IC-SS News 09-04-23: You can volunteer, donate, act!

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IC-SS Weekly News: Sept 4, 2023

Volunteering for Asylum Seekers

Since June, Teri Watkins, a co-leader of IC-SS, has been one of many volunteers in the effort to provide food to asylum seekers and migrants currently staying in police stations in Districts 2 & 3.

The overall project is led by tireless volunteers Brenda Delgado (for District 2), Britt Hodgdon (for District 3), and Tzuming Liao (food). Learn more about this project in last week’s Hyde Park Herald.

At IC-SS’s Donation Social in June, Brenda Delgado described the District 2 & 3 effort

As a volunteer, Teri assists with meal train communications and also works to recruit both volunteers and donors. Teri collected stories of some of the volunteers who are members or friends of IC-SS. Please read on and be inspired!

Alexandria Suchy-Mabrouk & Nate Hauger

Alexandria writes: I decided to help asylum seekers with meals for couple of reasons; having driven by the 2nd district police station, I thought there might be something I could do. And I had been traveling a lot for work, and I want to feel connected to my community. 

Volunteers Alexandria & Nate at an IC-SS event

My husband, Nate, goes with me and it’s fine with the two of us. We prepare about 40 to 60 meals once a week. With my husband, this is doable! Today we made sandwiches: boiled eggs with Hawaiian rolls and fruit and milk.

I don’t know Spanish, but most of the folks recognize people who arrive at the station with food. People usually trickle over to get their food, so it is manageable. I’ve also been using Google Translate to communicate.

We really enjoy the experience. It’s fun to plan the meals and be able to help like that. I would encourage people to team up with others so they can manage the work of preparing for a large group of people. While it is possible to be reimbursed for expenses, we are able to afford to contribute a weekly meal. That way, there’s money left for other people who need to be reimbursed to do this work.

Mary Naftzger

Please see Mary’s story in our July 17 newsletter.

Volunteer Mary at an IC-SS event

Thanks Also to Donors

The following members and friends of IC-SS have generously given funds to the District 2 and 3 effort or donated needed items through our donations drive last June (alphabetical by first name): Alexander Perez, Anita Orlikoff, Betsy Rubin, Bill Housewright, Chiara Galli, Esther Peters, Joyce Mannis, Julia Kline, Kineret Jaffe, Lisa Rademacher, Lucy Lester, Marguerite Griffin, Mary Naftzger, Michael Aaron, Sarah Lincoln, Sheron Shapiro, Susan Avila, Teri Watkins.  Very special thanks to Linda Swift and Marva Watkins.

Did we leave out your name? Or are you a new volunteer? 

We’d love to give you a shout-out. Email us to send an alert.

How Can I Help?

Here are ways to help the asylum seekers and migrants staying at Chicago police stations, especially those in police districts 2 & 3:

Rest Today – Join Us Wednesday

Today is Labor Day! Let’s all take a day of rest while appreciating all the rights the workers’ movement has brought us. On Wednesday, Sept 6th, join us at 6:00 pm at the Nile to write letters to Virginia voters (sign up).

Write with Us – Sept 6 & 21

Thanks again to all our Vote Forward letter writers. Writing to voters is both easy and impactful, and we welcome new writers. (Why Virginia? See last week’s newsletter.) This month we have two dates: this coming Wednesday, Sept. 6th and Thursday, Sept. 21st.

We meet at the Nile, 1162 E. 55th, on the patio, weather permitting (otherwise inside). If you’re writing letters on your own, bring them along, but not necessary — our letter leader Steve Kagan will bring letters for all.

We encourage you to order your own food to support the Nile, which has been such a friendly host (note: the Nile is BYOB). If you can, bring postage stamps to donate. The most important thing is to bring yourself! Sign up for Sept 6, Sept 21, or both.

Member Rec: Talk to “Those” Relatives

Shared by IC-SS member Yolanda Brown: Sarah Kendzior, of the podcast Gaslit Nation, tells us that people can stand up to bullies and even to family members who have fallen down the right-wing conspiracy rabbit hole.

Even if your fam isn’t this extreme, this podcast can still help

Kendzior writes: “One of the questions we often get from our listeners is how to help loved ones lost to a disinformation cult, like QAnon and Trump’s Big Lie.

“[Science journalist and bestselling author David McRaney, author of How Minds Change] shares his surprising insights on how to reach people and provide an empathetic space for them to find their way back.”

Intrigued? Listen to the Gaslit Nation podcast episode How To Stand Up to a Bully

Organizations and Opportunities

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

Bring Chicago Home Town Hall

What’s Bring Chicago Home?In a recent JCUA post, Jimmy Rothschild writes:

“Bring Chicago Home (BCH) is the long-term, systemic solution to homelessness our communities have been asking for. It would create a dedicated revenue stream for affordable housing and services — safely housing 12,000 families over the next 10 years. We can do this by raising the one-time Real Estate Transfer Tax taxes only on properties purchased for more than $1 million.”

As WTTW writes: “The City Council will have to vote at least twice to implement the [Bring Chicago Home] proposal: once to put the proposal on the ballot — either in March or November — and then again to levy the tax, if it is approved by voters.”

Last week at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in South Shore, JCUA and Not Me We held a town hall for Bring Chicago Home.

Led by mostly young people, members of Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and We Not Me explained why Chicago needs the City Council to put Bring Chicago Home (BCH) on the ballot so Chicago voters can approve it. 

Although none of the South Side alders who’d been invited took part in the town hall, JCUA and Not Me We noted that two of those invited have already declared support for Bring Chicago Home: Ald. Lamont Robinson (4th ward) and Ald Desmon Yancy (5th). (In addition, we know that Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th) supports the proposal.)

However, JCUA and Not Me We said that neither Ald. Greg Mitchell (7th) nor Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) has voiced support for BCH. If you’re in one of their wards, you can push them to support BCH!


  • If you live in the 4th, 5th, or 20th ward, thank your alder for their support of Bring Chicago Home: Lamont Robinson (4th); Desmon Yancy (5th); Jeanette Taylor (20th).
  • If you live in Ald. Mitchell’s or Ald. Harris’s ward (7th or 8th), tell them to support Bring Chicago Home.
  • If you live in another ward and aren’t sure where your alder stands, simply tell them you are counting on them to support Bring Chicago Home.
  • HOW TO:
    • You can phone or email your alder directly. Look them up here.
    • OR: Use JCUA’s link to automatically send an email to your alder in support of Bring Chicago Home. So easy!

Generative AI & Impact on Democracy: Sept 21

From Public Citizen: From deep fakes in election advertising, to threats to election administration, to the impacts on participatory governance in our rulemakings, AI is already having a vast impact on our democracy– and we know the potential harms and impacts are only going to increase. Please join us to learn more about the issues, bipartisan engagement to-date, and how to engage.

What:Please join Public Citizen and Issue One for an important event on democracy and generative artificial intelligence
When: Thursday, September 21st, 2023 10AM-11:30PM CT (11:00 am ET)
Where: Virtual, Zoom link provided upon RSVP.

The Newsletter on Holiday

ANNOUNCEMENT: The newsletter is going on break, to return on September 25. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for continuing updates.

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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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