2018 People’s Gala

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Mark Your Calendars!

Our annual 2018 People’s Gala is on Wednesday, Sept. 26th. Come join us and members of the Chicago progressive community for an evening to celebrate our past years’ victories, and to re-energize and find inspiration for the work ahead. 

We are so thrilled to be recognizing the following outstanding movement leaders and organizers who have made immeasurable contributions to our fight for economic and racial justice:

Get your tickets here

HONOREES

2018 Labor Leader Award

Greg Kelley

President, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana

 

2018 Donahue Justice Award

Dr. Barbara Ransby

Scholar, Activist, Author

 

2018 Bold Campaign Award

#NoCopAcademy Campaign

 

2018 Founding Funder Award

Regina McGraw, Executive Director

Carmen Prieto, Associate Director

Wieboldt Foundation

 

2018 Founding Funder Award

Grace Hou 

President, Woods Fund of Chicago

Statement on Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court Decision

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CHICAGO – Grassroots Collaborative unites labor and community-based organizations representing tens of thousands of Illinois residents whose families and communities will be hurt by today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision. The following is a statement by Grassroots Collaborative Deputy Director, Abbie Illenberger.

“Today’s ruling by Trump’s Supreme Court is the latest in a long series of attacks by billionaires and big business seeking to demolish any and all institutions that give a voice to working people.

These attacks have not been limited to the courthouse or Trump. Governor Rauner made undermining the bargaining rights of Illinois workers a cornerstone of his agenda and devastated our social service sector along the way. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has gutted our neighborhoods by shuttering clinics, closing public schools, and displacing Black residents in droves. The public employees harmed by the actions of Rahm, Rauner and now the Supreme Court are disproportionately women and people of color.

Despite the constant attacks on our people and organizations, we see opportunities for Illinois residents to come together like never before. Instead of letting wealthy elites, like the Koch Brothers, divide us by pitting worker against worker and neighbor against neighbor, Grassroots Collaborative member organizations are bringing people together. Just this year Grassroots Collaborative launched a new initiative in central Illinois. The Peoria People’s Project is uniting union members and other community residents to demand elected officials make their wealthy donors pay taxes for the great public services we deserve.”

 

Close the Loopholes!

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Job Posting: Art & Design Communication Intern

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Grassroots Collaborative is seeking a talented artist or graphic designer interested in helping to build power for working families through visual storytelling. The Art & Design Communications intern supports both organizational branding efforts and campaign work. They would be responsible for working with organizational staff and members to create strong visuals and work to help make Grassroots Collaborative organizing campaigns more impactful.

Download PDF of Job Description here: Art and Design Communication Intern

TITLE: Art & Design Communication Intern

SUPERVISED BY: Communications Director
SALARY/HOURLY, EXEMPT OR NONEXEMPT: Stipend internship of $3,000. 10-15 hours a week for 16 weeks.


ORGANIZATIONAL SUMMARY: Grassroots Collaborative (501c3) builds power with working families through strategic community-labor organizing, grassroots leadership development, civic engagement, and research. We organize to win progressive policies and systems-change that improve the lives of low-to-moderate income residents and communities of color. We utilize popular education to build consciousness, and build organization that unites residents to create transformative change for a more just society. Our affiliated 501c4, Grassroots Illinois Action, works to build community political power through issue advocacy and electoral strategies.

We have a strong record of leading bold campaigns that shift the narrative of racism, austerity and corporate power.

POSITION SUMMARY:  Grassroots Collaborative is seeking a talented artist or graphic designer interested in helping to build power for working families through visual storytelling. The Art & Design Communications intern supports both organizational branding efforts and campaign work. They would be responsible for working with organizational staff and members to create strong visuals and work to help make Grassroots Collaborative organizing campaigns more impactful.  

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Social media content creation: Work with the Communications Director on creating and maintaining a social media calendar that engages our online audience on our campaigns and promotes core progressive values.
  • Political Education & Leadership Development: Help support workshops and presentations that educate union members and grassroots leaders by helping to craft visuals and graphics that hbreak downdown complex economic and political structures so that they are accessible and easily understood by community members.
     
  • Visual Storytelling – Work with the Communications Director to create visuals and amplify public narrative about the need to curb the power of the finance sector, and for the wealthy to pay their fair share.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Excellent graphic design and visual communication skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication ability
  • Excellent team player able to meet deadlines
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong support for the mission of Grassroots Collaborative and Grassroots Illinois Action
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial, social, and economic justice

    Grassroots Collaborative is an equal-opportunity employer. People of color strongly encouraged to apply.  For consideration, send a resume, cover letter, example of design work, and reference to Nathan Ryan, Communications Director, hiring@thegrassrootscollaborative.org.  No calls, please. Position open until filled.

