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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
7:15pm
Thu Jun 23, 2016

Illinois Immigration Reform Advocates Vow To Press On After Supreme Court's Split Vote On Executive Orders (VIDEO)

The U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 split on the case challenging President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration reform and Illinois advocates are expressing their dismay as they plan to press their efforts forward.

The deadlock vote means the president's November 2014 orders to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and install the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) have been blocked for the time being.

The programs would have deferred deportation for three years for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, while also expanding protections for people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and were not covered by the original DACA program. More than 4 million immigrants would have benefited from the orders, 280,000 people living in Illinois.

"This ruling is deeply frustrating and disappointing for all immigrant communities," said Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights CEO Lawrence Benito.  "Instead of being able to move forward with our lives and contributing further to our entire community, immigrants remain vulnerable to the knock on the door that could separate them from their families and from the lives they have made in this country."

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
5:01pm
Tue Jun 21, 2016

Op-Ed: Choice Is A Right We All Must Defend

The following is written by Oren Jacobson, executive director and co-founder of Men4Choice, "an organization that serves as a point of entry for young men to join the fight to protect and expand women's reproductive rights and make choice a voting issue for men."

In November 2010, Tea Party-aligned politicians swept into office at all levels of government under the guise of reducing government influence in our daily lives. That promise was quickly broken by many of those elected, who have since seemed more interested in using the authority of the state to severely limit access to reproductive health services and marginalize the women who make use of them. During the last 6 years, we have actually seen as many anti-choice pieces of legislation adopted by the states as the previous 15 years combined. In 2015, at least one piece of legislation was filed per day that would strip women of their basic rights.

These efforts aren't simply about preventing abortions, though. They are actually designed to make it harder to access basic health care and contraceptive services. For example, Planned Parenthood's abortion services make up roughly three percent of the organization's work, but that hasn't stopped anti-choice legislators from pushing to defund this vital organization that helps millions across the country receive affordable, critical healthcare.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
12:55pm
Wed Jan 13, 2016

UNITE HERE Ad Campaign Targets Moylan On Issue Of Workplace Sexual Harassment (VIDEO)

UNITE HERE Local 1 targeted state Rep. Mary Moylan (D-Des Plaines) with a new ad Wednesday, alleging that the lawmaker made light of a casino worker's claim of sexual harassment at the workplace.

The Rivers Casino buffet server alleges that when she was sexually harassed by a patron at her workplace, higher ups at the facility "took no action" on the complaint, according to the ad, prompting her to contact Moylan's office for further assistance. The union alleges that Moylan "laughed after [the] 21 year-old waitress came forward to share her story of sexual harassment." Moylan's district includes the suburb of Des Plaines, where Rivers Casino is located. 

"Representative Moylan's behavior demonstrates a need for a very public challenge," says UNITE HERE Local 1 President Karen Kent. "We need to show our daughters, nieces, friends and colleagues that we are behind them, that we believe in them, that we've been there, and we're going to end it. I invite leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, public officials to step up and support the young women, the women with the fewest resources, who are making their way in the world."

Meanwhile, Moylan is balking at the union's claims.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:16pm
Wed Dec 2, 2015

Experts Release 'Women's Economic Agenda' To Close Gender Pay Gap, Boost Wage Growth

Declining wages among men drove 40 percent of the progress in closing the U.S. gender wage gap over the past 35 years, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute.

Experts at the Washington, D.C.-based progressive think tank highlighted that finding last month as they unveiled a "Women's Economic Agenda." EPI's 12-point policy agenda looks to improve economic security for women and families by closing the gender pay gap and promoting broad-based wage growth.

"Over the last several decades women have entered the workforce in record numbers and made great strides in educational attainment. Nevertheless, when compared with men, women are still paid less, are more likely to hold low-wage jobs, and are more likely to live in poverty," reads the agenda's accompanying report by EPI's Alyssa Davis and Elise Gould. "Gender wage disparities are present at all wage levels and within education categories, occupations, and sectors--sometimes to a grave degree."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:51pm
Mon Oct 26, 2015

U.S. House Dems Set To Press For Action On Supports For Working Families

U.S. House Democrats are set to hold a day of action Tuesday at the nation's Capitol to promote proposed policies important to working families.

Policy advocates hope the "Working Families Day of Action" will result in more bipartisan support for the legislative proposals, which center around paid sick days, paid family leave, work schedule flexibility, access to affordable child care and equal pay for equal work, among other issues.

As part of the effort, Democratic lawmakers are looking to secure more co-sponsors for the proposed legislation and advocate for a resolution in support of bringing the bills up for a vote.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:07pm
Wed Sep 16, 2015

Unions Boost Weekly Earnings For Illinois Women By $122, Report Shows

Progress Illinois looks at the findings of a recent report exploring the "union advantage for women" in Illinois and nationwide. 

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