Amid the recent political uprisings against systems of anti-Black police violence and racialized economic injustice, the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) conducted a poll to assess the public opinions of likely Black voters in Cook County on critical public policy issues relating to racial equity, opportunity, and liberation.
More than 650 Black voters were asked whether or not they favored proposed spending cuts to the city police department and county jail system in order to increase funding to alternative public safety programs, such as social services and restorative justice. Voters were also polled on their support for a graduated income tax in Illinois, as opposed to the current flat tax system.
WCRJ’s survey results demonstrate overwhelming support among likely Black voters on all three measures.
66% of likely Black voters in Cook County support proposed spending cuts to the local police department, along with increased funding to vital human services.
58% of survey participants endorse policies that would divest public dollars away from the Cook County Jail system, and redirect funds towards more humane alternatives to incarceration.
79% of likely Black voters in Cook County favor plans to establish a progressive statewide income tax that would increase contributions from Illinois’ wealthiest households in order to fund critical public programs such as schools, childcare, and housing.
As evidenced in WCRJ’s polling results, Black voters represent the most progressive and engaged edge of the electorate on these crucial matters of racial justice, economic equity, and public safety. The voices, perspectives, and leadership of Black community members are essential to achieving a transformative vision of universal liberation in our communities.
With that goal in mind, WCRJ is fighting to amplify the demands of local Black residents at the ballot box and in the halls of government.
WCRJ is working to ensure that Black voters play a decisive role in shaping the outcome of the Fair Tax Amendment contest in November. Our outreach team has already held 28,359 conversations with local Black voters and will continue to escalate mobilization efforts through election day.
WCRJ is also platforming the voices and experiences of Black communities to advance our proposal for Equitable Public Safety Reinvestment, which would cut funding to the Chicago Police Department, and reinvest public dollars into services that promote true safety, equity, and opportunity for all.
Stand with the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) as we send a clear message to Congress: Childcare is essential. In partnership with Community Change Action, we’re calling on the U.S. Senate to prioritize equitable funding to childcare in the next COVID-19 relief package.
Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government has allocated more than $500 billion to bail out big businesses, and only $3.5 billion to support childcare for families. The U.S. childcare sector needs $10 billion each month in order to recover and help parents get back to work — otherwise we could permanently lose 4.5 million childcare slots that our families depend on.
Hear from an early childhood development expert and WCRJ supporter on why child care is essential to our children, families, workforce, and communities:
Last week, hundreds of WCRJ members and allies came together to participate in the Safety and Liberation Week of Action. By committing to a series of daily mobilizations, WCRJ’s broad base of individual supporters demonstrated the collective power of our community. United behind a shared vision of Black Liberation, we amplified our demands to end anti-Black systems of police abuse and mass incarceration and reinvest public dollars in programs that promote safety, equity, and opportunity for all.
We kicked off the week by convening WCRJ leaders, local residents, and elected officials - including Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx - for our annual Forum for Safety and Liberation. Through this virtual event, which reached more than two thousand online viewers, WCRJ invited the community to reimagine what true neighborhood safety could look like, free of racialized police terror.
Later in the week, hundreds of local community members took part in WCRJ's online advocacy actions and social media campaigns. In total, we mobilized 225 tweets and 8,963 emails to state and local lawmakers, demanding their support on legislation that would dismantle the racialized police and prison state, and promote a more equitable and humane system of public investment.
On Friday, we mounted a powerful direct action at City Hall, calling on Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council to adopt WCRJ’s proposal for equitable public safety reinvestment.
We extend our deep gratitude to all of our supporters who stood with us throughout the week of action. Your solidarity and commitment is essential to achieving our collective vision of universal safety and liberation.