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Quick Hit
Mon Nov 11, 2013

Op-Ed: Chicago Faith Leaders Decry Privatization Of Public Sector Jobs

Chicago's faith leaders joined forces to push back against privatization and the loss of public sector jobs.

Drawing on our sacred Scriptures which inform us that all people are created in the image of God, thereby deserving of dignity, we believe all working people need wages and benefits that will sustain them and their families. We further believe that it is in the best interest of a community to have its public-sector jobs held under the auspices of the community, not an outside contractor who too often stands to profit by exploiting the workforce and offering sub-standard services.

The great City of Chicago has witnessed a growing number of government jobs being handed over to the private sector in order to “cut expenses.” However, the decision-making process has not been transparent and there was no opportunity for public review of the private contracts. These decisions have far-reaching consequences and need to be brought into the light of public scrutiny and debate.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
Thu Sep 19, 2013

Pope Francis: It's Time For The Catholic Church To Be More Inclusive

In an interview released Thursday, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church has gotten itself wrapped up in "small things, in small-minded rules", when it comes to the church's hard-line aversion to homosexuality, contraception and abortion. If the church does not change its ways, the Pope says, "the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards."

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," the Pope added. “But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Quick Hit
Fri Jul 19, 2013

Guest Article: Economy of the Squeegee — Carwasheros Organizing Across the Country

The following was written by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of 'A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement', for Truthout.

In major urban centers, car washing is an industry that relies on full-time labor. Like many other low-wage jobs in the American service economy, the workers who perform this labor are mainly adults with families to support, and they are often recent immigrants. Once considered unorganizable, the "carwasheros" (as the carwash employees call themselves) are now standing up. They are demanding to be taken seriously as employees who shouldn't be expected to survive on a teenager's summer salary.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Mar 7, 2013

African American Religious Leaders Join Forces To Call For Higher Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

African-American faith-based leaders from across Illinois called on state legislators to increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $10.65 an hour at a press conference in Chicago Wednesday. 

The leaders urged their elected officials to support Senate Bill 68, which would gradually increase the minimum wage until it reaches $10.65 and go up with the cost of living each year thereafter.

Joel Miles (pictured), senior pastor of Greater Walters AME Zion Church, said raising the minimum wage could help curb the senseless violence that’s taken the lives of too many individuals in his community.

“We have seen individuals turn to illegal and violent activities simply because they are unable to pay their rent, to provide their children with basic food and clothing,” he said Wednesday at the Trinity United Church of Christ.

“No full-time worker in this state of Illinois should earn less than $17,000 a year.”

Quick Hit
by Josh Kalven
Wed Aug 18, 2010

Giannoulias Supports NYC Mosque (Costello On The Other Hand ...)

The uproar over a proposal to build an Islamic center (including a mosque) near the site of ground zero in New York City has to be one of the most infuriating political controversies in recent memory.  As Republicans have fought to keep the facility from being built -- and as President Obama has stuck his neck out in favor of the plan -- many Democrats have remained silent.  Thankfully, Illinois' own Alexi Giannoulias isn't one of them.  "Are we going to talk about tolerance, talk about freedom of religion or are we actually going to practice it?" he