In the News

U.S. Rep. Casten joins hundreds in McHenry County for human rights vigils Hundreds attend McHenry County events defending human rights

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Protesters line Arlington Heights road over migrant conditions near U.S.-Mexico border

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May 19, 2019

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nwsofa.org

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action Indivisible “Fair Tax Town Hall” with Former State Senator Daniel Biss

Arlington Heights, IL –  Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action  (NWSOFA), an Indivisible Chapter, is proud to sponsor a Fair Tax Town Hall at the Arlington Heights Village Hall. Former State Senator Daniel Biss will explain why Illinois needs the Fair Tax, a structure where people with higher incomes pay a higher rate, and answer your questions. Join us to learn about the path to getting a Fair Tax passed and what it would mean for Illinois’ future. 

Following the Fair Tax Town Hall, NWSOFA’s Fiscal and Economic Issues group will give an update on the US and Illinois economies (job growth, GDP growth, trade deficit, budget deficit, etc.) and answer questions from attendees.

All are welcome to attend. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.  RSVP at  https://act.indivisible.org/event/attend-local-actions/138791 

 

Who: Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action, an Indivisible Chapter

What: Fair Tax Town Hall with Senator Daniel Biss
 Where: Arlington Heights Village Hall, Buechner Room,  33 S Arlington Heights Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
 When: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
 
 
Visit us at nwsofa.org

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All On The Line

Over the past few weeks, we’ve told you about places where gerrymandering is allowing extreme legislation to pass (Georgia); where voting rights are under attack (Iowa); and how the Trump administration is politicizing the 2020 Census in a way that threatens our democracy.

It’s true: There’s a lot of work to do.

But it’s also important to celebrate our victories — to see what’s possible when local and state leaders, along with dedicated citizens who care about our democracy, stand up for fair districts and fair representation.

In Nevada and Colorado, that’s exactly what has happened. Here’s good news:

In Nevada …
Newly-elected Governor Steve Sisolak signed an executive order to create Nevada’s Complete Count Committee. No matter what happens with the Trump administration’s unconstitutional “citizenship” question, Nevadans are getting ready for the 2020 Census — the state is investing $5 million to promote it and educate citizens, especially reaching out to hard-to-count populations.

It’s a huge step towards making sure Nevada’s districts are fair — and that Nevadans, including vulnerable immigrant communities, get the funding and political representation they deserve.

In Colorado …
Lawmakers are working to improve the state’s Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), making it even easier for Coloradans to make their voices heard on Election Day.

Colorado is one of 15 states in the country (plus Washington, D.C.) to offer AVR — and we need to make sure more are on the way. It keeps voter rolls more accurate, reduces errors on Election Day that make it harder to vote, and lowers costs for the state. It’s a no-brainer that is already paying dividends: In Oregon, the first state to implement AVR in 2016, registration rates have quadrupled at DMV offices.

This is the kind of progress we’re pushing for at All On The Line. We’re building a network of activists that will fight for policies like these in every state. We’re going to:

  • Protect and expand voting rights
  • Help deliver fair districts
  • Do everything in our power to ensure a fair, accurate 2020 Census

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April 17, 2019

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nwsofa.org

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action Indivisible “TASTE OF NWSOFA”

Palatine IL –  Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA), an Indivisible Affiliate, will host an evening of networking for progressives with all of our issue teams in one place. Meet the leaders of all our our issue teams including Climate Change, Affordable Care Act, Gun Violence Prevention, Fiscal, Stand with Women, ALL On The Line/Gerrymandering, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Social Justice. We will hear from each of our team leads and open up the floor for networking and sharing how people can become involved in making change locally and nationally. We need YOU to fight for progressive issues that you care about.

 
 
Who: Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action, an Indivisible Chapter
What: TASTE OF NWSOFA
 Where: Palatine Library, 700 N North Court, Palatine, IL 
 When: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
 
 

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Local Activists Join National Initiative Against Gerrymandering  – Journal & Topics

Now that the votes are in for the April consolidated election, local progressive activists are working on a new issue that could affect future elections.

Northwest Suburban Organizing for Action, a local chapter of the national Organizing for Action group, recently joined the mission to end gerrymandering — a process by which legislators create districts to ensure one political party gets the majority of votes — throughout the country.

NWSOFA chapter co-leads Bill Davis and Sara Horan talked with the Journal & Topics last week about their group’s merger with former attorney general Eric Holder’s anti-gerrymandering National Democratic Redistricting Committee, as well as other key issues for the group in 2019.

They said the transition to focus on redistricting has been a three-month process, spurred by a conference call with Barack Obama.

“It’s a great initiative,” said Davis. He said the launch party for the new activist team, held March 24 at the Greater Palatine Area Democrats office in Arlington Heights, was a “packed house.”

Going forward, the “All on the Line” NWSOFA sub group will take on gerrymandering, joining eight other action groups that handle issues such as: gun violence, women’s rights, climate change, immigration reform, campaign finance, social outreach, healthcare and the economy.

According to Horan, the first step in the three-year plan to eradicating gerrymandering is to get involved in the 2020 census.

