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.

CNOW Statement on Bannon at University of Chicago

As an engaged community organization dedicated to racial justice, LGBTQ equality, and women’s rights, we at the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women would urge the University of Chicago leadership to take a critical look at the message Steve Bannon’s invitation sends to the university and surrounding community. Steve Bannon peddles in racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic, and islamophobic ideology that further marginalizes already underrepresented individuals.

Steve Bannon is one of the most prominent figures in the alt-right movement. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the alt-right is a set of “far-right ideologies” for which at its core is the idea that “‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine white people and ‘their’ civilization.” This ideology embraces “white ethno-nationalism” as a fundamental value. At the heart of the alt-right movement is the idea of white superiority and that white people must have their own state to preserve their culture. Such an ideology is completely inconsistent with the value of fostering a diverse and dynamic campus culture.

We understand the University’s commitment to challenging beliefs and sharing opposition views in order to foster an intellectual discussion. However, we must recognize that there is a difference between opposing views and the normalization of hate speech. When an individual who has scapegoated Muslims, derided the value of women, attacked the LGBTQ community, and pushed for white identity politics is invited to speak, it sends a strong message contrary to the message of inclusion and critical dialogue espoused by the University.

I, personally, as the President of Chicago NOW and an alumna of the college, was very dismayed to hear that invitation was extended on the campus I was privileged to call my home for four amazing years. As a Latina and an ally to marginalized communities, I feel it is necessary to urge my alma mater to hold tight to the values of openness and acceptance that it instilled in me.

In Solidarity,

Paloma Delgadillo
President of the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women
Bachelors of Arts 2015, University of Chicago

Today is the 45th Anniversary of Roe v Wade

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the historical Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Roe v Wade was supposed to signify an end to women’s fight to decide how, when, and with whom to have a family. Instead, in an industrialized county with one of the highest maternal mortality rates, women continue to face constant attacks on their ability to access safe abortions.

Chicago NOW recognizes a woman’s right to choose as one of the core tenants of feminism, while also appreciating the intersectional impacts on women’s reproductive health. We will not stop fighting until all women have access to safe, legal abortion.

Photo: 1/16/2018, CNOW President Paloma Delgadillo speaks at a press conference advocating against tax payer dollars being used to fund a Catholic healthcare system that denies abortion and other basic reproductive services to women. Credit Men4Choice

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.

City Finance Committee to vote today on TIF financing of Presence Health

Due to Presence Health’s restrictions on birth control and reproductive healthcare, the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women continues to oppose granting the proposed $5.5 million TIF subsidy funded by city of Chicago taxpayer money. Subsidies for healthcare must affirm and protect all people’s right to bodily autonomy and as such should only be granted to healthcare providers that offer comprehensive reproductive services.

This proposal shows the incredible reach Presence Health already has in neighborhoods across the City of Chicago. As the largest nonprofit healthcare system in Illinois, Presence Health is responsible for the care of thousands of Chicagoans. As care providers like Presence, who do not provide contraceptives or other key health procedures, take up more and more space in our healthcare system, options for people seeking what is a natural and sometimes necessary part of their healthcare become fewer and fewer.

“If Presence receives more funding, access to women’s health services will decrease even more,” writes former Chicago NOW board member Christina Tanner. “I was director of midwifery and women’s health services for a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that had a partnership with a Catholic hospital in Evanston. We had to put up a separate clinic down the street to provide birth control.”

Chicago NOW respects the right of any person to choose Presence Health’s preferred method of Natural Family Planning, but we believe that healthcare providers should not present this as the sole available option. Especially in our current political climate in which access to basic health care is continuously being threatened, we believe our tax dollars should be invested in providing quality health care for all Chicagoans, and to providers that make all contraceptive and reproductive care options accessible and affordable for anyone who needs them.

We hope the City Council Finance Committee will consider the need for women—and all people—to have affordable, accessible and informed reproductive care access in making their decision whether or not to invest taxpayer dollars in Presence Health.