Give Your Choice A Voice Part 2???


As members read in the May newsletter, Give Your Choice A Voice was a great success! We had so many individuals who wanted to share their story but were unable to because of time constraints. Well good news, members! Chicago NOW has decided to host a second Give Your Choice A Voice this year in August! Coming soon to a Chicago neighborhood near you, we will have more speakers, comedians and musical acts all sharing their stories and celebrating choice. Stay tuned to the newsletter, facebook and twitter for information as the event develops!

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Chicago NOW Board Members to Attend Annual Conference

This year, the National Organization for Women will hold its annual conference at the Florida Hotel in Orlando, Flordia from June 30 – July 2. This year’s theme of “Forward Feminism Not Backing Down Rising Together” will bring attendees inspiring plenary speakers, thought-provoking workshops, and opportunities to engage with feminist organizers from around the country.

This year NOW will elect new leadership as President Terry O’Neill and Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer have fulfilled their terms. The election is a contested one with two slates of candidates. Team Rise Up Now presents China Fortson-Washington as a candidate for president and Monica Weeks for vice-president.  NOWStrong is presenting Toni van Pelt as candidate for president Gilda Yazzie for vice-president. Go to NOW’s website to register and find out more.

Chicago NOW and Illinois NOW will be represented at the meeting and will participate in the election. If you are going to be at the conference let us know by contacting us at info@chicagonow.org.

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Chicago NOW to March in Pride Parade!


On June 25, Chicago NOW will show it’s pride and celebrate equality by marching in the 48th annual Chicago Pride Parade! This year we are partnering with the Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago. Together we will show our pride for the LGBTQ community and stand in solidarity to celebrate equality for all. If you are interested in marching with us, please make sure to register here.

The march will start at Montrose and Broadway and stretches for 2.5 miles. This celebratory event is held in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots and demonstrates the true diversity of the community and the city at large. We hope you will celebrate with us!

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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.

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Action Alert: HB 40 Passes the Illinois Senate!

House Bill 40, which safeguards abortion rights in Illinois, has passed the Illinois Senate with 33 votes. This is a great and important step for ensuring that reproductive choice and access are protected in our state.

HB40 will head to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner, who has previously threatened to veto this bill. This is a flip-flop on reproductive rights for Governor Rauner, who ran on being a “pro-choice Republican” and has donated thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood.

If we want to see this pass, we need everyone on deck. Please call Governor Rauner today at 217-782-0244 (Springfield) or 312-814-2121 (Chicago) and demand he stick by his word as a “pro-choice Republican” and sign HB40 into law. Together, we can ensure Illinois won’t go back.

 

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Give Your Choice A Voice A Success

On April 26, 2017, approximately 50 people turned out to support Chicago NOW’s annual Give Your Choice a Voice event. This event provided a space for individuals to share and listen to stories about reproductive choice and bodily autonomy. This year, Chicago NOW partnered with the Midwest Access Coalition. Over $750 was raised of which half was given to MAC to further their mission of allowing people the ability to fully control their reproductive outcomes. Thanks to all who came out!
Give Your Choice a Voice 2017

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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)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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