“We want to make sure all districts have a fair count,” she said. With this census data, new maps could be developed by independent commissions, Horan added. Thankfully, she said Illinois is less affected by gerrymandering than other states in the U.S.

Apart from gerrymandering, NWSOFA is also looking to work closer with political candidates in the future. While the group held off from endorsing candidates until last year, they are now committed to supporting those who “reflect the issue based values” of the organization, said Davis

Recently, NWSOFA supported the campaign of U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) in an area that Horan said could be affected by gerrymandering. The group also supports State Sen. Ann Gillespie (D-27th) and State Rep. Mark Walker (D-53rd) of Arlington Heights.

“In 2020, as soon as the primaries are over, we will be taking a look at which candidates to support,” said Horan.

For NWSOFA members in 2019, another key goal is to support legislation aimed at reducing gun violence — one of the first issues the group tackled when they were first created half a decade ago. Davis said new issues also pop up every day for the organization’s issue teams to work on.

“This is a fun time,” he said. “We are working with people who truly believe they can change things.”

NWSOFA sub groups hold regular meetings in the Northwest suburban area. To get involved, check out the organization’s calendar at nwsofa.org.

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For Immediate Release:

March 19, 2019

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nwsofa.org

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action Indivisible Celebration of the ACA’s/Obamacare’s 9th Anniversary & the Kickoff  of “All On The Line” Redistricting Reform.. 

Arlington Heights IL – JOIN Us to hear from former US Attorney General Eric Holder, IL State Senator Ann Gillespie and IL State Representative Mark Walker as we discuss the fact that the next decade of our nation’s progress is “All On The Line”. 

Join us for a gathering of friends and family in our community to understand how gerrymandering impacts the issues we all care about. Health care is on the line: On the 9th anniversary of signing the Affordable Care Act into law, we want to connect the dots on how partisan gerrymandering has significantly impacted health care policy, as well as to build a basic understanding of the broader challenges — and opportunities — we will face as a campaign when working towards fairer maps for all.

 
 
Who: Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action, an Indivisible Chapter
What: “All On The Line” Kickoff & the ACA / Obamacare’s 9th Anniversary 
 Where: Northwest Suburban Democrats Office, 1310 W Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights, IL 60004                                                                                               When: Saturday, March 23, 2019, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
 
  Visit us at nwsofa.org

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Elgin-area unions, Dems picket appearance by man who won Janus vs. AFSCME union dues case for GOP

For the Elgin Township Republican Central Committee, having Mark Janus speak at its annual fundraising dinner Thursday night was about championing free speech.

For the union representatives and Elgin Township Democrats protesting outside that dinner, the dinner was a celebration of the GOP’s “most cynical and destructive attack yet on the middle class,” a release from the Democratic Leaders of Illinois said.

Janus, 65, of Springfield, was the lead plaintiff in Janus vs. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court case in which justices ruled, in a 5-4 vote, that government workers should not be forced to pay dues to a union they did not wish to join and whose political positions they did not support.

Janus, a child support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, became the case’s plaintiff after the original lawsuit filed by Gov. Bruce Rauner was dismissed for lack of standing.

Janus’ visit to Elgin prompted union members from around the area as well as elected officials and candidates running for office to set up a picket line on Route 31 in front of the Elgin Holiday Inn, where the dinner was being held. Protesters carrying signs stood alongside huge inflated rats and a fat cat.

“We are here to greet Mark Janus, to let him know we are paying attention — that all labor is paying attention,” said Joe Galli, an Elgin firefighter and president of Local 439, the firefighter’s union.

State Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, said the Janus decision, along with Rauner and Donald Trump, have weakened the middle class.

They also criticized Janus’ for changing jobs after the court ruling, leaving his state position to become a senior fellow at the Liberty Justice Center, which represented him in court.

For Elgin Republicans, however, Janus is a hero, helping to overturn a Supreme Court decision that had stood for 40 years.

Julie Schmidt, a precinct committeeman, said Janus “stood up for free speech and freedom of association. We do not look at it as anti-union, but pro-free speech.”

The ruling means “a non-union member does not have to pay a fee” to a group with whom the employee does not share a philosophy, Schmidt said.

Janus “has a very interesting story,” said Jason Dusenberry, an Elgin resident and chairman of the Elgin Township Republican Central Committee.

Janelle Walker is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.

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Obama endorses J.B. Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, 3 US House candidates (including Sean Casten!)

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Tens of thousands of people protested in April and May — on topics like gun violence, labor rights and science – Washington Post

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At Issue: 6th Congressional District Debate: Roskam versus Caster (PART 1) Sunday, July 1st Wheaton GOP Congressman Peter Roskam and Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten Join Craig Dellimore for a wide-ranging Debate. They discuss Immigration, Workers’ Rights, Climate Change, the Economy and the tone of the campaign. (The discussion continues in Part 2, exclusively online)

6th Congressional District Debate: Roskam versus Caster (PART 2) Sunday, July 1st Wheaton GOP Congressman Peter Roskam and Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten Join Craig Dellimore in a continuation of their wide-ranging Debate. They discuss Trade, Health Care, Immigration Reform, Campaign Finance, Political Rhetoric and International Affairs.

