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The Racial Justice Online Action Center offers critical analysis on key policy issues and accessible opportunities to promote equity and justice in our communities. By inviting constituents to help spark big change through small, one-click actions, our online action center serves as a low threshold entry point into the broader movement for Black Liberation. Through this initiative, CRGE and WCRJ will grow our powerful base of grassroots racial justice activists and prime the pipeline of progressive Black leadership.

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Take action to end the hyper criminalization of Black communities, reverse mass incarceration, divest public dollars from the prison industry, and foster justice in the court system.  

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Demand that lawmakers eliminate structural barriers and repair harms done to residents most impacted by Illinois’ inhumane and racially targeted prison system.

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End police brutality, corruption and abuse by advocating for community control over law enforcement and divestment of public dollars from the police state.

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Call upon lawmakers to enact legislation that ends racialized hiring and pay discrimination, and guarantees safe, accessible, living wage jobs for all.

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Help transform our local economic system to end racialized wealth disparities and foster equitable financial opportunity for communities of color.

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Tell lawmakers to remove structural barriers to racially equitable and representative democracy.

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Issue Areas
Criminal Justice Reform
Equitable Re-entry
Police Accountability
Workers Rights

Criminal Justice Reform

HB 900 - End Illinois' Prison Pay to Stay Law

HB 900 would repeal the statewide prison “pay-to-stay” law, under which the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is permitted to charge inmates for the cost of their incarceration and to conduct intrusive investigations of their personal financial assets. 

HB 2045 - Ensure Access to Healthcare in Prisons

HB 2045 would protect the human right to healthcare for individuals held in state prisons by preventing the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Department of Juvenile Justice from charging inmates prohibitive co-pay fees for medical care.

HB 221 (Oppose) - Resist Rollbacks on Bail Reform

CRGE opposes HB 221, as it would allow Illinois counties to opt out of the Bail Reform Act, which currently offers presumptively innocent defendants protections from pretrial detention based on an inability to pay a money bond.

HB 3347 - End Wealth Based Pretrial Detention

HB 3347 would abolish monetary bail, require judges to immediately release defendants charged with nonviolent offenses, and restrict the use of pretrial detention to only the most high-risk cases.

HB 1614 - Reform Illinois' Draconian Felony Theft Laws

HB 1614 would reform Illinois’ overly punitive and racially targeted theft laws by increasing the property value threshold for felony theft from $500 to $2000.

Equitable Re-entry

HB 3120 - Employment Equity for Re-entering Workers

HB 3120 would foster job creation for previously incarcerated workers by establishing an employee targeted tax credit program for re-entering job applicants. It would also take steps to reverse mass incarceration by retroactively eliminating mandatory minimum sentences.

HB 2434 - Support Economic Opportunity for Families

HB 2434 would remove the current ban on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for households with members who have been convicted of a drug related felony.

HB 217 - Promote Access to Higher Education for All

HB 217 would prohibit colleges and universities located in Illinois from inquiring about an applicant’s conviction record during the admissions process.

HB 1115 - Restrict the Use of Electronic Monitoring

By proposing a ban on the use of electronic monitoring for individuals who have served their full prison term, HB 1115 would advance justice, equity and liberation for thousands of Illinoisans returning from incarceration each year.

Police Accountability

HB 2112 - Outlaw the Officer Code of Silence

HB 2112 would make it a criminal offense for a member of law enforcement to falsify, misrepresent or withhold facts in investigations of alleged officer misconduct, and require cops to affirmatively report any known false reports made by members of the police force.

HB 152 - Reform Unjust Police Union Contracts

HB 152 would prohibit any measure in a police union collective bargaining agreement that limits a department’s ability to investigate allegations against an employee.

HB 3119 - Hold Officers Accountable for Sexual Abuse

HB 3119 would require that within all police jurisdictions, investigations of officer sexual abuse be conducted by an external police department, rather than by an accused officer’s home agency.

HB 25 - Enforce Prohibitions on Racial Police Profiling

HB 25 explicitly prohibits the act of racial profiling by state and local police and offers civil protections to individuals who are subject to race-based targeting by law enforcement.

Workers Rights

SB 1 - Enact a Statewide $15 Minumum Hourly Wage 

SB 1, which was signed into law in February 2019, will increase Illinois’ hourly minimum wage to $15. Unfortunately, the wage increase will not take full effect for six years and the law allows for a reduced minimum wage for tipped and younger employees.

SB 471 - Secure Paid Sick Days for All Workers

SB 471 would require all Illinois employers to provide full-time employees with a minimum of five days of paid sick leave per year.

SB 1485 - Protect Workers Against Racial Discrimination

SB 1485 would require the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) to establish a telephone hotline and online portal for workers impacted by racial discrimination and harassment to anonymously report and pursue complaints.

SB 1474 - Safeguard Collective Bargaining Rights

SB 1474 would safeguard protections for hundreds of thousands of workers across the state, by prohibiting local governments from enacting anti-labor “Right to Work” ordinances.

Economic Justice

SJRCA 1 - Allow for a More Equitable State Income Tax

SJRCA 1 would initiate an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would allow the state to impose a graduated income tax, creating a path to end the state's current regressive flat tax, which disproportionately burdens low income taxpayers.

HB 2044 - Expand Access to Childcare Assistance

HB 2044 would expand access to Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) by raising the income eligibility threshold from 185% of the federal poverty line to 300%.

HB 1628 (Oppose) - Resist Threats to Public Assistance

HB 1628 proposes stringent restrictions on access to Illinois' public assistance programs, including ongoing drug screening requirements at the applicant’s personal expense, as well as overly burdensome work and job search requirements.

HB 2691 - Increase Access to College Financial Aid

HB 2691 would enable Illinois residents who are not eligible for federal aid to qualify for state aid as well as institutional aid in public universities.

Direct Democracy

SB 2090 - Protects Ballot Access for Every Illinoisan

SB 2090 would protect voting rights for constituents held in pretrial detention by establishing a polling branch in Cook County Jail, improving jail vote-by-mail in other counties, and requiring prisons to provide inmates with accurate information on voting eligibility.

HB 203 - Ends Prison Gerrymandering

HB 203 would end Illinois’ current prison gerrymandering policy under which, for purposes of the U.S. census, an inmate’s residence is counted as the district in which they are temporarily incarcerated, not their permanent home community.

Economic Justice
Direct Democracy
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