This election cycle, our economic future is on the Illinois ballot. Voters have the opportunity to advance equity and opportunity in our communities by voting YES on the Fair Tax amendment.


With just two weeks remaining before election day, the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) and the Center for Racial and Gender Equity (CRGE) are ramping up our voter mobilization efforts to ensure that community members voice their demands for economic justice and racial equity by voting YES on the Fair Tax amendment.

Why fight for a Fair Tax?


For generations, racially discriminatory economic policies have undermined opportunity for Black households across Illinois. And the state’s current tax system only serves to further exacerbate inequality in our communities.


Illinois’ wealthiest residents pay the exact same income tax rate as the state’s middle and lower wage earners. When millionaires and billionaires don’t contribute their fair share, working families shoulder the burden, and essential public services go underfunded.

Under the Fair Tax system, the 97% of us with an annual income below $250,000 would get a tax cut, and the 3% of Illinoisans making more than that would start paying their fair share. Increased revenue would fund quality schools, affordable childcare, access to higher education, and public health.


How are CRGE and WCRJ supporting the fight?


WCRJ polling shows that Black voters overwhelmingly support the amendment - of the over 650 voters we surveyed, more than 79% said they were in favor of a graduated income tax structure for the state. This election cycle WCRJ and CRGE will reach hundreds of thousands of local voters through canvassing, phone calls, texts, and digital ads to ensure that Illinois’ powerful Black electorate plays a decisive role in the outcome of the Fair Tax ballot initiative.


What can I do to help?


You can help power this fight by doing three things:

  1. Share our video about the Fair Tax amendment with everyone you know

  2. Vote early - and make sure you know how to complete the Fair Tax ballot proposition section

  3. Make a donation to support our Get Out the Vote work in the coming weeks

We are in the home stretch of the fight to bring equity to Illinois’ tax structure - and now we need you to help carry this victory across the finish line.

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Last week, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) convened a news conference to unveil its racial justice policy priorities for the upcoming veto session. Members vowed to advance a transformational legislative package centered on dismantling racialized systems of mass incarceration and police brutality.


The Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) stands in solidarity with the ILBC in its commitment to champion racial equity in partnership with Black communities across Illinois. Ahead of the November legislative session, WCRJ is mobilizing a powerful base of grassroots leadership behind a bold policy platform for Black Liberation. Join us as we call upon the ILBC to include WCRJ's proposed legislation in its policy agenda for the fall veto session.


Take 30 seconds to send a message to every member of the ILBC, urging them to prioritize the passage of the following WCRJ bills in the November session:

HB 5394 (SAFER Communities Act) would enact sweeping sentencing reform to reduce the state prison population, and direct the public savings towards job creation for re-entering workers.


HB 5010 would eliminate “extended term” sentencing, which disproportionately targets Black individuals and is a key driver of mass incarceration.


HB 5830 would outlaw provisions in police union contracts that shield officers from accountability for abuse and misconduct. The measure would also repeal current Illinois statute that upholds systems of officer impunity.


For more information on our organizing and policy campaigns, please contact us directly.

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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.


View and share WCRJ’s polling report.


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.

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