on Saturdays for HR 1 to Voters in IL-16
Phonebank with Indivisible Illinois to residents of Rep Adam Kinzinger’s district, IL-16. Rep Kinzinger is a Republican, but he may be swayable on democracy issues.
H.R. 1 (the For the People Act) includes the following: Voter empowerment and access, getting money out of politics, establishing independent redistricting commissions in all states, and other measures to build a strong democracy.
Sign up for a Saturday afternoon shift (4:00-6:00 pm) in February or March to reach our neighbors in IL’s 16th Congressional District, asking them to contact Rep. Adam Kinzinger to support H.R. 1. Read more, and sign up here.
Special Postcard Party: Wed, March 10th
Opportunities can happen in a flash. From our Facebook post last week or a citywide Indivisible Chicago email, you may have learned about the Blue Wave Postcard Movement to write to West Virginia activists, asking them to contact their senator, Joe Manchin, in support of HR1/S1 (For the People Act).
As it happens, this particular postcard campaign — which came up in a hurry — is now sold out! But…
- If you were already able to order postcards, you’re welcome to enjoy a virtual IC-South Side postcard party with us on Wed, March 10th, 7:30 pm. Register here for the Zoom link.
- If you weren’t able to get postcards this time, you are welcome to join the postcard party to say hello, chat, talk about democracy, and share resources. Register here for the Zoom link.
- If you would like to find out about future postcard opportunities with the Blue Wave Postcard Movement, fill in this form.
NOTE:The pre-printed labels and the short message to handwrite should make the job pretty speedy. That’s good, because of the quick turn-around. We aim to mail our cards no later than Friday, March 12.
Recent articles & columns on democracy, voting rights, and the filibuster.
- Stolen-Election Myth Fuels a G.O.P. Drive to Rewrite Rules
- How to Not Be at the Mercy of a Trumpified G.O.P.
- The Supreme Court is about to hear two cases that could destroy what remains of the Voting Rights Act
- Find more resources listed in our Feb 15 newsletter and Feb 22 newsletter.
Jahmal Cole Plans to Run in IL-01
Activist Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block My Hood My City has filed to run for Congress in Illinois’s 1st Congressional District in a primary challenge to longtime incumbent Rep Bobby Rush. Read the Block Club Chicago story.
Signed into Law: SAFE-T Act
Illinois has become the first state to eliminate cash bail. On February 22, Governor Pritzker signed into law the SAFE-T Act, or HB 3653, a sweeping criminal justice bill that the governor terms “a substantial step toward dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities, our state and our nation and brings us closer to true safety, true fairness and true justice.”
State Senator Robert Peters introduced and championed the Pretrial Fairness Act, part of the omnibus bill advanced by the Black Caucus. In writing the bill, lawmakers worked closely with survivor advocacy groups, such as the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV).
The First Unitarian Church Criminal Justice Task Force was one of the groups advocating for pretrial fairness as part of the SAFE-T Act. Evan Freund, IC-SS member and longtime leader with the Task Force, describes the act as “a fundamental reform of the justice system.”
Evan writes: “Unless deemed dangerous by a judge, people charged with most crimes will retain their freedom to work, take care of their children, and to organize their defense against charges brought by police. They will not have to plead guilty to anything to get out of jail before trial. They will have a better chance of being found not guilty, and even if guilty, to be sentenced to less time in prison. They will be treated in the justice system as citizens with Constitutional rights.”
Thanks to all who joined in the effort to contact Illinois lawmakers and the governor in support of the Pretrial Fairness Act and the full SAFE-T Act. You helped make history — the bill is now law.
Tweet Out the Vote for IL Consolidated Elections
Do you use Twitter? Would you like to help get out the vote for Illinois’s consolidated elections (being held statewide except in the city of Chicago)?
Statewide Indivisible Illinois, NWSOFA, Ballot Z, and IC-SS member Julia Kline invite you to join them in Twitterstorms every Thursday evening to support of the upcoming April Consolidated Elections in suburban Chicagoland. You’ll receive a Twitter toolkit and join the group on Zoom as you tweet. RSVP for Thursday Twitterstorms from 6pm-8pm.
IC-South Side Elections + Leaders
Thanks to the Indivisible Chicago-South Side voting members who submitted a ballot during the Feb 22-28 election week. The four IC-SS co-leaders (Sarah Lincoln, Esther Peters, Betsy Rubin, Teri Watkins) ran unopposed and were elected to serve a new term, beginning today, March 1st. Read the IC-SS co-leaders’ priorities for the group and individually.
Take Action for Our Community, City, State
Indivisible Chicago-South Side shares information and action announcements on issues important in our state, city, and communities.
Call on Gov Pritzker to Pardon Gerald Reed
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) asks us to take action on behalf of Gerald Reed, whose case was just recommended to the governor by the Prisoner Review Board. After being tortured into a false confession, Gerald Reed has been incarcerated for over 30 years. He has endured countless unfair court decisions and delays, in addition to years of pain and disability as a result of the torture. With the stroke of a pen, Governor Pritzker could free Gerald Reed.
Act for Gerald Reed
1. Sign the letter to Governor Pritzker, calling on him to pardon Gerald Reed. Read the letter; then fill in the form to add your name to the letter.
2. Call Governor Pritzker at 312-814-2121, and ask him to free Gerald Reed. Suggested script: “Hello, I am ________, a voter in Chicago. I’m calling about Gerald Reed, who has been incarcerated 30 years for a crime he did not commit, after he was tortured into a false confession. Gerald Reed’s conviction was vacated and his conviction has been determined by the court to be a result of torture, yet he remains incarcerated. I ask Governor Pritzker to right this wrong and see that Gerald Reed is freed. I ask him to pardon Gerald Reed now.”
BWOP: The State of Black Women & Girls – March 8
Black Women Organizing for Power (BWOP) announces a virtual rally, the State of Black Women and Girls in Illinois, on Monday, March 8th, 6:00-8:00 pm, to raise awareness around specific concerns for Black women and girls in the state of Illinois, gathering in a space with at least 50 other Black women to hold space for each other and expand our network of collective organizing. Register here to receive the Zoom link for the March 8th virtual rally.
13th District Virtual Block Party/Fundraiser
Illinois State Senator Robert Peters has announced his 13th District Block Party, an online fundraising event, for Friday, March 5th, 6:00-8:00 pm. Find all the information and tickets here.
Online Art Auction to Support BUILD: March 3-5
This week — Wed March 3rd (11:00 am) to Friday March 5th (8:00 pm) — support BUILD by viewing and bidding online for original art. BUILD is a nationally respected gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organization based on Chicago’s West Side.
Each year in the BUILD Art Show, young people’s art joins additional donated pieces from community artists, attracting hundreds of buyers and guests from in and out of state and raising thousands of dollars for BUILD art programs. This year’s show includes works by IC-SS co-founder Doug Bishop, painted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Find all the info here for the “Proposed for this Moment” Virtual Art Show 2021.
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Acting Co-Leaders: Betsy Rubin, Teri Watkins, Sarah Lincoln
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