Green Party slate challenges lack of climate change readiness; points finger at "culture of cronyism and nepotism."
CHICAGO -- Candidates for the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago came out swinging at a meeting in Pilsen this Saturday. Chris Anthony, Karen Roothaan, and Tammie Vinson, announcing their candidacies for the Green Party ticket, blasted the current Board of Commissioners for its political climate and lack of vision.
"The nominally-partisan Board of Commissioners has been an all-Democrat body for decades," said Ms. Roothaan. "You don't get good governance with one-party rule. Putting Greens on the Board will open the MWRD up to true citizen oversight."
The candidates' presentation highlighted the absence of any reference to climate change in the MWRD's five-year Strategic Business Plan or mission and value statements, as well as leveling harsh criticism at a political culture where "everyone's here on a phone call," as a former MWRD police officer described the District in leaked audio from 2014. All three candidates called for an independent Inspector General for the MWRD.
Presenting their own vision for a MWRD with Green Party representatives on the board, the candidates emphasized a need for green infrastructure to help with flood abatement. "Deep Tunnel was an amazing piece of forward thinking for its time," said Mr. Anthony, referring to the Tunnel And Reservoir Plan begun in the 1970s to combat combined sewer outflows. "But we now know that 'grey infrastructure' of tunnels and canals alone can't prevent catastrophic flooding. The MWRD needs to get serious about land use and permitting that will put an end to serious flooding in Cook County."
The candidates called for an immediate shift towards using MWRD-owned land for green infrastructure projects, rather than the District's current practice of leasing land to private industry. "Some of the tenants on MWRD land are waterway polluters," said Ms. Vinson. "This is the agency that's supposed to be keeping our water clean, so why are they renting their land -- taxpayer land -- to industrial polluters?"
Mr. Anthony, Ms. Roothaan, and Ms. Vinson will be running together on a unified platform. All three candidates for the MWRD are currently involved in the ballot access petition drive, which will run through late November. To learn more about the Green Party's candidates for the MWRD, or to volunteer for the ballot access drive, visit mwrd-ilgp.org. For questions or media requests, contact Illinois Green Party Secretary Geoffrey Cubbage at firstname.lastname@example.org, 224-999-2423.
We are saddened by the violence in Las Vegas, and our thoughts are with the victims and their families, as well as the first responders and emergency services staff who are still working to save as many lives as possible.
It is intolerable that daily shootings, both mass and individual, have become part of the fabric of American life. The Illinois Green Party condemns the two-party political inaction that has prevented common-sense gun reforms from being passed into law, and that continues to underfund the counseling, mental health, and social services that could prevent so many of these tragedies from happening.
This fall, the Illinois Green Party will gather in Springfield, IL for their biannual Membership Meeting.
The main program of the meeting, including guest speakers and panels, training workshops, and Green Party info and merchandise tables, will be held in the Lincoln Library on October 28th, followed by a group dinner at Maldaner's Restaurant.
Party business, including proposed amendments to the Bylaws and Platform, will be held on October 29th in the Mansion View Inn meeting room.
Labor Day 2017
Labor Day was established in the late 1800s as a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the American worker, a day to recognize the people who actually drive our economy. But when we look at the state of the American worker today, it is hard to ignore the glaring inequalities in our society. The workers have not seen the fruits of their labor, and our political and economic systems serve the few, at the expense of the worker. Unfortunately, the American Dream has not been equally realized and is more a mirage than a dream for most. As workers, we live a varied spectrum of lives but are united by common conditions and experiences. From the service industry to the classroom, workers keep the world fed and functioning for a wage. On days such as today, we must look to our commonalities for solidarity. Only through solidarity can we breach that which divides us and together forge a better future for the workers of the world.
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) platform proclaims that “production is best for people and planet when democratically owned and operated by those who do the work and those most affected by production decisions. This model of worker and community empowerment will ensure that decisions that greatly affect our lives are made in the interests of our communities. Democratic, diverse ownership of production would decentralize power in the workplace, which would in turn decentralize economic power more broadly.” Only through a democratic workplace can the worker achieve justice. Only once human society is oriented towards people, not capitalist profit, can we hope to realize democracy and a sustainable future.
