Ben Head's blog

Action Steps 4/18/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 4/18/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Participate in the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools


Friday, April 20 is the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools, the latest in a series of ongoing demonstrations part of the larger movement to end gun violence. Join the action—including supporting local students who may be walking out of class that day—by taking this pledge from Action Network and engaging in an action that will aid in the ending of gun violence in our country.


Don’t Allow History to Be Forgotten


Recent studies have shown that Americans are woefully uninformed when it comes to some of the most important historical events throughout our country’s existence. Whether it’s ignorance of the realities of the Holocaust, denying slavery led to the Civil War, or overlooking other significant moments in the past several centuries, Americans are forgetting—or not learning at all—the historical realities that give us critical perspective on our world today. Commit to spending some time exploring historical resources related to the vital moments in our country’s history using What Every American Should Know.


Be Prepared to Demonstrate


With the raid of the president’s lawyer’s office last week, there has been a resurgence in talk about the possibility that the president may try to remove special counsel Robert Mueller from the Department of Justice investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Groups across the country have put together rapid response demonstration networks that are ready to spring into action should Mueller be fired. Find your preferred demonstration location and add your name to the list of those to be notified in the event of a Mueller firing.

Action Steps 4/11/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 4/11/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Speak Up For Science


On Saturday, April 14, from 1-4 p.m. outside the Field Museum, Chicagoans will participate in Speak Up For Science, an afternoon demonstration and celebration of the vitality and necessity of science in our world. A continuation of the sentiments expressed at the 2017 March for Science, the free public event will include a rally for the importance of science as well as an all-ages science fair. Illinois residents will also get free entry to the Field Museum all day Saturday. Find out more here.


Participate in the Tax March


On Sunday, April 15, from 12-1 p.m. at Daley Plaza, demonstrators will extend the work of the 2017 Tax March to continue to demand release of the president’s tax returns as well as fairer tax law. Tax reforms enacted at the end of 2017 have taken effect since the last march, with an end result of over half of Americans paying higher taxes than they were a year ago while those at the top of the tax bracket pay less. Find out more about how to participate in the Chicago Tax March, one of a nationwide series of marches.


Know Your Census History


You’ve likely heard that the Census Bureau, under the direction of our current administration, plans to ask about citizen status on the 2020 Census. If you’re unclear why this additional question raises red flags, take a few minutes to read this Washington Post piece about how a similar question on the 1940 Census led directly to the incarceration of American citizens simply because they or their families emigrated from Japan. Our families, friends, and neighbors are in real danger when these sorts of questions are asked—whether from misuse of the information they share, or from underreporting of immigrant populations in the United States because of low levels of participation in the Census due to fear of how their data could be used.

Action Steps 4/4/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 4/4/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Make Some Calls for Net Neutrality


Net neutrality is one of the central principles of a free and open internet, and it’s currently slated to go away—which would allow internet providers to make certain webpages to load either faster or slower, depending on who can pay. Despite the recent federal decision overturning net neutrality ushering in the realm of a “pay to play” internet, states across the country are considering enacting their own net neutrality rules. Take a few minutes to reach out to your state representatives to support House Bill 4819, which will preserve the free flow of information online in Illinois.


Demand Justice for Stephon Clark


Add your name to a petition from Color of Change that demands justice for Stephon Clark, the Sacramento man shot 20 times by Sacramento police officers while in his own backyard on March 18. Clark is among a number of Black men who have died at the hands of police using excessive force in the area, and the petition demands that the Sacramento District Attorney ensure justice can be served by conducting a thorough and transparent investigation and holding police officers accountable for their actions. Find out more and add your name here. Remember: police gun deaths are gun violence, too.


Keep Working for Gun Reform Legislation


If you’ve felt particularly motivated to work toward gun reform and ending gun violence in the wake of the March for Our Lives, take a look at this great resource from Gather Activism that outlines ways you can continue this work in Illinois. There’s an activity for every interest and ability.

2018 Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's political organization is accepting applications for a hands-on, learning-based student internship and fellowship program in the summer of 2018. This internship will require light, local travel periodically and will be based primarily in Evanston, IL and the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.

Interns will work behind the scenes planning and attending events, canvassing, phone banking/text banking, performing office administration, database management, voter registration, and volunteer organizing.

This is an opportunity to experience a wide variety of political activities and to participate in democracy first-hand. If interested in this unpaid internship or fellowship position, please fill out the appropriate form below. Note that the internship is geared towards first-time political campaigners and the fellowship is designed for those who have had some experience volunteering or interning on a campaign or similar organization.

Sign up for the 2018 Internship Program (no experience required)

Sign up for the 2018 Fellowship Program (some experience suggested)

Action Steps 3/28

IL-9 Action Newsletter 3/28/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Ensure Breastfeeding Moms Can Be Civically Engaged


While Illinois law requires employers to provide a lactation room for breastfeeding mothers, and another law requires such spaces in airports, the law currently does not extend to courthouses. Senate Bill 3503 in the Illinois legislature looks to change that, ensuring that all courthouses provide a lactation room or area that is sanitary (i.e., not a bathroom stall) and accessible. Use this ACLU tool to contact your state senator to ask their support for this bill. Moms who choose to breastfeed shouldn’t have to forego their choice in order to work or perform their civic duties in courthouses.


Ask Your State Elected Officials to Override Rauner’s Veto of Gun Dealer Licensing


Despite the bipartisan support that passed State Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, Governor Rauner has vetoed this common sense legislation that would require gun shop employees to undergo background checks. Reach out to your state elected officials—both State Representatives and State Senators—to ask them to override the governor’s veto. Find your officials’ contact information here. Make sure to tell them that the time is now to take concrete measures toward ending gun violence in Illinois.