Following Trump’s Lead, Rauner Protects Wealthy Money Managers in Budget Address

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On Wednesday, Governor Rauner delivered his fourth budget address which was long on rhetoric, but short on solutions. The following is a statement from Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative.

“Today, Governor Rauner again failed to present a budget proposal that would lead Illinois towards stability and prosperity for all. Instead, he proposed that Illinois workers give up more, and invited Illinois taxpayers to play a shell game, one with very serious consequences for our communities, our children, and our state. Just like Trump’s grand infrastructure plan that places the huge burden of payment on local communities, Gov. Rauner’s claims of new investments in education amount to nothing more than forcing new financial burdens on local school districts.

As our state struggles to recover from the damage done by the budget impasse and address the $8.4 billion unpaid bill backlog, our state needs bold leadership. Governor Rauner could have followed the example set by New York’s Governor Cuomo. Facing significant budget challenges, and in anticipation of the fall out that will come from the Federal Tax overhaul, Cuomo presented a budget address that called for new sources of progressive revenue, including one proposal that closes the outrageous carried interest loophole – a proposal that would raise $1 billion annually in Illinois. Governor Rauner, once again demonstrated that he is unwilling to make the hard choice to pass legislation that will ask his peers, including wealthy money managers, to pay their fair share. He is unwilling to bring Illinois in line with our neighboring states, by supporting a graduated income tax.

Today, on Valentine’s Day, Governor Rauner showed no love for the diverse communities that Grassroots Collaborative represents. From Peoria to the West side of Chicago, today’s budget address offered little more than another disappointing example of failed leadership.”

Headshot of Chama St Louis

We Are Growing – Peoria People’s Project Launches New Phase

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Exciting news! We are expanding.

It is no secret that Trump and Rauner are trying to divide our communities – pitting Chicago against the rest of the state, parents against teachers, and neighbor against neighbor. They want to keep our attention on our differences instead of the struggles that we all share. That’s why the work of Grassroots Collaborative to bring communities together is more important than ever before.

We can’t win by building an island in a sea of rising conservatism. To win against Trump and Rauner, we need to invest in progressive movement-building across the state. We know we are stronger when we fight together which is why we are proud to announce the next step of the Peoria People’s Project.

Our initiative will bring together residents in central Illinois, connecting union members with social service agencies and community organizations, so together we can work on the issues that are impacting all of us. After months of planning and strategizing, we’ve hired a new central Illinois organizer, Chama St.Louis, who is already hard at work moving the project forward!

Chama Graphic

We want you to hear more about the great work that Chama has planned in central Illinois and invite you to join us for a Facebook Live chat on February 9th @ Noon. On the chat you will get to hear directly from Chama about the problems that residents in Peoria are facing including racial housing segregation, disinvestment in public schools, and rising economic inequality. We have much more in common than we know.

Click here for more info on joining the Facebook Live Chat on February 9th at Noon.

Will you help take back Illinois, one city at a time? A donation of $15, $25, or $50 will go directly towards supporting the critical community organizing happening on the ground in Peoria right now. And thanks to the Marguerite Casey Foundation, all new donations will be matched dollar for dollar, having double the impact! Your support will enable us to reach thousands of new Peoria residents this year, building our movement for racial and economic justice across Illinois. But we can’t do it without you- our most committed grassroots supporters. Donate today!

llinois Must Pursue State Level Solutions to Counteract Failures in GOP Tax Bill

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Grassroots Leaders and State Legislators Push to Close Carried Interest Loophole in Illinois Following Passage of GOP Tax Bill

Chicago, IL – As Congress continues to pass legislation and policy that is out of line with the values of the American people, states and cities have jumped in to take action to protect their residents, including city and state action around climate change, net neutrality, and sanctuary status. Now that the GOP has passed its tax bill, it is imperative that Illinois take action to protect our residents by passing legislation to close the egregious carried interest loophole at the state level, generating over $1 billion in new revenue in the first year.

The GOP Tax Bill is especially dangerous to states like Illinois, which has already been destabilized by years of budget crisis and whose communities will be further hurt by changes to state and local tax exemptions. State lawmakers must take action to avoid increased taxes and cuts to local services for working families living in our state. 

State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch (D-HIllside) explained, “The Republicans in Congress have just given the 1% an early Christmas present.  They have chosen to vote for a huge tax break for the wealthy donors to their PACs, instead of protecting the families living in their districts.  We cannot afford to repeat that same mistake here in Illinois. We need to act now and pass legislation that requires the wealthy hedge fund managers who exploit the carried interest loophole to pay their fair share.”