It is towards this future that we aspire today. From the first slave revolts in colonial America to the early days of fighting for the right to a union, workers in America have surged towards justice. From the martyrs in Haymarket Square to Cesar Chavez, those who came before us inspire us today. Unions like the Industrial Workers of the World have provided a collective voice for America’s workers from the days of Joe Hill to the present GPUS staff. This lineage of comrades is who we celebrate today and who inspires us tomorrow. Movements like the labor movement are not finite things with a definite beginning and end. The echos of past victories and defeats are with us now. They inspire and educate, warn us and guide us. We are not alone in this struggle. We have the ghosts of those who came before us. And we have the promise of those who come after us. We have each other and the common goal of building something better than we have today.
Green Party of the United States, 9/3/2017
Rally with the Illinois Greens and Fight for $15
Illinois Greens and supporters will be gathering Monday, Sept. 4th at 9:00am at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to support the Fight for $15 Labor Day rally.
Join us near the large black and white sculpture at the intersection of Clark and Randolph to help support the Green Party's labor activism!
Wear green if you can, and if you need an ILGP T-shirt, please contact email@example.com. We'll see you there!
The Illinois Green Party's internal process for candidate nomination in the 2018 election cycle is open!
Individuals interested in running as a Green Party candidate in 2018 can find the process and supporting documentation at our Resources - For Candidates webpage.
Nomination in "new party" districts (all districts in 2018 excepting the 12th Congressional and Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) follow a three-step process:
- Notification of Interest - submitted as a Candidate Questionnaire to the state party
- Recognition as a Nomination Process Candidate - by local chapter(s), by caucus of electoral district membership, or by the Executive Committee
- Online Ballot - held from January 19-26, 2018
The details of each step are contained in this year's Candidate Nomination Process document, hosted on the Resources - For Candidates webpage.Read more
2017-07-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorses the Illinois General Assembly Minimum Wage Increase Bill (SB81). This bill calls for raising the Illinois minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2018, $10 in 2019, $11.25 in 2020, $13 in 2021, and $15 in 2022.
The bill has passed the Illinois House and Senate and is on the Governor's desk. The Illinois Green Party urges Governor Rauner to sign this bill because it's about time Illinois workers started earning a more livable wage and it will be a tremendous boost to the state's economy as we are already seeing in Seattle and other communities that have joined the fight for $15.
It’s Cause to Get Motivated for 2018!
The Illinois General Assembly has just adopted a budget that cuts funding for most public services by 5 percent below 2015 levels, cuts funding for higher education by 10 percent, shifts some pension costs to local governments, increases our state’s flat income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent – and yet will still leave Illinois with about a $2 billion deficit, $15 billion in accumulated unpaid bills, higher interest to pay on money borrowed during two years without a budget, and a pension system underfunded by about $130 billion.
Only in Illinois could such a development be considered an “improvement.”
In one sense it is an improvement, but only compared to the complete human disaster of the last two years, in which our state government has operated with no budget at all. The bi-partisan failure to adopt a budget in the last two years resulted in our schools, universities, human service and health-care providers, public transit, local governments, and the people most in need of assistance being kicked to the curb -- with little, no, or very delayed support from state government.
In every other sense, this budget is no cause for celebration. It continues a trend that has been in place since the turn of this century: of state government repeatedly cutting education and social services, cutting public employment and the jobs indirectly created by it, attacking public pensions and retiree benefits rightfully earned by the workers who paid into the system, imposing ever higher costs and worse conditions on students, parents and people unable to care for themselves, and leaving our environment and public health inadequately protected.
The near-bankruptcy of our state government is exceeded only by the political, intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the two corporate-sponsored parties jointly responsible for it. They would like the people of our state to believe that there were no other options, because “Illinois is broke,” so “painful choices had to be made.” They would like Illinoisans to believe that the Republican leadership just wants government to “live within its means,” while the Democratic leadership wants to “hold the line” against the more extreme proposals and anti-worker attacks of the Republicans. But these differences, and the gridlock they created, were all based on an out-and-out lie: Illinois is not “broke,” and none of this has been necessary.
Our state treasury may be “broke,” but Illinois is not. We live in a wealthy state in the wealthiest nation in the world. Our state treasury is broke because Illinois has one of the most backward tax systems in the United States. Our flat income tax, over-reliance on sales taxes, and reliance on property taxes to fund our schools, have together given us a regressive system that taxes the poorest 20 percent of our people at almost triple the rate of the top 1 percent! It has also given us about the worst funded, and most unequally funded, public schools in the nation.
