Wednesday, February 20 - Fight Injustice in Chicago / Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act / Election Judges Needed
Actions You Can Take Today
Action 1: Fight for justice in Chicago by attending two important events:
Action 2: Call on your MoCs to support reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
Action 3: Election Judges needed for the Chicago Election on Tuesday, February 26 -- pay is $200
Action 1: Fight the Gang Database and Cop Academy in Chicago TODAY and TOMORROW
Fight the Gang Database
In Cook County, the sheriff's department has managed a database of at least 25,000 people called the Regional Gang Intelligence Database (RGD) since the early 2000s. According to a ProPublica investigation, the list includes “hundreds whose gangs aren’t known and hundreds who are dead.”
Authorities from 371 different agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have access to the data, and could potentially use it to target individuals. The inclusion of a person's name on the database can adversely affect employment, housing, bail/bond and parole decisions, and lead to false arrest, deportation, citizenship, and other life devastating consequences.
You can help protest the Chicago Gang Database TODAY at the Erase the Gang Database Press Conference at noon at City Hall, 5th Floor (Cook County Side).
Stop the Cop Academy
Additionally, as the city closes schools, cuts services, and hikes taxes and fees on working people, Rahm Emanuel and his allies such as Ald. Deb Mell are pushing forward with plans to spend $95 million on a new academy for police.
The #NoCopAcademy campaign is an effort supported by community organizations across Chicago that want to see $95 million invested in our communities rather than police training grounds.
You can support that effort TOMORROW at the Chicago Plan Commission Meeting at 10 a.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor.
Action 2: Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), landmark legislation first passed with bipartisan support in 1994, had it’s funding expire on February 15th after Congress failed to include it in the compromise federal spending bill passed the day before. The VAWA was initially set to expire last September, however Congress approved short-term stopgap funding legislation while negotiations continued.
The act establishes and funds the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women and provides funding for the investigation and prosecution of domestic and other interpersonal violence, stalking, and sexual assault. In July of 2017, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a reauthorization bill that would not only reauthorize funding for VAWA's existing programs but also establish new policies to help abuse victims remain in stable housing, expand red-flag laws to block people convicted of dating abuse or stalking from accessing guns, and broaden protections against abuse for Native American women. Unfortunately, the legislation failed to pass due to Congressional Republican push back on expanding the protections provided by the act.
With a new Congress now in place, Rep. Jackson Lee is again pushing forward with a new and expanded VAWA reauthorization bill. Congress must act quickly to restore funding for crucial programs while also modernizing the legislation to be more inclusionary.
Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506
Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952
Find your rep’s contact info
Script: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [zip code] and a member of Indivisible. ’m calling to support reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act to ensure the continuation of crucial programs protecting people from domestic violence. I also fully support the expansion of the act to include
(pick 2-3 reasons important to you):
adding protections for transgender individuals,
broadening protections for Native American women,
helping abuse victims remain in stable housing,
expanding red-flag laws to block people convicted of dating abuse or stalking.
Action and script via 5calls.org
Action 3: Election Judges Needed 2/26
Chicago is still in need of election judges for the upcoming election on Tuesday, February 26. A shortage of election judges means longer lines and potentially fewer votes.
If you are a registered Cook County voter who would like to help GOTV by serving as an election judge and get paid $200 for your time, you can learn more and apply here.