A national report released Tuesday aims to shed light on the hidden impacts mass incarceration has on families and their economic stability, health and well-being.
Over 20 community-based organizations from across the country, including the Chicago-based Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ), spent more than a year developing the report, which is based on over 1,100 surveys of formerly incarcerated people, families with incarcerated loved ones and employers.
“Everyone knows about the $80 billion that our cities and states and the federal government (spend) locking people up, but what is not known is the amount of money that we incur when ourselves and loved ones get locked up,” WCRJ’s Executive Director DeAngelo Bester said at a Tuesday press conference in Chicago.
Unpredictable and non-standard job schedules can negatively impact the development of children and adolescents whose parent work such shifts, and policy changes are needed to improve workplace scheduling practices, experts argue in a recent issue brief published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
Children of all ages whose parents have erratic or non-standard job schedules are at higher risk for adverse cognitive and behavioral outcomes, reads the brief, authored by University of New South Wales lecturer Leila Morsy and EPI research associate Richard Rothstein.
“When parents can’t predict when they will or won’t be working, their entire home lives are disrupted — they engage less with their children in critical activities like reading and telling stories,” Morsy said in a statement. “In many states, parents working irregular schedules even lose eligibility for child care subsidies.”
Chicago Northwest Side residents attended a town hall meeting Wednesday night to speak out against budget cuts and the “poverty wages” impacting their communities.
Those at the town hall, hosted by Communities United, formerly the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, called for progressive revenue options to tackle the city and state’s fiscal issues and highlighted their support for a $15 hourly minimum wage in Chicago.
“Because of budget cuts, essential programs are being cut for our young people and community, and students are being denied educational programs,” said Communities United leader Manolita Huber. “And because of poverty wages, low-wage workers can’t even afford to pay the rent, let alone put food on the table.”
Demonstrators gathered outside of several downtown financial institutions this week to launch a social media campaign highlighting the fact that while the financial crisis might be over, many are still at risk of eviction from their homes.
The demonstration began outside of the Citibank on 11 South LaSalle St. Tuesday, where demonstrators chanted, “We got sold out, banks got bailed out.”
The ralliers continued on to four other financial institutions in the area: Chase Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Fannie Mae.
This demonstration marks the launch of the Fannie/Freddy 99 Coalition’s national social media campaign, called “We Are the Faces of Eviction.”
The Chicago City Council’s Progressive Reform Caucus released a list of fiscal reforms the group would like to see implemented as a means to achieve “fairness for working families in the 2016 budget process.”
Young Illinois adults of color are facing significant disparities in employment, wages and educational attainment, a new report shows.
The Millennial research and advocacy group Young Invincibles put out the report, arguing that greater investments in higher education are key to closing the gaps.
“Creating more opportunities for people of color to attain higher education is a critical step towards addressing the striking disparities in employment and wages in Illinois and nationwide,” Eve Rips, Midwest director of Young Invincibles, said in a statement. “With Illinois students paying some of highest tuition in the country, proposed cuts to higher education could further fuel racial disparities in education attainment.”