This is not only unfair; it is economically stupid and ruinous. It has resulted in a “structural deficit” – meaning that tax revenues are simply not enough to support the most basic functions of government. This has been known for decades, but neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership, during either Democratic or Republican administrations, has ever done a damn thing about it. Instead, beginning in the 1990s, the leadership of both parties tried to cover up the problem by short-changing the pension system, not making the payments needed to keep it solvent. That made it seem like things were okay. That’s why many Illinoisans look back to the days when Jim Edgar was governor and think that he did a good job. But that was an illusion. We are paying for the Edgar administration now!
There are real solutions – and these, too, have been known for decades. But among political parties it is only the Green Party that has actually been advocating them and demanding their enactment. These solutions include:
- A progressive income tax in Illinois.
- Enacting the LaSalle Street Tax – a small tax on speculative trading on derivatives, which would raise billions of dollars for our state.
- Closing corporate tax loopholes.
- Using the billions in new revenues to fully fund grade-school education from the state, not local property taxes, make college education tuition free, provide high quality health care to all Illinoisans, meet our pension obligations, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs improving our infrastructure, insulating homes and building renewable energy.
We have been promoting these ideas for years, which is why we support the People and Planet First Budget Proposal adopted by Fair Economy Illinois.
The track record of the other two parties is clear. The solutions are known. What is needed, quite simply, is to elect people to office who will enact them. The Green Party is looking to 2018 to get a foothold in state government and start providing the real leadership that the people need and deserve. We are starting to recruit good candidates now but we will need more people coming together around a real peoples’ agenda and platform to get them elected. Now is the time to get behind your party, and help us turn this state around by donating to the Illinois Green Party! Together, we can make great things happen in 2018.
Don't let your local elected officials lower the minimum wage in your community and take away your sick leave. Your elected officials are holding last minute poorly advertised rush meetings to pass an ordinance to Opt Out of the Cook County Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Ordinance. As it stands now, the Cook County Ordinance will increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour on July 1, 2017 and continue to increase to $13 an hour by 2020. The ordinance also requires that employers provide sick leave to eligible employees. Your elected officials want to take action when they think no one is looking and we have given up. This behavior is shameful and will not be tolerated.
If you want to take a stand and be heard, here are the times and locations of these rush meetings to lower your minimum wage and take away your sick leave:
- Evanston meeting tomorrow (Friday 6/30/17) at 9:30am @ 2100 Ridge Avenue Evanston, IL
- Oak Park meeting tomorrow (Friday 6/30/17) at 4:30pm @ Council Chambers of Village Hall, 123 Madison St., Oak Park, IL
Per The People’s Lobby – Last fall, The People’s Lobby moved the Cook County Board of Commissioners to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 up to $13, starting with an increase to $10 just two weeks from now — on July 1, 2017. Unfortunately, some suburban municipalities are attempting to reverse this victory by passing ordinances to opt-out. In other words, they’re voting to decrease the minimum wage!
When voters in these municipalities took up the questions of paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage in non-binding ballot referendums in recent years, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing workers to earn sick time and mandating a higher minimum wage. These elected officials are putting the interests of the Chamber of Commerce ahead of what the vast majority of local voters think is best for their communities!
We fought hard for this minimum wage increase, and we are organizing grassroots opposition to these votes to decrease the minimum wage. But despite our best efforts, we are losing some of these votes.
Although we wish we didn’t have to fight to preserve the higher minimum wage, every fight is an opportunity to identify people who share our values and grow our power in the suburbs so that we can win bigger and lasting victories in the future.
These are upcoming opt-out votes. If you know someone in (or on the border of) these municipalities, please forward this email and ask them to attend:
- Mon 6/19 6:30p – Des Plaines, 1420 Miner St. (to take a 2nd vote to try to opt out)
- Mon 6/19 7:00p – Oak Park, 123 Madison St. (OAK PARK HAS DECIDED TO NOT OPT-OUT!!! Press conference and then enter the meeting to thank the city council!)
- Tue 6/27 7:00p – Wilmette, 1200 Wilmette Ave.
Check back here for the latest updates regarding this struggle.
This month, The People's Lobby and Fair Economy Illinois launched an amazing 200-mile, 15-day march from Chicago to Springfield in support of a People and Planet First Budget. They have been marching since May 15th, and will be marching to the state capitol on May 30th to present lawmakers with a budget that puts the actual citizens of Illinois first -- not private, corporate interests.
The Illinois Green Party supports and endorses both the People and Planet First Budget and the March to Springfield. We are asking all ILGP members able to make the trip to rally with the marchers in Springfield on their final day, Tuesday May 30th!Read more