Chicago NOW participates in Illinois Resistance Fair!

On Saturday, April 8, Chicago NOW participated in the Illinois Resistance Fair geared to engage individuals looking for that perfect volunteer experience. Five hundred-fifty future volunteers participated in the fair matching with over 30 chapters of national, state and local organizations who represented political interests, legal, environmental and equality issues.

Chicago NOW received interest from lots of new volunteers and we welcome them to our organization! Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events from our action team. Check our Facebook page for more.

Illinois Resistance Fair 2017

Chicago NOW Board Members Lindsay Eanet and Alexi Madon stand with State Representative Lou Lang (D – Skokie)

CNOW Rallies for Equal Pay

On Tuesday, April 4th, Chicago NOW sponsored and participated in Chicago’s 7th annual Equal Pay Day Rally. Equal Pay Day marks when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. At the rally, many community leaders spoke about the impact that earning .80 cents to the dollar has on women, specifically, how it prevents women from saving for retirement and reduces the Social Security benefits they receive. Annually, the wage gap represents $10,500 in lower annual earnings for all women compared to men.

Though the Equal Pay Act passed over 50 years ago, the wage gap hasn’t closed due to a myriad of issues. To help close the gap, Chicago NOW actively advocates for the Paycheck Fairness Act, strong family leave policies, expanded access to affordable child care, and an end to allowing potential employers asking about salary history during the hiring and interview process.

While April 4th is observed as Equal Pay Day for all women, it is important to note that the wage gap between men and women is magnified amongst women of color. White women and Asian women are paid just 75% and 85% of what white men do, respectively. But African-American women receive just 63% of what white men do; and Latinas face even bigger disadvantages, at 54%.

As we observed April 4th as Equal Pay Day for all women, Chicago NOW will also observe July 31st as Equal Pay Day for African-American Women, and November 2nd for Latinas.

Chicago NOW Reaches Out at Illinois Resistance Resource Fair!

On April 8, members of Chicago NOW participated in the Illinois Resistance Resource Fair. This event brought several different kinds of volunteer organizations together in one room as a kind of volunteer resource matchmaking service. Attendees were able to visit with exhibiting organizations and learn more about their mission, vision and engagement opportunities. With over 550 people in attendance, Chicago NOW connected with many supporters who were looking to join in our activities. We welcome all our new members and look forward to working with you in the future!

Women’s rights – the bargaining chip! Op-Ed by CNOW Board Member Pratiksha Menon

When asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough if the Democrats could “be open to candidates that may not be rigidly pro-choice, may not be rigidly pro-gun control?”, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said “Yes.”

The self-styled messiah of the proletariat, Sanders, who ran on a progressive platform during the 2016 election, seems to be ignoring the concerns of the very people he claims to represent. In a populist attempt to pander to the white-working class voter base, Sanders is going back on key issues that organizations like NOW have been fighting for years.

Understandably, many are looking to find a leader in these times of party upheaval and based on his campaign, Sanders seemed to be a shoo-in. However, in light of this and Sanders’ gradual aversion to what he calls “identity politics”, we need to question whether he is yet another politician who will use women’s rights as a bargaining chip to gain political currency with those who have repeatedly demonstrated how little they care for gender equality.

Senator Sanders, if you are not rigidly pro-choice then you are pro-poverty. The number of low-income women and women of color who have abortions are disproportionately high. Do the math. Denying them access to basic healthcare will only exacerbate their existing conditions, often leading them to stay on in undesirable situations of domestic violence and emotional abuse.

As we fight tooth and nail against the government’s overreach into our reproductive rights, we need voices who will unequivocally fight for us, without thinking of us as merely an alternative vote bank. We need to keep our representatives on their toes, sending them the message that reneging on their word is not acceptable. Our liberty will not be sacrificed at the altar of political expediency.

Being pro-choice is not a matter of debate. We resist. We persist.

Chicago NOW participates in 5th Annual Volunteer Expo!

On February 26, members of the Board of Directors for Chicago NOW recently participated in the Chicago Volunteer Expo. Held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park, over 85 organizations gathered to show Chicagoans their missions and how they could be participatory. Chicago NOW had over 45 individuals sign up to take part and we look forward to working with our new participants!