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.

CNOW Action Team Event: Letter Writing for Bresha Meadows

Come join Chicago NOW in supporting Bresha Meadows at our letter writing event on June 28th! Bresha Meadows was just 14 years old when she was incarcerated for defending herself and her family against the violence of her abusive father. During her time in an Ohio juvenile detention center, Bresha has been separated from her family, put on suicide watch, and left without proper access to emotional and psychological support. According to a plea deal submitted this past May, Bresha (now 15 years old) will be moved to a treatment facility at the end of July at her family’s cost. Her case has garnered support from thousands of people from around the world and yet the fight for her freedom persists. Join Chicago NOW in writing letters of support and love to Bresha as well as bring awareness to state criminalization of domestic violence victims and their families.

When: Wednesday, June 28th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Argo Tea at 16 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
Sign Up Now!

Pass along this fact sheet on domestic violence and the criminalization of girls. We hope to see you on June 28th!

Action Alert: ERA in Illinois

Last month, Nevada became the first state in 40 years to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Illinois has the potential to become the next, bringing us closer to a national ERA. A hearing on the Illinois Equal Rights Amendment is scheduled for this Tuesday, April 25th, and your senators need to hear from you. Contact them and fill out a witness slip in support. Visit the ERA Illinois Facebook for more information.