As legislators debate raising our minimum wage, workers all over Chicagoland are trying to figure out how to cover their expenses on poor wages. Jobs with Justice and Fight for 15 are having too big events over the next two weeks.

Phone Banks:

There will be phone banks at the JwJ offices all next week (4PM to 8PM) at 333 S. Ashland. Contact Susan Hurley at susanmhurley at gmail to volunteer.

Black Friday Rally:

Friday, November 27th, 9AM at 570 W. Monroe.

McDonald’s Strike:

The week after Black Friday, McDonald’s workers will also be going on strike. We will be inviting people to attend a solidarity rally on Dec.4th. Details will be shared when we have it.

Hello members!

As coalition partners in Raise Illinois, the group that has been organizing for a statewide minimum wage of $10/hour, we are in an important position to continue on the momentum following the midterm elections, where 67% of voters, over 2 million people in all parts of the state, voted to say that we need a higher wage in Illinois.

But our work isn’t over yet: now we need lawmakers in Springfield to hear our voices and pass a bill to #RaiseTheWage!  The good news: they go back for what’s called “veto session” this week, and could take up the minimum wage bill during this session.  We need to keep our grassroots power going strong! We need our lawmakers to hear from us, and we need them to know that we’re demanding action. Not next session. Not next year. We need a higher minimum wage now.

Today there were press conferences around the state urging legislators to get this passed in the coming weeks during the veto session.  And this Thursday, November 20th, hundreds of minimum wage supporters will travel to Springfield for a 10:30 rally and lobby day.  Buses are leaving from several locations in the Chicago area and select cities around the state.  For information on any of these activities, contact Keron Blair (Keron@RaiseIllinoisAction.com) or Ken Snyder (Ken@RaiseIllinoisAction.com).

Even if you can’t go to Springfield Thursday, sign on to this petition to show your support for the raised minimum wage and urge legislators to vote for a higher minimum wage now.  And, for added effect, share it on Facebook and Twitter so your friends can sign on too. Together, we’ll push our lawmakers to pass this bill and provide dignity and decency to millions of working people in our state.

Not sure what to say? Here are some ideas for social posts to raise awareness on your Facebook and Twitter:

“Add your name and tell our legislators to #RaiseTheWage in veto session! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/illinois-general-assembly-1

“Working families can’t wait. The General Assembly convenes next week. Tell them to #RaiseTheWage now! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/illinois-general-assembly-1

“Sign the petition: IL General Assembly, #RaiseTheWage right now! Working people can’t afford to wait any longer! http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/illinois-general-assembly-1

Let me know if you have questions or want to get involved.

In solidarity,
Jes Cook, GEO Outreach Chair

James Kilgore was recently dismissed from the faculty position he held for five years at the Center for African Studies at UIUC. Why? Because an alumnus resurrected James’ old criminal conviction apropos of nothing and the News-Gazette, Urbana’s newspaper, was all too eager to report (for the second time!) on another “radical elite” working for UIUC. (James was convicted for an incident involving a radical left group in the 1970s.) James, who served his time, was completely transparent with UIUC about his background throughout the hiring process and during the course of his employment. James’s colleagues in the Center for African Studies, who recognize his value to the campus as a teacher, scholar, and activist, opposed the decision taken by the Wise administration. This is another example of UIUC administrators buckling under public pressure and unfairly terminating their employment contracts with faculty!
James’s case has been in process since the spring semester. The Board of Trustees will likely take a vote on his case during their upcoming meeting, this Thursday, November 13, in Student Center West (Rooms B & C). James has asked his supporters to be there during the Public Comment section at 11:30 AM. Please join us in supporting James and all University of Illinois employees with prior, irrelevant criminal convictions. Following the Salaita decision, it’s even more important that we stand up for the employment rights of all U of I employees. (As long as we do so civilly, of course.)
If you are able to attend Thursday morning, shoot Amy Livingston (our staff organizer, who brought this case to our attention in the spring) at staff@uic-geo.net or just show up. Hope to see many of you there!