CNOW Speaks Out Against Sexual Abuse in CPS

There has recently been increased national attention on keeping our students safe while they are at school. This debate typically revolves around the school shooting epidemic, but Chicago Public Schools have another epidemic that has yet to be dealt with appropriately.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported an extensive analysis concluding that over the last decade, police have investigated 523 reports of children being sexually assaulted inside CPS. In many of these reported cases, CPS failed to alert child welfare investigators or police, despite being mandated reporters. In some cases, inadequate background checks led to employment of educators who had been arrested or convicted of sex crimes against minors. Coaches, security guards, teachers, and fellow students have been sexually assaulting children with little to no accountability.

We know that if there are 523 reported cases of sexual misconduct, there are hundreds of instances that have gone unreported due to students’ understandable fear of retaliation, or the proven lack of consequence for perpetrators.

Chicago NOW takes a strong stand against sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially when it affects our youngest generation. The damage that CPS has caused these students is insurmountable and needs to be rectified immediately. CPS must be held accountable to protect its student body. Chicago NOW asks CPS to publicly indicate how they plan to protect their students moving forward.

http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/chicago-public-schools-sexual-abuse/#gaddy

2018 Women Who Dared Nominations Are Open!

The Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women is seeking nominations for Women Who Dared, our annual award ceremony recognizing the vital work of women making a difference in Chicago. Each fall, CNOW honors one elected official and one community leader working to serve and uplift women and girls in our city and beyond.

Recent past honorees on the elected official side include Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, City Clerk Susana Mendoza, and Judge Gloria Chevere. Community leader honorees have included Tamar Manasseh of Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings, Charlene Carruthers of BYP100, and Scheherazade Tillet of A Long Walk Home. At the Women Who Dared event later this year, you will hear from these amazing women and be part of the conversation about CNOW’s future.

Now, we want to hear from you! Click here to nominate a Chicago woman who has made a difference in the past year. We can’t wait to hear about all the amazing Women Who Dared in Chicago!

Chicago NOW Partners with the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition to Stem the Tide of Violence Against Women

Gun violence is a feminist concern.  It is five times more likely that a domestic violence situation will turn deadly if a gun is present. On average, 50 American women are murdered monthly by intimate partners through gun violence. American women are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries.

Federal law prohibits gun sales to persons with domestic abuse convictions.  But that does not stop these persons from trying to obtain guns.  One in seven unlawful gun buyers stopped by a federal background check has been convicted of domestic violence. Because abusers can avoid federally mandated background checks by buying guns from unlicensed sellers, these sales pose a significant danger to women.

The Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition has been working tirelessly to close this loop-hole.  Just before the primary, the Illinois Legislature passed the Gun Dealer Licensing Act (SB1657). Governor Rauner vetoed it.  It’s now up to your state legislators to override the veto.

Will you call your legislator today?

Will you help work to pass the Gun Dealer Licensing Act and other important safety measures in Illinois?

Over the next few months, we will be presenting and promoting ways that you can get involved to help pass common-sense gun reform in Illinois.

Join us.

We have an action item for all CNOW supporters this week:

We need you to contact your State Senator and ask them to VOTE YES to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB 1657.

Please go to this website to be connected to your IL State Senator. Please email them first and then call them for extra points.

ILLINOIS ACTION ALERT: The No Salary History act is back!

The No Salary History act that Governor Rauner vetoed is back in the play! According to the Illinois General Assembly page, HB4163 would prohibit an employer from: “(i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, and (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary.”

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Without legal protections to keep earnings information confidential, wage gaps are perpetuated. For ever $21 a white man makes, Asian women make $18, white women make $17, black women make $13, and Hispanic women make $12.

Let your state senator and representative know what you think! It only takes a minute to support HB4163 by filling out this witness slip.

You can also find your representative’s contact info here.

TIF Funding for Presence Health Passes

Yesterday the Chicago City Council voted 31-18 in favor of granting $5.5 million in TIF funding to Presence Health, a Catholic healthcare system that denies abortion, birth control, and other basic reproductive care to women.

Chicago NOW continues to strongly oppose this measure.

Presence Health, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the aldermen that voted in favor of this measure would like us to think they are doing a service to underserved communities by using our tax dollars to build new clinics in Avondale, Belmont-Cragin, Calumet Heights, and West Town. They would like us to think that Chicago NOW is prioritizing abortion over race, as these clinics would primarily serve people of color. What they have lost sight of, however, is that it is disenfranchised women, in particular women of color, who stand to lose the most by a lack of access to adequate reproductive care.

Chicago NOW emphatically supports access to effective, quality healthcare for all people of Chicago and recognizes the critical role that race plays in health outcomes. That said, we do not consider a healthcare system that routinely denies basic services to be the quality healthcare that Chicagoans deserve.

Those that voted in favor of this measure would also like us to think that it is adequate for Presence providers to refer patients out to facilities that can perform abortions. Chicago NOW has higher standards. As Paloma Delgadillo, President of CNOW states, “without convenient access to birth control, and yes, safe and legal abortion, women are left unable to control their fertility and their futures.”

It is worth noting that this vote was one of the closest in Mayor Emanuel’s tenure thus far. Do not lose sight of the fact that our voices have been heard on this issue, and must continue to be heard. Chicago NOW encourages its members to call their aldermen and demand to know how they voted today. If they voted in favor of this measure, demand that they justify why they voted to deny women access to quality reproductive healthcare.

Thank you for all your hard work, and thank you to the 18 aldermen who voted No.