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LAC Action Assembly 2012
Round Up – May 7, 2012
On Sunday, May 6th, over 700 LAC members and allies joined together for a powerful, if stormy, afternoon. The theme of the assembly was “Power with a Purpose” adapted from the 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose…”
25 LAC leaders spoke at the 90 minute event, which highlighted LAC’s work on police interactions with transgender individuals; preservation and creation of affordable housing; local access to healthcare and state charity care reform; and just budgets on the state and federal levels. Another 2 dozen leaders were involved in planning the event, coordinating logistics, and engaging with the media.
The purpose of the event is to engage and excite local leaders, and to move LAC issues forward. We had 11 elected officials present, including Cook County Board President Preckwinkle, Illinois Senate President Cullerton, Congressman Danny Davis and 4 local aldermen.
LAC leaders gained strong commitments from the officials on the following issues:
Senate President Cullerton agreed to help pass a bill that would require Illinois corporations to report on the taxes paid to the state of Illinois. This is not currently public information. At LAC’s urging, he has drafted a strong bill, SB 282, and will be introducing it this week. The other 3 state representatives present (Feigenholtz, Williams and Harris) agreed to sponsor and push for passage of the bill.
Alderman Michele Smith from Lincoln Park committed to work with LAC’s Children’s Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Coalition to demand more than the 10% affordable housing required when the hospital land is redeveloped. The coalition is working with Alderman Smith to gain 200 affordable units in the new development, which would be the first new affordable housing in Lincoln Park in decades.
All 4 aldermen present (Smith, Waguespack, Tunney and Cappleman) agreed to work with LAC and support a local ordinance to preserve single room occupancy hotels and protect the tenants of those buildings.
The state representatives agreed to work on legislation that will streamline and simplify the charity care application process at non profit hospitals.
While no police were present because of a department conflict, leaders spoke about the need for transgender detainees to be treated with respect and reported on LAC’s negotiations with the CPD on a policy.
The assembly ended with a call to action for the entire body. After 40 year in the community, the Counseling Center of Lake View closed its doors last week dues to cuts and changes in state funding for community based mental health services. The assembly agreed to call Governor Quinn and Speaker Madigan and demand that they stop balancing the Illinois budget on the backs of the most vulnerable. LAC and our partners have identified nearly $1 billion in corporate tax loopholes and giveaways that, if closed, could help shore up some of the budget and alleviate the cuts to human services.
All in all, it was a successful afternoon, and people are ready for the work ahead!
See photos HERE.