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Obama Tells Democratic Donors To ‘Get Organized’ And Register Voters Before Midterms -NPR

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This Nation Is Beginning to Realize the Full Extent of What It Did to Itself in November 2016

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Weatherman Skilling draws crowd at Palatine Sustainable Energy Expo

To celebrate the installation of solar panels on the roof of Countryside Church in Palatine, parishioners initially envisioned “a party with cake.”

What the event ultimately became was a daylong Sustainable Energy Expo drawing more than 300 people, with keynote addresses from WGN Meteorologist Tom Skilling, Argonne National Laboratory scientist and author Seth Darling and Des Plaines Democratic state Sen. Laura Murphy.

But no cake.

“We decided we wanted to share with the community and other congregations what we had learned,” said Mark Krivchenia, one of the parishioners who helped spearhead the campaign to outfit the church with solar panels. “In the end, it comes down to our belief that it’s an ethical and moral issue to care for our common home.”

The solar panels on the roof will cut the church’s reliance on traditional energy sources by 40 percent. They have a guaranteed life span of 30 years and are expected to pay for themselves after eight to 10 years, Krivchenia said.

About a dozen exhibitors were invited to participate in the expo and share information on topics such as native plantings, recycling, renewable energy, electric cars and other conservation issues.

Linda Sullivan, a member of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club’s executive committee, said interest in her group has grown significantly since President Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, followed by his controversial appointments of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and Ryan Zinke to serve as secretary of the interior.

“People have realized that they have to get involved and just being in favor of something and wanting something to get done is not enough,” she said. “Trump has started a movement, even though it wasn’t his intention.”

For his part, Skilling lauded efforts by scientists and environmental groups that have been promoting ways to fight global warming by focusing on ways to reduce mankind’s carbon footprint, the way the church has done.

Skilling talked about the broader economic and cultural ramifications of global warming, pointing out the loss of tourism jobs caused by the destruction or depletion of natural resources as well as human migration and military conflict caused by droughts brought on by climate change.

“The tentacles of climate change don’t just affect our atmosphere,” he warned. “People will say that climate change isn’t real, and it’s nonsense. The trend is real. Every serious scientific organization in the world agrees that climate change is happening.”

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Images: “March For Our Lives” in the Suburbs – Daily Herald

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For Immediate Release:

March 22, 2018

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438, info@nwsofa.org

March For Our Lives – Northwest Suburbs, Schaumburg Town Square

Schaumburg IL, – March For Our Lives, Join us on Saturday, March 24th along with thousands across the country to march against gun violence in our schools. We will begin the march at Schaumburg Town Square and march down Schaumburg Road to the Prairie Center for the Arts. We will be joined by a variety of lawmakers and progressive groups supportive of our cause. We are excited to announce our guest speakers, Senator Tom Rooney, 27th district and Representative Michelle Mussman, 56th district. More speakers TBA. We will also hold a voter registration event. We hope to see you there!https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

Who: High School and College Students (Hosted by Gretchen Coleman, Khirsti Garnett, Varun Cidambi, Navin Yuvaraj)

What: March For Our Lives – Northwest Suburbs, Schaumburg

Where: Schaumburg Town Square, 130 S Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193

When: Saturday, March 24, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

More information at http://act.everytown.org/event/march-our-lives-events_attend/10277 ; http://www.nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.

Arlington Heights residents call for tighter gun control – Daily Herald

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‘March To The Polls’

Northwest Suburban Women Gear Up For Next Mega-March

Terri Klouden of Palatine makes a sign for the Women’s March on Chicago.

“This is the angry Sue,” Sue Friedman, co-lead of the Northwest Suburban Chicago Organizing for Action “Stand With Women” group, said to those gathered Saturday in her Des Plaines kitchen.

She was holding a sign that read “Quit Hanging Us Up,” below a sarcastic depiction of a clothesline. Surrounding her were Northwest suburban mothers, daughters, professionals and longtime activists making similar signs in preparation to represent the area during Saturday’s (Jan. 20) “March to the Polls” women’s march in Chicago.

“It’s time to let our nasty woman side out,” said “Stand With Women” co-lead Florence Palumbo Zilka.

Some of the women joined the 250,000 protesters who attended the march last year, held the day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office. Even more are expected this year,

according to Friedman.

Though NWSOFA does not take an official stance on Trump himself, the organization does have opposing views to the president on a number of issues, including gun control, the right to choose, climate change and the Affordable Care Act, said local NWSOFA leader Sue Horan, one of the sign-makers.

“We go on issues,” she said. “We march to the polls, we’ve got to get everyone to vote.”

Many in attendance, including Laura Walker and Terri Klouden of Palatine, found activism through their frustration with Trump administration policies.

“Since the election, a lot of people started getting more involved,” Walker said.

Des Plaines veterinarian Patty Cahill said “Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA is an abomination,” citing how the Trump administration worked against a multi-state effort to improve the ecology of the Great Lakes.

