Faith leaders and members of the Raise Illinois coalition filled up a 68 passenger Amtrak train car to travel to Springfield on the morning of January 31st, to call on legislators to pass Senate Bill 1565, which is the bill to raise the minimum wage in Illinois.
Once in Springfield, Raise Illinois held a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda with 34 faith leaders, an economist, minimum wage workers and supporters, and legislators. Clergy unveiled a scroll of over 200 names of faith leaders that have signed on to the Raise Illinois petition to raise the minimum wage. Senator Kimberly Lightford, the lead sponsor of the bill, spoke at the press conference as well as Reverend Norval Brown, Reverend Jackie Lynn, Reverend Bonnie Osei-Frimpong and economist Ron Baiman.
After the press conference, Raise Illinois broke up into groups and went to legislators’ offices to present a copy of the petition and speak to them about the importance of passing SB 1565 this year.
Raise Illinois also brought a copy of our Illinois Voter petition with over 1,000 signatures of voters that support raising the minimum wage. Those that signed the petition were invited to include comments. Christina E. from Hanover Park, Illinois said, “Raise It! It’s at a rate that makes it unlivable. Its ridiculous to think that a person making $8.25 can afford everyday cost of living items and their bills, plus paying off any debts and trying to get ahead on that small amount of pay. It’s just not reasonable! The economy will never be stimulated if we cannot even afford to live.”
Progress Illinois, “Faith Leaders Call On Springfield To Raise The Minimum Wage“
WICS ABC News, “Top Stories” (go to 2:20 minute mark of Top Stories video)
Chicago Now, “Minimum wage in Illinois would help economy, report says“
Huffington Post, “Raise Illinois: Why I’m Going To Springfield Tomorrow” by Reverend C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago, a member of the Raise Illinois coalition
Video of our press conference and of Senator Kimberly Lightford speaking about why SB 1565 is so important and neccessary: