On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illinois religious leaders urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature on Monday to resolve state employee contract negotiations in a "peaceful manner."
Monday marks 48 years since King was killed in Memphis, where he was supporting striking sanitation workers represented by AFSCME.
The Rev. Robert Jones of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side joined other faith leaders and state workers, represented by AFSCME Council 31 and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, during a Monday morning press conference organized by Arise Chicago.
"We come together today because Dr. King's message of what government should be continues to resonate. We want Illinois to be a place where no one is left behind," Jones said at the Chicago Temple building. "We want Illinois to be a place where service providers are not demonized but cherished for their sacrifices that they make and respected for the professional services that they provide. This is the kind of Illinois that we want."
Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin threw her support behind Donald Trump in his race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, making the two eclectic and polarizing GOP figures official political bedfellows some two weeks before the primary elections begin.
"Are you ready for the leader to make America great again?" Palin said Tuesday at a Trump rally at Iowa State University. "Are you ready to stump for Trump? I'm here to support the next president of the United States - Donald Trump."
"He is beholden to no one but we the people. How refreshing? He is perfectly positioned to let you make America great again. Are you ready for that Iowa? No more pussyfootin' around. Our troops deserve the best, you deserve the best. ... Are you ready for a commander-in-chief who will let our warriors do their job and kick ISIS' ass," she asked the crowd to thunderous applause.
Over 800 Wheaton College alumni have signed a letter stating they will consider withholding donations from their alma mater if the administration does not end its termination proceedings against political science professor Larycia Hawkins.
Wheaton College started the firing process this week for a political science professor who was put on administrative leave last month after stating in a Facebook post that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
The U.S. Supreme Court's new term starts Monday, and it could take up cases involving abortion, union fees, birth control coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act, affirmative action in higher education and state voting districts.
The State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a group working with state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country, compiled the list. SiX was formed in an effort to counter the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that crafts and pushes conservative, corporate-friendly state legislation.
According to SiX's review, the top 10 state-level progressive measures approved thus far in 2015 involve the following: closing the wage gap for women and minorities; accommodating pregnant workers; implementing earned sick leave; expanding access to higher education; tackling the student debt crisis; reducing carbon emissions; modernizing voter registration; repealing the death penalty; increasing police accountability and public safety; and preventing abusers and stalkers from obtaining guns.
"We are convinced that progressives are right on the issues and the SiX review of the states bears that out. From advancing the economic security of working families to improving access to voting we saw that even in a map that is deeply red, progressives were able to achieve some important policy victories in 2015," SiX Executive DirectorNick Rathod said in a statement. "I'm confident that as SiX grows and is able to better resource, train and organize legislators around the country, we can help to see that progressives are able to achieve more of the types of policy victories like those that made the list this year."
After Pope Francis called for climate action in an encyclical on the environment last week, local faith leaders and state Sen. Jacqueline Collins say Illinois lawmakers could help carry out the pope's message by approving a pending clean energy bill.