August 2013

SEIU Healthcare Illinois Members Thank Senator Mark Kirk for Voting for Common Sense Immigration Reform

Vicky Hernandez - Selma March pic (3)A delegation of SEIU Healthcare Illinois members attempted to deliver a letter to Senator Mark Kirk’s Springfield office on August 15th, but his office was closed. See the letter below.

The Honorable Mark Kirk
U.S. Senate
607 East Adams, Suite 1520
Springfield, IL 62701

Dear Senator Kirk:

We thank you for your vote in support of common sense immigration reform.

We, the undersigned, as proud union members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, wish to acknowledge your leadership on this important issue that affects working families in our state and across our country. We applaud you for joining your fellow Senators, on a bipartisan basis, in support of legislation that we hope will ultimately provide a pathway to citizenship for some 11 million undocumented workers and families, and reform our nation’s broken immigration system.

We also wish to acknowledge your support for the “DREAMers” in the Senate legislation that creates a five-year road to citizenship for people who were brought here as children. Lastly, we recognize your support, in the Senate bill, to keep families together and for speeding the process for reuniting immigrant families.

But as you well know, this legislative effort has stalled in the House of Representatives.

Senator Kirk, we ask you to be a leading voice and a constructive partner to help persuade your colleagues in Congress, especially in the republican caucus, that now is the time to reform our nation’s immigration system.

We hope that you will reach out directly to the entire Illinois Congressional delegation and urge your colleagues to support common sense immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, it is absolutely critical that we keep up the forward momentum so 11 million aspiring citizens can come out of the shadows and fully participate in our economy and our democracy—and future immigrants can come here legally.

Thank you again Senator Kirk for voting to pass common sense immigration reform in the U.S. Senate.

Future generations of immigrant families, as well as working families and union members from across this great nation, will look back at your stellar leadership with gratitude and appreciation, knowing that you did the right thing for our country.

Sincerely,

Working Families of SEIU Healthcare Illinois

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Child Care Providers to Congress: “End the Sequester, Save Head Start Program for Children”

Watch News Coverage: Child Care Providers Demonstrate On Congressman Aaron Schock’s Office in Peoria, Hold Protest in Chicago

Wednesday, August 14, 2013: Child care providers and parents demonstrated outside Congressman Aaron Schock’s office (18th District) to call on Congress to end harmful budget cuts through the sequester, restore Head Start funding, and invest in vital services for families.  Providers and working families say Congress needs to get its priorities straight as it continues to slash Head Start funding and vital services for working families while refusing to ask big corporations, which are making record profits, to pay their fair share.

Peoria CBS Ch 31: Child Care Providers Protest Congressman Schock:

Chicago: Telemundo: Child Care Providers Urge Congress to Restore Head Start Funding, End Sequester

In East St. Louis, providers and parents brought the same message to 15th district Congressman John Shimkus.

“We had a van, an SUV, and some cars all full of people who wanted to make their voices heard,” said East. St. Louis child care provider Endia Ford. “We brought our kids with us, marched and chanted, and delivered a letter to his office about how important it is to fund Head Start instead of tax breaks for the rich. It was wonderful to have the little ones along, helping us fight for the programs they’re a part of.”

On March 1, 2013, $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts – known as the sequester — went into effect. These horrific cuts are a costly, self-inflicted wound to our economy and the middle class, including for working families and single moms. For example, Head Start will be cut by $400 million in FY2013, which will result in 70,000 fewer children served and would force tens of thousands of employees to either lose their jobs or rely on cash-strapped states and localities to pick up their salaries instead.

The negative effects of the sequester also results in the loss of 750,000 American jobs according to the Congressional Budget Office, threatening the economic security of many middle class and vulnerable Americans. In addition, estimates by the Congressional Research Service indicate that the 2 percent cut to Medicare under sequestration would cost 212,000 jobs in the healthcare industry alone.

Our Solution: That’s why Congress needs to do more to make sure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes. A fair budget agreement should raise more revenue from wealthy Americans and big corporations. There are hundreds of billions in tax loopholes used by big business and the wealthy to allow them to avoid taxes that could give us more revenue and prevent cuts to the vital services our communities need.

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SEIU HCII launches fight for a fair tax system in Illinois!

Together with parents, seniors, working families, more than 60 organizations working for economic justice, and taxpayers of all kinds, SEIU HCII is launching an effort to support a strong middle class by passing a fair tax system in Illinois!

Members, staff, and allies will be hitting the streets for the next several months, collecting thousands of petition signatures in support of a fair tax system where higher rates apply to higher income levels and lower rates apply to lower incomes levels.   Currently in Illinois, CEOs pay the same tax rate as the people who clean their offices.

Members and staff hit the Bud Billiken parade last weekend to drum up support for the fair tax effort.

Members and staff hit the Bud Billiken parade last weekend to drum up support for the fair tax effort.

“A fair tax is a crucial step toward eliminating loopholes that allow corporations to make out like bandits, while our schools, home care programs, and hospitals get sold out. Getting the richest Illinoisans to pay their fair share is a common sense solution to a government that has its priorities out of whack,” said HCII child care and home care provider Josephine Garrett. Josephine is one of several members participating in a new HCII boot camp, developing our members into organizing leaders who work together to raise public awareness of the fair tax effort and take action against corporations who refuse to pay their fair share. In a week, the boot campers collected more than 1,300 signatures, made their presence felt at demonstrations against the American Legislative Exchange Council’s recent meeting in Chicago, and organized several actions against tax dodging corporations that hurt our communities.

Dozens of cars honked in our support--Chicago wants a fair tax!

Dozens of cars honked in our support–Chicago wants a fair tax!

“It was important for us to march on Office Max because we have lots of schools in this community that buy their supplies at Office Max, and yet Office Max doesn’t pay their fair share, and that causes schools to shut down. My fifteen-year-old sister has to cross the whole city just to get to high school now—it’s not fair and it’s not safe. We need these corporations to pay their fair share so we can keep the resources we need,” said Shawndra Robinson, a Chicago Help at Home home care provider.

Together with our allies, we plan to collect enough signatures to give us the strong voice we need to amend the Illinois constitution and institute a tax system that fosters government accountability, fairness, and a strong middle class. You can add your voice to the fight here, and stay tuned to our Facebook page for more chances to get involved in the fight!

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