IC-SS News 05-22-23: Help migrants in Chicago + tell Sheriff Dart no book ban!

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IC-SS Weekly News: May 22, 2023

Help Asylum Seekers in Chicago

We have to make sure that we take care of our residents and family members who are here, while also making sure the families who wish to call Chicago their home, that they’re served, as well. ~Mayor Brandon Johnson

Right now, many people are sleeping in police stations because there’s nowhere else to go. We’ll look to our new Mayor and City Council to relieve this crisis (here’s a start). But we can help right now.

Act for People at 2nd District Police Station

From Julia Kline, 2nd District Councilor: I’ve seen firsthand the conditions of adults and children sleeping in the 2nd District Police Station (5101 S. Wentworth) during visits I’ve made with fellow Councilors Alex Perez and Ephraim Lee.

2nd District Councilors Julia Kline, Alex Perez, Ephraim Lee,
Wentworth station 
(Photo courtesy of Julia Kline)

In fact, the three of us have returned again and again to drop off food and supplies we’ve purchased. Most people staying at this South Side police station are migrants and asylum seekers who wait at the police station for their housing placement from 1 to 10 days. There are also some community members sleeping outside because they have nowhere else to go.

The people staying at the police station don’t have access to food, microwaves, bedding, hygiene products, medical supplies, baby supplies, shoes, warm clothing etc. To date, government entities are not fulfilling these needs. Right now, community members and folks like us are stepping up to provide necessities. 

Can you help the 2nd District Councilors in our effort? 

  • To arrange to donate items for people staying at Wentworth police station, text us: 773-398-2280
  • Sign up to provide meals via the 2nd District Meal Train

NOTE: Clothing, shoes, and small toys may be new or clean and gently used. Toiletries, such as razors, OTC medicine, diapers, wipes and ointment, baby formula, foot powder, antibacterial ointment, and antiperspirant must be new. 

Donate to Help Out Across the City

From Chicago Police Station Response Team via Open Collective: We are the Chicago Police Station Response Team – a network of volunteers meeting the needs of recently arrived asylum seekers sheltering in police stations.

Since August of 2022, over 8000 migrants have arrived in Chicago – some on buses sent by border states and some on their own by bus or plane.  Recently, due to lack of available shelter space, these men, women, and children have been sent to police stations and other very temporary shelters while they wait for space in other more appropriate facilities. Many of their right-now needs are being met by community-organized volunteer networks.

TO LEARN MORE AND TO DONATE: Go to the Chicago Police Station Response Team webpage on the Open Collective website.

From the City of Chicago + Instituto del Progreso Latino:

Chicago has stepped up to shelter as many migrants as possible, but these vulnerable families need our help with basic necessities. The city is asking for residents to consider donating to local non-profit Instituto’s Amazon wishlist.

End Book Ban at Cook County Jail


Once again, the quality of life for people incarcerated in Cook County Jail is getting worse. On April 7, 2023, Sheriff Dart enacted a policy that limits incarcerated people to three books per person (including magazines but excluding religious texts).

Since the implementation of this policy, jail guards have denied incarcerated people the autonomy to decide which books they keep. During the sweeps to ensure compliance with the policy, guards seized materials used to support legal aid, educational development, and mental wellness.

Our community members incarcerated in the jail need us to lend our voices to them now!

Use the sample script and call the Cook County Sheriff’s Office at 773-674-1945 to stand in solidarity with incarcerated community members.

Sample Phone Script:  Hello,  my name is ___, and I live in ____. I’m calling to demand that Sheriff Tom Dart reverse the decision to limit people in jail to three books. Books and other paper materials are essential, not only for incarcerated individuals to be fully engaged in their legal defense, but also to improve their quality of life. Access to tablets should be offered in addition to physical books and mail, not used to replace them.

If you can’t get through by phone: Adapt the script into an email to Sheriff Dart at CCSO@ccsheriff.org

Organizations and Opportunities

Indivisible Chicago-South Side shares information and actions from other organizations on issues important in our country, state, city, and communities.

Hear MI Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Wed 5/24

From Jews United for Democracy and Justice and Community AdvocatesMichigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will discuss the special challenge of leading a “swing/battleground” state during these chaotic times.

This Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 pm CT, tune in online to hear Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Chaotic Times: A Battleground State Governor’s ViewInfo/Sign-up.

How SCOTUS Is Dividing America – 6/13

From Brennan Center for Justice:Attend a free online panel session on SCOTUS. The most extreme Supreme Court in decades is on the verge of changing the nation — again. In 2022, the Court’s conservative super-majority radically loosened gun safety laws, overturned the constitutional right to abortion, and limited the federal government’s power to fight climate change.

Next up: redistricting, voting rights, and affirmative action — and the potential to fundamentally alter how the country deals with racial justice. How did we get here? How will overreach by the justices impact the 2024 election? And what can we do to protect American democracy from a deeply political, fiercely partisan Supreme Court?

Get free tickets to the online livestream of Brennan Center’s panel discussion on the Supreme Court: Tuesday, June 13, at 5 pm CT/6 pm ET. (NoteBrennan Center offers tickets for purchase for the Iive event in NYC, but the Iivestream tickets are free.)Info/Get free tix.

Bonus: Find other Brennan Center online events here.

Newsletter Notes

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The mission of Indivisible Chicago - South Side is to unite south siders to fight for progressive values by exerting grassroots influence on our elected officials.

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