The carried interest loophole is a federal tax loophole that benefits a small, but very wealthy and well-connected group of hedge fund and private equity billionaires. The loophole allows wealthy investors to declare their income as carried interest to receive a lower effective tax rate than kindergarten teachers or truck drivers. Although Trump used the carried interest on the campaign trail as an example of a rigged economic system and promised to close it the GOP tax bill fails to close the loophole.  

Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, added, “Legislation to close the carried interest loophole (SB 1719) passed the Illinois Senate last year but didn’t make it to the Governor’s desk, as some legislators wanted to wait for the federal government to act instead. The GOP’s tax bill makes it clear that Trump flat-out lied to the American people when he promised to close the carried interest loophole. It is time for Illinois to step up and take action to close the loophole ourselves. We can’t afford to wait.”   

 

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Grassroots Collaborative Response to Mayor Emanuel’s Budget Address

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Chicago, IL – The following is a statement from Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative on Mayor Emanuel’s budget address.

“Today’s budget address shows Mayor Emanuel’s continued commitment to policies that have failed Chicago’s families as he continues to prioritize the interests of city elites over those of working families. The Mayor has continued to raise taxes and fees on everyone and everything with the exception of wealthy individuals and corporations. Instead of pursuing regressive revenue fees that further hurt our city’s working families, the Mayor should be implementing revenue solutions such as reinvesting the TIF Surplus funds and reinstating the corporate head tax.

Rideshare and amusement taxes will not fix our city, neither will doling out taxpayer money to try and woo Amazon. Our city needs to reinvest in schools and Black and Brown neighborhoods. Failure to do so will result in more violence and more residents being pushed out of the city.”

Illinois Trust Act Becomes Law

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On Monday, the Illinois Trust Act, a bill to create better relations between the immigrant and law enforcement became law. It is refreshing to see a bill that benefits Illinois being passed without the need for a veto override. Congratulations to the campaign for a #WelcomingIL and everybody who went down to fight for this bill with us as part of the Illinois People’s Agenda.

From NBC Chicago:

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Monday a measure to prevent law enforcement officials across the state from detaining individuals based solely on their immigration status, and limit local agencies’ cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The governor signed Senate Bill 31, known as the Illinois TRUST Act, in front of a crowd at the Mi Tierra restaurant in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

“Illinois has been welcoming of immigrants for a long time, and this bill will continue that tradition,” Rauner said in a statement. “It also makes clear that stopping violent crime will be law enforcement’s mission rather than working on federal prerogatives that a federal court has found illegal.”

 The General Assembly passed the bill in May, sending it to the Republican governor’s desk the following month. After spending nearly two months deciding what to do with it, Rauner first indicated during a radio interview earlier this month that he would support the bill, saying he thought “it seems very reasonable.”

The measure will prohibit police officers and other law enforcement officials from stopping, detaining, or arresting anyone based solely on their immigration status or an immigration detainer – effectively limiting the role of local authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Nothing in the bill – which was scaled back from its original form through negotiations involving advocacy groups, law enforcement, businesses and other stakeholders – prohibits agencies from communicating with immigration authorities, and local authorities can hold individuals if presented with a criminal warrant. The bill also includes a provision to require law enforcement agencies to provide officers with guidance on complying with the law.

“Immigrants in our community should not have to feel unsafe when they go to work or take their children to school,” the bill’s primary House sponsor, state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside), said in a statement. “This legislation will ensure that proper legal procedures are being followed and provide peace of mind to members of our community.”

Read more here

 

Governor’s $15 Veto Will Hold Back Economy and Increase Economic Inequality in Illinois

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Chicago, IL – On Friday, Governor Rauner vetoed SB 81, which would have gradually raised the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Grassroots Collaborative is a labor-community coalition representing tens of thousands of Illinois low-income families whose lives and communities would have greatly benefited from the passage of SB 81. The following is a statement from Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative.

“Governor Rauner showed his true allegiances by protecting his wealthy friends at the expense of Illinois working families. By vetoing the bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Rauner denies a desperately needed raise to 40% of all Illinois workers – 46% of all female workers in Illinois, 48% of African American workers, and 61% of all Latino workers. After cutting funding to communities across the state by not passing a budget for two years, Rauner’s veto further devastates these 2.3 million Illinois workers. Bruce Rauner cares only about corporate CEOs and their lobbyists – and millions of workers will be the ones who pay the price.”