Horan, Carolyn Roberts of the League of Women Voters and local high school teacher Susan Ranft came to the group after decades of feminist activism.

“I’ve been involved as long as I can remember,” Ranft told the Journal & Topics. “I tried to get the ERA passed in the ‘70s.”

She was referring to the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution proposed by feminists in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1923. If passed, the amendment would remove legal distinctions between men and women included in the document. ERA was almost ratified in the late 1970s, just a few states shy of becoming reality. Passing it is one of the goals for national Organizing for Action members.

David Horwitz, another longtime activist and the only man in attendance at Friedman’s poster-making meeting, said he aims to shed light on women who have pursued seats of power only to be ignored or passed over, from Shirley Chisholm, who became major-party black candidate for president in 1972, to Hillary Clinton in 2017.

Both Ranft and Horan said while they saw feminist activism recede after the 1970s, the past two years have shown a different trend.

“It’s been pretty lackluster for a long time. I see it growing again, and that’s one good thing to come out of this political climate,” said Ranft.

Numbers show that interest in women’s issues is, indeed, growing, said Roberts, who has been with the League of Women Voters for 40 years. Over the past year, membership in the Palatine chapter has doubled, she said.

“There are new people, but not necessarily young people,” she said.

A call for young women to join activist causes was echoed by Horan, who remembers marching against the Vietnam War as a college student.

“This whole resurgence, the energy and the people, it’s just kept my sanity,” she said. “The thing is, we need more young people.”

Gayle Lewis, a Buffalo Grove psychotherapist who became involved in “Stand With Women” through her support of the Affordable Care Act and increased access to mental health care for women, said her daughter used to attend meetings with her. However, she stopped coming once she entered high school.

All of the activists gathered at Friedman’s were past college age, many with children of their own and some retired like Friedman.

After a lifetime being held down by the men in her life, including a father who threatened to disown her for attending college, Friedman finally found a place for herself in the activist movement after her children moved out and she ended a 32-year career in nursing. She joined NWSOFA as a fellow in 2015.

“I’m retired, so now I can do what I love,” she said.

Though she did not attend public marches in her youth, Friedman remembers protesting her own family on the front lawn of their home. In her new role, she said she now sees her life through a new lens and jumps into her “women’s role” of trying to nurture and take care of everyone less often.

“Now, before I put a word out, I ask myself if it is helping women,” she said. “I am learning a different way to live.”

Those interested in attending the Women’s March on Chicago can join the NWSOFA group at 9 a.m. in front of the north lion statue outside the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave. Speakers will begin at 11 a.m.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, January 8, 2018

RE: Gun Violence Prevention          

Wednesday, December 13, 2017                                     

Sikh Religious Society, Palatine

1280 Winnetka St, Palatine, IL 60067

Media Contact: Cathy Risberg 

Phone: 224-578-0121   

                                 

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) Joins with Newtown Foundation and the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, to Hold an Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to #EndGunViolence in Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of Sandy Hook Tragedy

Palatine, IL – According to the Newtown Foundation, since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, over 500,000 Americans have been killed or injured by guns. And of the 150,000 killed since Sandy Hook, two-thirds of these deaths have been suicides.

To honor these lives and to stand with the tens of thousands of surviving family members of all victims of gun violence, including the twenty children and six educators killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy, members of the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) and residents of surrounding suburbs and the city of Chicago gathered on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, for an interfaith, candlelight vigil at the Sikh Gurdwara in Palatine, IL.

Invited guests in attendance were recognized by Sikh Religious Society member, Laddi Singh. These guests included Illinois State Senator, Tom Rooney, Democratic Committeeman, Matt Flamm and candidate for Democratic Committeeman, Patrick Watson.

Those who attended the vigil heard messages of justice, hope, courage and unity from the following interfaith speakers, who were all introduced by Rajinder Singh Mago, a member of the Sikh Religious Society:  Prof. Kulwant Singh Hundal and Mrs. Surinder Kaur Singh, Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, Palatine, IL, Rabbi Stephen Hart, Temple Chai, Long Grove, IL, and Pastor Melissa Earley, First United Methodist Church of Arlington Hts, Arlington Hts, IL.  Also invited to speak, but unable to attend, was Mr. G. Abdullah Mitchell, Executive Director, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

In addition, Ms. Gurleen Kaur Singh, a member of the Sikh Religious Society, spoke about the efforts of the United Sikh Volunteers and Khalsa Aid to come to the help of those in need around the world. These positive acts of kindness of the Sikh community have helped to overcome the negative impact of gun violence on all communities, including Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which is located just south of Milwaukee. Oak Creek is the community that experienced the shooting deaths of six people and wounding of three other people on August 5, 2012, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

Following the remarks by Ms. Singh, a Pledge of Action and Support was shared with everyone in attendance by NWSOFA Representative, Patrick Watson.

The pledge shared by Watson focused on the need to #HonorWithAction all those who have been lost and included the promise to “call upon our local, state and national leaders to promote policies and legislation that will reduce the impact of gun violence on all our communities” and also a promise to “inform everyone, including our faith communities, of the ongoing struggle to understand the moral, ethical and spiritual imperative of ending gun violence.”