Protect Your Data on Facebook


If you find yourself concerned about the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal you’ve been seeing in the news, but are interested in staying on Facebook, now is the time to lock down your data within the social media platform so you’re sharing only what you’ve chosen to share. This article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation details how to change your Facebook settings so that you’re giving permission for data sharing only where you want to.


Action Steps 3/21/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 3/21/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Join the March For Our Lives


On Saturday, March 24, at 11 a.m. at Union Park downtown, demonstrators will gather for the nationwide March For Our Lives. The march is a simultaneous call for an end to gun violence and demand for realistic, intersectional approaches to prevention. Marches will take place across the country. Find out more about the official Chicago march here.


Apply for the Electoral Justice League


The Movement for Black Lives has announced their new Electoral Justice League initiative, which is seeking applicants for black organizers interested in being leaders in the 2018-2019 election cycle. If you’re a black organizer and activist with a goal of supporting progressive candidates and achieving electoral wins, find out more and fill out the application for the Electoral Justice League, due March 26.


Raise Your Consciousness


On Monday, March 26, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. downtown, Planned Parenthood Illinois will be hosting a conversation around women’s health. The event, called “Beyond the Stigma: Women’s Health & Reproductive Rights,” will feature a panel of healthcare workers and experts focusing on all aspects of health for cis and transgender women. The free event will include a light breakfast. Find out more and reserve your spot here.


Action Steps 3/14/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 3/14/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Support Students Participating in the National School Walkout


On Wednesday, March 14, at 10 a.m., students across the country will walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes in an action that is both an act of remembrance for the 17 students and teachers killed in the mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month as well as a demand for Congress to consider legislation to prevent additional gun violence in schools. While some schools have expressed that students who choose to participate are supported in doing so, others have warned that demonstrating students will face disciplinary consequences. Give your local school district administrators and board members a call to express your support of students exercising their constitutional right to peaceful demonstration. Tell school officials that participating in the life of our democracy is a powerful civics lesson for students, and you hope participants will not see any negative repercussions for taking part in the walkout.


Stand for Immigrant Families


The ACLU of Illinois will be holding a rally and vigil on Thursday, March 15, at 5 p.m. at Federal Plaza downtown, to demand that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement not separate families while they are being held in detention. The ACLU has recognized many instances in which young immigrant children have been detained far away from their parents, a tactic that contributes additional emotional trauma for those involved. Find out more about this event and issue here.


Go Vote!


Early voting for the Illinois General Primary Election began on Monday, March 5 and will continue through March 19; Election Day is Tuesday, March 20. With early voting available, there are no excuses for not voting—voting early ensures that unexpected commitments on election day don’t prevent you from casting your vote. Type your address into this tool to identify your polling place, your early voting site and election day voting site, and all the details of who and what will be on your ballot for this election.


Action Steps 3/7/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 3/7/18


3 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Tell Congress to Fund Libraries


The proposed federal 2019 budget once again has eliminated all funding for museum and library services—a pittance of the overall budget, but funding that goes a long way toward serving communities in every state across the country. Join the American Library Association’s efforts to get Congress to fund libraries using this advocacy tool. The tool allows you to see whether your elected officials are signing the Dear Appropriator letters in favor of funding the Library Services Technology Act and Innovative Approaches to Literacy programs; to message your elected officials directly; and to spread the message of library value and encourage others to share their library experiences in support of funding.


Hear from Gubernatorial Candidates & Those Impacted by DACA


Protection for All, in partnership with Voto Latino, Indivisible IL, and other organizations, is hosting a gubernatorial and immigration forum on Monday, March 12, from 6-8 p.m., at Amundsen High School in Chicago. The event will feature two 45-minute panels: first featuring Illinois gubernatorial candidates sharing their platforms with regard to undocumented Illinois residents, followed by a panel of individuals directly impacted by DACA sharing potential solutions. The free event does require registration; find out more here. Get ready for an evening of thoughtful discussion of major issues for Illinois.


Go Vote!


Early voting for the Illinois General Primary Election began on Monday, March 5. With early voting available, there are no excuses for not voting—voting early ensures that unexpected commitments on election day don’t prevent you from casting your vote. Type your address into this tool to identify your polling place, your early voting site, and all the details of who and what will be on your ballot for this election.

Action Steps 2/28/18

IL-9 Action Newsletter 2/28/18


4 Things To Do This Week to Resist from the IL-9


Hear from Democratic Attorney General Candidates


Law School Democrats from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law are hosting an open forum to hear from Democratic candidates for Attorney General; these candidates will be on your primary ballot this March. The forum will take place on Wednesday, February 28, from 6-8 p.m. with a one-hour meet and greet after, at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Thorne Auditorium. Find out more and register here. The forum is free, although donations will be accepted to help defray event costs.


Know Your Rights


Students who are contemplating participating in school walkouts and peaceful demonstrations to demand gun legislation reform are invited to attend a free “Know Your Rights!” training specifically aimed at exploring the legal rights of students. The webinar, offered by the ACLU’s People Power, will take place on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Sign up for the event here. Teachers, parents, and allies are welcome to attend as well.


Demand Net Neutrality


Organizations across the country declared February 27 a day of action for net neutrality, but your voice is still needed to demand that Congress move to preserve net neutrality for all American internet users. Find out more and join the effort at Battle for the Net, and explore these resources if you need a refresher on why net neutrality is so important. As of Tuesday evening, legislation in the Senate was in need of only one more vote to preserve net neutrality.


Go Vote!


Early voting for the Illinois General Primary Election begins on Monday, March 5. With early voting available, there are no excuses for not voting—voting early ensures that any unexpected commitments don’t prevent you from casting your vote on election day. Type your address into this tool to identify your polling place, your early voting site, and all the details of who and what will be on your ballot for this election.