CHICAGO (March 12, 2018)—A busload of senior citizens and millennials gathered outside 16 W. Jackson today to announce their intentions to early vote in the upcoming primary elections and encouraged others to do likewise.
Spokespersons emphasized the importance to vote early instead of taking a chance on inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances that may prevent voting on Election Day.
Progressive leadership is needed to fight the attacks by the Rauner administration on social programs depended on by vulnerable populations and to protect funding for such things as colleges and universities, the group said.
“We are here to show that we are united, both elders and millennials. We’re crossing the generations to win back our most precious rights. Why are we in such a mess, because we didn’t get out to vote (in 2016),” said a feisty 98-year-old Bea Lumpkin of the Illinois Association of Retired Americans.
“Public higher education is increasingly becoming financially out of reach for working-class and first generation college students,” said Jeff Schuhrke, a member of Graduate Employees Organization and a Ph.D candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“If the past few years have taught us anything, both here in Illinois and across the country, it’s that elections have consequences. I’m here today with this inter-generational alliance to encourage everyone who has the privilege to vote to use it,” he added.
Nursing home worker Ozzmon Dumas said he was voting for more than himself. “I’m also voting for the residents I care for because we all are under assault by a greedy group of wealthy individuals and corporate interests that want to horde the wealth of our nation for themselves,” he said.
An activist in the Fight For $15 minimum wage movement and a member of the millennial Future Fighters, Dumas added, “I shouldn’t have to work 40 hours every week and still not be able to meet the bills of my modest budget. I’m supporting candidates that support the rights of workers to organize a union free of fear and intimidation from their bosses.”
— SEIU HCIIMK (@SEIUhciimk) March 12, 2018
“It’s important that my generation remembers not to just vote during the general election but during state elections. It’s important who the governor is, who these judges are. It’s important to put people in office who are representatives of the people,” said Jessica Disu (aka FM Supreme), an activist with the Chicago International Youth Peace movement.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) also participated. Following the press conference, group members walked into the building to vote.