As a Voice of the Survivors, Maria Pike, Everytown Fellow and Survivor Engagement Lead, IL, had a chance to speak from her heart about her son, Ricky Pike, who was killed on August 3rd, 2012. Since his death, Maria has been working tirelessly to bring a sense of healing, peace, hope and restorative justice to gun violence survivors in Chicago and in the suburbs.

Bringing this sense of peace and healing to a community was also the job of Mrs. Surinder Kaur Singh, a social worker, who was there to comfort the survivors of those killed and wounded in the tragic shooting in 2012 at the Sikh Temple, Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. She shared these experiences, as a member of the on-the-scene emotional support team, with those who attended the interfaith vigil.

After Maria Pike and Mrs. Surinder Kaur Singh completed their remarks, there was a reading of the names of the victims of Sandy Hook, a somber lighting of candles and a moment of emotion-filled silence in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims and their survivors.

At the conclusion of the vigil, everyone was invited to stay for reflection and conversation while enjoying a langar, a simple vegetarian meal, and also invited to join a tour of the Sikh Gurdwara where a sense of genuine welcome, warm hospitality and unity were in abundance for all who attended the 2017 National Vigil to #EndGunViolence.

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Women’s Issues, Gun Violence Prevention, Social Justice Outreach, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.

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Interfaith candlelight vigil remembers Sandy Hook shooting victims – Daily Herald

Interfaith candlelight vigil remembers Sandy Hook shooting victims

    • During a vigil at the Sikh Gurdwara in Palatine, a candle was lit to honor each of the 26 victims of gun violence at Sandy Hook.

      During a vigil at the Sikh Gurdwara in Palatine, a candle was lit to honor each of the 26 victims of gun violence at Sandy Hook.
      Courtesy of Kamaljit Singh Virdi

       

      The Sikh Religious Society in partnership with NWSOFA organized an interfaith candlelight vigil in remembrance of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims. This observance of the fifth anniversary of the tragedy was part of #EndGunViolence nationwide events.
      Courtesy of Kamaljit Singh Virdi

Submitted by Rajinder Singh Mago

In remembrance of the 20 elementary schoolchildren and six teachers killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown Connecticut, the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, in partnership with the community organization North West Suburbs Organizing For Action organized an interfaith prayer service and candlelight vigil.

The service was a part of nationwide vigils and events to #EndGunViolence. This was the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting and 150,000 people have been killed by gun violence since this tragedy.

About 100 members of various faith groups and local leaders surrounded by people of goodwill gathered at the Sikh Gurdwara to pray and honor the victims of this tragedy.

The vigil started indoors with Kirtan (singing of Sikh hymns) in the langar hall of the Palatine Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship). The hymns translated in English meant, “O’ Lord of this universe, please nourish and take care of all the people of your creation with your blessings and mercy.”

Eight speakers, representing the Sikh, Muslim, Bahai, Christian, Jewish, gun violence prevention communities, and civil action oriented organizations addressed the gathering. The speakers shared their personal stories, faith perspectives of hope and peace, and emphasized solidarity and strength in opposing gun violence where innocent lives are lost. They reminded the audience that gun violence impacts every community and all religions, races and ages.

Surinder Kaur Singh of the Sikh Religious Society opened the program and welcomed the guests. Laddi Singh recognized elected officials including Illinois Senator Tom Rooney, and participating nonprofit organizations.

“We must create an America free from senseless gun violence where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, at their places of worship, on the street and in the shopping malls,” said Rajinder Singh Mago, the co-coordinator of the event who introduced the interfaith speakers.

Professor Kulwant Singh Hundal, past president of Sikh Religious Society, Palatine; Raja-Ullah Quaraishi of Muslim community; Rabbi Stephen Hart of Temple Chai, Long Grove,; Gurleen Kaur Singh a high school student; Pastor Melissa Earley of First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights; Patrick Watson representing NWSOFA; Maria Pike, #Everytown Fellow and Survivor Engagement Lead,; Surinder Kaur Singh, a social worker; Brently Donaldson, a Bahai; and Asayo Horbe, a Buddhist spoke at the event.

Patrick Watson read a pledge and call to action to educate legislators to work on stricter gun laws to end senseless gun violence.

Reading of the 26 victims names by Kimberley Garnett and Prempal Singh preceded lighting of candles and a moment of silence to honor the victims.

Matt Flamm of Palatine Township representing NWSOFA, thanked all the guests, participants and the organizers.

All the participants of the event were invited to partake “langar” the community kitchen vegetarian meal.

The event in partnership with NWSOFA, was coordinated by Rajinder Singh Mago, Laddi Singh, Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra, Prempal Singh, Sarwan Singh Raju, Jasvir Kaur Singh, Iqbal Singh Chopra, and Surinderpal Singh Kalra, for the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine.

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Shout Out: Keith Moens, an active participant at Arlington Heights Village Board meetings – Chicago Tribune

Shout Out: Keith Moens, an active participant at Arlington Heights Village Board meetings

No matter what issue is being discussed by Arlington Heights Village Board members at their bi-monthly meetings, resident Keith Moens likely will step up to the podium to share his views.

Keith Moens

Moens, 65, a retired middle school math and science teacher, often is one of the few residents to show up regularly at Arlington Heights Village Hall and engage officials during board meetings.

Pioneer Press recently caught up with Moens, who explained why he took on the important role of community activist, even though he said village officials mostly are doing a decent job.

Q: I can’t remember covering an Arlington Heights Village Board meeting that you have not attended. Why is it so important to you to go to all of the meetings?

A: I want to get across the point that democracy is under attack at the local level. And I mean democracy with a little “d.” Everyone needs to have the chance to get involved and participate, which is why I’m pushing for the inclusion of a “citizens to be heard” item on the agenda of the committee of the whole meetings – not just the village board meetings.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for officials to include a “citizens to be heard” item at the committee meetings?

A: Because the committee of the whole meetings, and also the other commission meetings, are the first step in the democratic process, and include all of the discussion before it goes before the village board for a final vote. For example, there was a recent public hearing for the 2018 budget, but it was held right before the village board voted, which is way too late for any resident to provide any meaningful input. And nothing anyone says in a three-minute timeframe is going to change the way they vote at that point.

Q: Have you considered running for trustee in the future?

A: I ran for trustee back in (2007) and I didn’t win, but it was a very good experience. I learned a lot, and it was a lot of fun. We need more people to participate in local democracy, as the voter turnout for these elections is absolutely pathetic. At this point, no, I don’t think I’d run again because I think the village needs young blood, and to have a younger group of people involved in the decision-making. I’m not a fan of term limits, but I think we’d have more voter turnout if we had younger candidates with differing opinions.

Q: Were you interested in politics when you were growing up?

A: I was raised on a grain and livestock farm in central Illinois, and my dad was a teacher. As a family, we always discussed politics. It was the late 1960s and early 1970s, and everyone was very involved at the local level.

Q: Did you have any heroes growing up?

A: Yes, it all goes back to (President) John F. Kennedy, who inspired me so much. And Martin Luther King Jr., too, who stood up for what needed to be said and who was a great leader.

Q: I’ve noticed that you ride your bike to the village board meetings all year long. Are you still riding your bike this week, even though it’s below zero?

A: (He laughs) Yes, this weather makes things a little restrictive, but as long as the streets are clean, I’ll still ride my bike.

Shout Out is a weekly feature in which we introduce our readers to their fellow community members and local visitors throughout suburban Chicago.

kcullotta@tribpub.com

Twitter @kcullotta

______________

For Immediate Release: Saturday, December 30, 2017

RE: Gun Violence Prevention Media Contact: Cathy Risberg

Wednesday, December 13, 2017                                       Phone: 224-578-0121

Sikh Religious Society, Palatine

1280 Winnetka St, Palatine, IL 60067

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) Joins with Newtown Foundation and the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, to Hold an Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to #EndGunViolence in Commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of Sandy Hook Tragedy

Palatine, IL – According to the Newtown Foundation, since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, over 500,000 Americans have been killed or injured by guns. And of the 150,000 killed since Sandy Hook, two-thirds of these deaths have been suicides.

To honor these lives and to stand with the tens of thousands of surviving family members of all victims of gun violence, including the twenty children and six educators killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy, members of the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) and residents of surrounding suburbs and the city of Chicago gathered on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, for an interfaith, candlelight vigil at the Sikh Gurdwara in Palatine, IL.

Invited guests in attendance were recognized by Sikh Religious Society member, Laddi Singh. These guests included Illinois State Senator, Tom Rooney, Democratic Committeeman, Matt Flamm and candidate for Democratic Committeeman, Patrick Watson.

Those who attended the vigil heard messages of justice, hope, courage and unity from the following interfaith speakers, who were all introduced by Rajinder Singh Mago, a member of the Sikh Religious Society: Prof. Kulwant Singh Hundal and Mrs. Surinder Kaur Singh, Sikh Religious Society, Palatine, Palatine, IL, Rabbi Stephen Hart, Temple Chai, Long Grove, IL, and Pastor Melissa Earley, First United Methodist Church of Arlington Hts, Arlington Hts, IL. Also invited to speak, but unable to attend, was Mr. G. Abdullah Mitchell, Executive Director, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

In addition, Ms. Gurleen Kaur Singh, a member of the Sikh Religious Society, spoke about the efforts of the United Sikh Volunteers and Khalsa Aid to come to the help of those in need around the world. These positive acts of kindness of the Sikh community have helped to overcome the negative impact of gun violence on all communities, including Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which is located just south of Milwaukee. Oak Creek is the community that experienced the shooting deaths of six people and wounding of three other people on August 5, 2012, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

Following the remarks by Ms. Singh, a Pledge of Action and Support was shared with everyone in attendance by NWSOFA Representative, Patrick Watson.

The pledge shared by Watson focused on the need to #HonorWithAction all those who have been lost and included the promise to “call upon our local, state and national leaders to promote policies and legislation that will reduce the impact of gun violence on all our communities” and also a promise to “inform everyone, including our faith communities, of the ongoing struggle to understand the moral, ethical and spiritual imperative of ending gun violence.”

As a Voice of the Survivors, Maria Pike, Everytown Fellow and Survivor Engagement Lead, IL, had a chance to speak from her heart about her son, Ricky Pike, who was killed on August 3rd, 2012. Since his death, Maria has been working tirelessly to bring a sense of healing, peace, hope and restorative justice to gun violence survivors in Chicago and in the suburbs.

Bringing this sense of peace and healing to a community was also the job of Mrs. Surinder Kaur Singh, a social worker, who was there to comfort the survivors of those killed and wounded in the tragic shooting in 2012 at the Sikh Temple, Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. She shared these experiences, as a member of the on-the-scene emotional support team, with those who attended the interfaith vigil.

After Maria Pike and Mrs. Surinder Kaur Singh completed their remarks, there was a reading of the names of the victims of Sandy Hook, a somber lighting of candles and a moment of emotion-filled silence in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims and their survivors.

At the conclusion of the vigil, everyone was invited to stay for reflection and conversation while enjoying a langar, a simple vegetarian meal, and also invited to join a tour of the Sikh Gurdwara where a sense of genuine welcome, warm hospitality and unity were in abundance for all who attended the 2017 National Vigil to #EndGunViolence.

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonpartisan volunteer organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group, OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform and measures combating climate change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224) 241-2012.

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Obama’s army enlists in redistricting fight – Politico

_______________

NWSOFA Represented at: Sikh American Community of Chicago holds Interfaith Prayers and Candlelight Vigil for Las Vegas Shooting victims

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Obama’s army takes on Trump Organizing for Action, a hub of the Democratic protest movement, is learning to live without the former president – Politico

For Immediate Release:

 
 
June 23, 2017
 
 
Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nw sofa.org
 
 
Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) You’re Invited to a “Taste of NWSOFA”
 
 
Palatine IL,– Join Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) for “A Taste of NWSOFA.”  All of our progressive issues are under attack, and we are not gong to stop fighting for what is right. Please join us to find out what our issue teams have been doing and are planning to make a difference. Our OFA Family is the place where you can find a home to work with like-minded people. Come and sample what we are doing to save the ACA, Climate Change, Women’s Rights, Immigrant’s Rights, Gun Violence Prevention, Social Justice, Economic and Budget Issues, Diversity Outreach and College Outreach.
 
We will have a special guest speaker, Katie Robbins, Regional Organizing Manager of OFA will present the national scope of OFA and our goals for the long term. We have excellent training for community organizers to meet the challenges effecting our progressive issues.Our goal is to Organize and Mobilize with many coalition partners so together we are making our voices heard. We’d love to have you, your family and friends join us. Light treats will be served. Bring your refillable water bottle. We will have cold water available to fill up.
 
 
 

WHO:  Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) 

WHAT: A Taste of NWSOFA

WHEN: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 – 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

WHERE: Palatine Public Library, 700 N North Court, Palatine, IL 60007

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulfilling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Social Justice, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.



____________

For Immediate Release:

 
 
June 10, 2017
 
 
Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nwsofa.org
 
 
Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) to hold Discussion on The Illinois State Budget, Guest Speaker Rep. Michelle Mussman, IL House District #56
 
 
Schaumburg IL, – Join Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) for “A Unique Opportunity .. A discussion on The How, What and Why of the State Budget Process .. A Conversation with Rep. Michelle Mussman.”  Rep. Mussman will brief us on the ‘Almost” new budget deal approved by the IL Senate but not voted on by the House. Michelle will use her unique “authentic” style to guide us through the Budget Process. The Incredibly hard work that goes into getting to a Budget Bill.. the Ups and Downs, the Who, What and Why presented in a candid, honest approach.. Refreshing, eh!
 
Come get the facts about the economic recovery and the status of ongoing appropriations challenges at both the state and national level. Bring your Questions for Rep. Mussman and for Karl Faulstich and Dave Donley our Fiscal Co-Leads. Come join us for some exciting discussions.
 
 
 

WHO:  Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) and Rep. Michelle Mussman

WHAT: Discussion on The Illinois State Budget

WHEN: Monday, June 12th – 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

WHERE: Schaumburg Library, Rasmussen South Meeting Room, 130 S. Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60194, 2nd Floor Adult Classroom

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulfilling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Social Justice, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.


