By Niya K. Kelly, Director of State Legislative Policy, Equity and Transformation
COVID-19 Related Voting Procedures
Due to the pandemic, individuals are encouraged to vote early or by mail to minimize crowds and long waits on Election Day. Those who request vote-by-mail ballots have options for how to drop them off. Local Boards of Election throughout Illinois are setting up secure ballot drop boxes for those who would prefer not to mail in their ballots. Voters can visit this portal on the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website to find their nearest ballot drop box location. Chicago drop box locations can be found here.
PLEASE NOTE: Drop boxes will NOT be available at your precinct polling place on Election Day. If you bring a ballot there, you’ll have to surrender the vote-by-mail ballot and vote a new ballot in person.
In Chicago, voters can also drop off their vote-by-mail ballots at every Early Voting Site beginning October 14, or return their ballots directly to the Chicago Board of Elections at 69 W. Washington on the sixth floor. And of course, vote-by-mail ballots can also be returned in the mail, but must be postmarked by November 3, Election Day. An informational palm card is available here.
Continue reading Election Day 2020 is November 3: Here’s how to vote if you are experiencing homelessness
On Thursday, October 1, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Associate Board will host Pour Over Your Ballot, an educational happy hour to inform Illinois voters about the Fair Tax.
Register to attend here.
The first question on Illinois ballots this November will ask voters whether they approve of a transition from a flat income tax to a progressive one.
Continue reading Associate Board to host Fair Tax educational happy hour
Updated September 21
By Sam Carlson, Research and Outreach Manager
Please note: Since the publication of this blog post, the Governor’s moratorium was re-issued, now expiring November 22. Though it doesn’t replace or nullify the CDC moratorium, the state moratorium has more protections and should take precedent until it expires.
Fact sheet available here
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s eviction moratorium is set to expire this Saturday, September 19, if he does not issue another order continuing it. Without this state protection against evictions, Illinoisans will be relying on the federal moratorium. Announced by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at the beginning of this month, the federal moratorium will halt most evictions of qualified tenants through December 31, 2020.
The CDC-issued moratorium has fewer protections than previous Illinois moratoria. It is imperative that Illinois tenants understand these changes. Continue reading Eviction moratorium 101
Horizons Creative Writing Outreach welcomed participants, grassroots leaders, staff and board to attend its annual writers showcase virtually this year. Our September 1 event, held via Zoom, featured original poetry read by grassroots leaders with lived experience of homelessness and their children.
Horizons is a creative writing outreach program offered at family shelters, facilitated by Special Projects Organizer Claudia Cabrera. Twice-a-month sessions involve more than 100 people a year.
Continue reading 2020 Horizons Creative Writing Showcase goes virtual
Are you a current student or recent graduate who cares about social justice issues? Are you interested in learning more about community organizing? Are you looking to get valuable field experience to strengthen your resume?
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is convening a cohort of students and recent graduates to help expand our virtual organizing footprint, register voters, and pass a Fair Tax in Illinois! By participating in this cohort, you will learn key principles of community organizing, network with other students, and professionals passionate about social justice and better understand how to be civically engaged to address homelessness and other social justice issues. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the cohort. Continue reading CCH to convene a cohort of students to help expand virtual organizing
By Samuel Carlson, Research and Outreach Manager
On Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker issued an Executive Order that extends the Illinois eviction moratorium through September 19, 2020.
This means Illinois landlords cannot file eviction cases and a Sheriff cannot enforce eviction actions during this time.
In Cook County, limited exceptions exist only in cases where a tenant “poses a direct threat to the health and safety” of other tenants or an “immediate and severe risk to property” (First Municipal District, Extending General Order 2020-23).
At least half a million Illinois households could be at risk of eviction–a crisis disproportionately impacting Black tenants. In Chicago, landlords evict tenants far more often in majority Black neighborhoods, per recent data collected by the U.S. Census. Black and Latinx tenants are also more likely to have an eviction case result in their eviction. Continue reading Statewide eviction moratorium extended through September 19, yet threat of increased homelessness remains
CCH is proud to be an affiliate charity for the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Though the in-person event was canceled, many of our runners are choosing to run a virtual race between October 5 – 11. We are now recruiting additional team members to run a one mile, 5k, 8k, or half marathon distance as part of our Team to End Homelessness.
Continue reading Join the Chicago Marathon Virtual Race
On Wednesday morning, advocates and individuals with lived experience of homelessness held a virtual vigil to call out the increasing pattern of violence against people living on the streets and demand the city interrupt this pattern by making a significant investment in housing. In July, at least two violent attacks were made on individuals experiencing homelessness in Grant Park, one of which resulted in the death of 58-year-old Aaron Curry.
Tom Gordon, a resident of an encampment in Uptown and volunteer leader with Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) shared his take on the recent violence, “We may be unsheltered and living on the streets, but we are still human beings. The murder of Aaron Curry, the daily pattern of trauma and violence that individuals like me experience – including harassment by the general public or being evicted from the only place we can call home – all of this could be prevented if the city prioritized housing. It’s not right.” Continue reading Community vigil honors life of murdered homeless man and calls on city to prioritize safety through housing by investing an additional $100 million a year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently issued guidance to schools and districts on how to best support students experiencing homelessness in the upcoming school year. The guidance, Supporting Homeless Students During the 2020-21 School Year Guidance for Schools and Districts, is posted on ISBE’s website both on the Homeless Education page, and the COVID-19 page. The Guidance was also distributed statewide via the Superintendent’s Weekly Message.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread job loss, health complications, and unstable housing leaving many more families and children homeless or at risk of homelessness. Some temporary eviction prevention measures have been put in place statewide, but those measures are expiring if not renewed by state or federal action. Dramatically increased number of evictions in the state are expected. As a result, more students are expected to lose their housing during the 2020-21 school year and will be entitled to educational rights and services pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Act. Continue reading Illinois State Board of Education releases guidance document on supporting homeless students, with collaboration and input from CCH staff, leaders
November 3, 2020 will be a historic Election Day. In addition to deciding who will be in the White House in 2021, Illinois voters will also close the loop on a 20-year conversation: Do we pass a Fair Tax in Illinois?
Right now, Illinois is one of eight states in the country that has a flat income tax, at a rate of 4.95%. This means everyone from teachers, nurses, and delivery workers, to real estate moguls and corporate CEOs pays the same rate.
A flat tax rate may seem fair on the surface, but the reality is far from it. Flat tax rates place more of the financial burden on middle- and low-income households, and less on millionaires and billionaires. Under the current system, the top 1% of Illinois earners pay only about 7% of their income in state and local taxes, while middle- and low-income families pay up to twice that percentage. Continue reading CCH supports a Fair Tax in Illinois