Chicagoans will be taking to the streets today to call for an
extension of unemployment benefits as a push to "Save Christmas for the
Unemployed." The protest will take place at Federal Plaza today at 3:30 p.m.
“Millions of people in this country are still out of work with little
hope of finding a job anytime soon,” said Robert Reiter, Jr., secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor, in a press release. "We cannot end
federal unemployment benefits right now. This essential lifeline is the
only thing keeping families together in their homes with food on the
table. Our economy will lose even more jobs if these folks don’t have
the ability to spend money on their basic needs."
Unemployed Chicago activists with Chicago Jobs with Justice and the Chicago Federation of Labor will also be gathering signatures for a petition calling for an extension of the benefits. The final petition will be sent to U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.
“We will be gathering petition signatures to send to Kirk and Durbin so they know that this is important to their constituents here in Illinois,” said Susan Hurley, executive director of Chicago Jobs with Justice. "Two hundred plus people from Chicago have been in D.C. all week trying to meet with legislators to let them know that we need jobs and benefits now. Today we are making sure people know that this holiday season is going to be tough enough for the unemployed. We have got to maintain this lifeline for folks still looking for work."