From the Desk of John McLees…
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The stakes are high in the November election in two must-win fights for justice here in Illinois, where we can make a difference if we give them our attention for the next 65 days, starting now.
Supporting Election of Reform Prosecutors – Eric Rinehart and Kim Foxx
In addition to supporting the election of Kim Foxx in Cook County: https://www.kimfoxx.com/, please consider devoting time and resources between now and November to electing Eric Rinehart as Lake County State’s Attorney, to bring change to this significant prosecutor’s office that has been run by opponents of reform for 40 years. You can learn more about Eric at: https://rinehartforlakecounty.com/ and about his reform plan at: https://rinehartforlakecounty.com/reform-plan/. He is running to end racial profiling and a culture of wrongful prosecutions, to upgrade the quality of the prosecutors who serve Lake County, and to build trust between all communities and the courthouse.
A former public defender, Eric has caught the attention of the criminal justice reform movement and has earned the endorsements of Kim Foxx and the Real Justice PAC: https://realjusticepac.org/. He has also built a broad coalition of Democratic leaders such as U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider, U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, former State Senator Daniel Biss, State Representatives Bob Morgan, Dan Didech, Sam Yingling, Lindsey LaPointe, and Will.
Eric needs our support to win this race. In addition to contributing to his campaign at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/rinehart1, please consider volunteering at his phone banking link: https://rinehartforlakecounty.com/phone-banking/. Also consider becoming a host for the online campaign event for Eric on Zoom in late September, featuring Kim Foxx, by committing to write or raise $2500: contact Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-876-7472.
Supporting The Fair Tax Amendment
Passage of this amendment to the Illinois Constitution, allowing for a progressive income tax in Illinois, will create a fairer tax system, and it will provide resources needed to fund initiatives required to reform our justice system and to address the root causes of crime in our communities.
This excellent video explains the importance of the Fair Tax proposal:
Please consider participating to the extent that you can in the campaign to approve the Fair Tax, which will require approval by either 60% of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election.
Maximum efforts are needed to defeat the well-financed interests that are opposing approval of the Fair Tax amendment. As discussed in more detail in the very helpful document attached here, you can make a difference:
- Endorse the Fair Tax on behalf of yourself: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/fairtaxendorse and your organization: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/fairtaxorgendorse, and sign up to support the movement https://actionnetwork.org/forms/fairtaxsupport.
- Spread the word on social media: use the hashtag #FairTaxNow and/or tag Vote Yes for Fair Tax at @YesForFairTax for all of your social media posts, making use of the suggestions in the attached document for text to use in drafting your Facebook posts, Tweets and Instagram posts.
- Encourage your friends to vote for the Fair Tax:
- Send them the link to the video, and connect them with https://www.yesforfairtax.org/ for more information.
- Consider organizing a community event to inform people about the importance of the Fair Tax and to encourage them to support it – let Vote Yes for Fair Tax know about your event at https://bit.ly/HostFairTaxemail, write them at email@example.com to get a tailored slide deck for your event, and write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a speaker for an your event.
- Submit letters to the editor to educate voters about the Fair Tax, making use of the helpful suggestions in the attached document.
- Sign up for phone banking in support of the Fair Tax taking place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (soon to be expanded to weekend times as well) at: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-to-phone-bank-illinois-voters/.
- Learn of other ways to volunteer by writing to email@example.com.
- Get access to additional resources for supporting the Vote Yes for Fair Tax Campaign (available at https://www.yesforfairtax.org/resources/) by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Things to Note
The Getting Involved section and other Sections of the Website also highlight some important new resources:
- on racial disparities in mass incarceration, on the devastating impact of residency restrictions in Illinois,
- on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission’s Final Report and Recommendations on Pretrial Practice,
- on reforming juvenile justice in Illinois, on the accomplishments of Kim Foxx as Cook County State’s Attorney,
- on the need for legislative changes on the imposition of court costs, fines and fees, on how governors can use their clemency power to liberate thousands of people who are unjustifiably incarcerated in state prisons, on the impact of parole and probation in feeding the mass incarceration crisis,
- on the “Justice for Black Lives” resolution passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners to reallocate funds from the Cook County Jail to urgent community needs, and
- on additional resources for understanding prisons, policing and punishment.