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.
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.
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: