March 31, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, IL – “Today, we showed that the power of the people can reform the pervasive systemic problem with temp agencies and their client companies. Today is a victory,” exclaimed Representative Carol Ammons of the 103rd District, the Chief Sponsor of the Responsible Job Creation Act. Just earlier today at 12:30PM, dozens of temp workers, allies, and experts successfully testified before the Labor & Commerce Committee in Springfield advocating for the passage of the Responsible Job Creation Act.

During the hearing, Isaura Martinez, a temp worker for over 6 years, testified on how dangerous and toxic the conditions are within these factories and warehouses. Between tears, she shared personal stories of retaliation, lack of safety training and equipment, discrimination, lack of opportunities to be hired on as permanent employees, and other issues that affect hundreds of thousands of temp workers across Illinois.

Temp jobs are increasingly replacing full-time, direct hire work. Studies...

March 23, 2017

Chicago – According to the NAACP, African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population, while only accounting for 13 percent of the population. These numbers are indicative of the need for further reforms. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) and the Cook County Bar Association are hosting a Criminal Justice Symposium to explore different policy initiatives that have been suggested and implemented, and further search for solutions to end the inequality. The ILBCF will be issuing its criminal justice Report, which outlines the Black Caucus’ Criminal Justice agenda for this year’s General Assembly.

The symposium will be on April 1st at the University of Illinois - Chicago Student Services Building in Conference room A/B/C from 3 - 5 pm. 

We hope you will join us.

March 20, 2017

SPRINGFIELD – To end a system that punishes the poor, State Senator Donne Trotter is sponsoring a proposal that eliminates the state’s antiquated monetary bond process.

“Rather than providing all persons arrested an equitable opportunity to leave custody, it is only afforded to those who can pay the bond,” said Trotter, D-Chicago “This antiquated bond process only increases the likelihood of low income people being arrested for petty crimes and enduring harsher conditions than people from affluent backgrounds who commit the same crime. These trends of partiality toward people with wealth are prevalent in the justice system.”

The budget impasse has created a greater need for cost saving measures in Illinois. One area in great need of reform, said Trotter, is the prison system. The state squanders valuable resources on the holding of low risk offenders if they are unable to make bond.

The legislation is Senate Bill 552 which is in the Senate Criminal Law committee. An identical bill, House...

March 7, 2017

CHICAGO – Responding to reports that sexual assault survivors and law enforcement agencies are often left in the dark for as long as 12-24 months while they wait for critical rape kit testing results needed to advance investigations, State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, is advocating for reforms that would mandate the creation of one of the nation’s first modern Rape Kit Tracking & Survivor Notification Systems. 

“It takes a great deal of courage for survivors of sexual assault to come forward and subject their bodies to the invasive, four-hour process of DNA evidence collection needed to create a rape kit,” said Stratton. “They subject themselves to this traumatic process because they seek safety and justice after experiencing the most traumatic event of their lives.  Keeping them in the dark is wrong and re-traumatizing. We live in a nation with access to the most advanced technology in the world, and I question our priorities when sexual assault survivors and law enforce...

March 1, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, as a part of African American History Month, on Thursdayhonored Shirley Chisolm, who was the first African-American Congresswoman and the first African-American to run for president.

“Shirley Chisolm was a trailblazer for both women and African Americans in politics,” said Stratton. “If it were not for her courage, I would probably not be standing on the floor of the Illinois House today, fighting for the social justice and criminal justice reforms to allow more African Americans to succeed in life.”

Rep. Chisholm was born in Brooklyn in 1924. In 1968, she was first elected to represent Brooklyn in the United States Congress and in 1972 became the first African-American person to run for a major political party’s nomination for President. Rep. Chisolm retired and returned to teaching after serving seven terms in the House. Chisholm died in January 2005, but was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by...

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