________________________

An Illinois Town Denied This Muslim Congregation A Mosque. Now It Owes Them $580,000 – HuffPost

___________

Cary family: Repeal of Affordable Care Act could kill us

___________

Rep. Roskam defends vote on health care bill

___________

President Obama Receives the Profiles in Courage Award

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Sweet: Roskam’s Trumpcare vote cranking up Democrats in GOP turf Chicago News 05/07/2017 – Chicago Sun-Times

_________

For Immediate Release

RE: ACA Myths & Facts Healthcare Forum 

Roselle UMC

206 S. Rush St.

Roselle, IL 60172

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, NWSOFA

(224)241-2012, info@nwsofa.org

Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action (NWSOFA) Held a Panel Discussion on Healthcare Reform in Roselle, IL

Roselle, IL – On Wednesday, April 26th more than 40 attended a speaker’s forum about the Myths and Facts of the ACA and global healthcare options at the Roselle United Methodist Church. The meeting was organized by Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA), a nonpartisan volunteer organization dedicated to advancing progressive policies. There were 3 speakers, Graciela Guzman, Enrollment Coordinator at Patient Innovation Center in Chicago. Graciela presented ACA at glance where we heard an overview of the current ACA law. Graciela also help shed light on some of the more prevalent myths.

MYTH: The ACA makes it hard for Middle Americans to purchase insurance in the individual Marketplace.

FACT: Almost 83% or 10.5 million of the 12.7million people insured through the ACA Marketplace received premium subsidies from 11/15-2/16. The rise in premiums in recent years in congruent with the rising healthcare costs nationwide. Premiums are rising at a much slower rate than they were prior to the ACA-one of the slowest rates in the last 50 years.

MYTH: Repeal and reforms to the ACA will only impact individuals covered via the Exchange

FACT: Many individuals will be affected by changes within the ACA across Medicaid and private coverage. Illinois stands to lose $50 billion in federal funding for Medicaid, CHIP and financial assistance for marketplace coverage. Changes to consumer protections could impact other coverage types. 5.9 million Illinoisans with private healthcare coverage (including 1.2 million children) and 2.1 million seniors on Medicare will lose guaranteed access to free preventative care.

Mary Beth Lang discussed her healthcare experiences in Norway. Mary Ann lived in Norway fro over 4 years and gave birth to her daughter while in Norway. Mary Beth found her experiences to be extremely positive.  Mary Beth had a Primary Care doctor and saw that doctor every time she went to the doctor and only paid $17 copay.

Mike Cavill was born in Australia and returns from time to time to visit family. In Australia they have 2 systems. Everyone is covered by Medicare, which levies a 2% tax. The levy is reduced or free for low-income families. In addition to the Medicare individuals are given incentives to buy Private Health Insurance. Regardless of the plan everyone has health Insurance.  The cost to see your Primary Care doctor is $20 copay. There is out of pocket cost for major surgery, which is a fraction of the cost we pay for out of pocket.

MYTH Seeing a specialist is a long wait to get appointment.

FACT: Seeing a specialist was a shorter wait time for Mary Beth in Norway and for Mike in Australia than here is America

MYTH: Prescriptions cost the same in every country

FACT: In both Norway and Australia prescription drugs are a fraction of the cost of what we pay. The government healthcare negotiates with drug companies unlike here in America. Medicare is not allowed to negotiate by law.

MYTH: Doctors and Hospital do not care because they are state run

FACT: The hospitals are not fancy they received great care.  Doctors spend more time with you during an office call than they have experienced in the United States.  In Australia and Norway the focus is on your health not your insurance and payment.

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulfilling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012

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___________________

April 23, 2017

For Immediate Release

RE: ACA Myths & Facts
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Roselle UMC
206 S. Rush St.
Roselle, IL 60172

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, NWSOFA
(224)241-2012
info@nwsofa.org

Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action (NWSOFA) to Hold Panel Discussion on Healthcare Reform in Roselle, IL

Roselle, IL – On Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m., Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) will present a panel discussion and question and answer session about ACA Myths and Facts: A Global Perspective at Roselle United Methodist Church in Roselle. Guests will include Graciela Guzman, Enrollment Coordinator at Patient Innovation Center in Chicago and expert on the ACA. She will discuss how the ACA is being utilized and provide insight into what works and does not work. In addition, two community members who have experienced healthcare systems outside the United States will share their personal stories. Mary Beth Lang of Wheaton will talk about her experience in Norway and Mike Cavill of Palatine will talk about his experience in Australia. A question and answer session will follow and informational handouts will be available. The battle for access to affordable healthcare is not over. As a stakeholder in this fight you need facts and ideas to influence the outcome of this important legislation and reform.

Who: Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action (NWSOFA)

When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Where: Roselle United Methodist Church, 206 S. Rush St. Roselle, IL 60172

Visuals: Large Crowd, Public,

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012


 
For Immediate Release
April 11, 2017
Media Contact: Patrick Watson
630-947-4865
coalitionforbetteril6@gmail.comThe Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th Thanks US Senator Duckworth For Hosting a Town Hall

Joined statement of grassroots organizations within the Illinois 6th Congressional District
The Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th, comprised of 17 concerned grassroots organizations in the 6th Congressional District, thank US Senator Tammy Duckworth for the responsiveness shown to her constituents in holding a town hall tonight in the heart of the Illinois 6th District at Harper College in Palatine.  Our Coalition is deeply disappointed Congressman Peter Roskam continues to duck his responsibilities by repeatedly refusing to meet his constituents through the town hall format.Town halls have been a fixture in the American political system since prior to the American Revolution. They serve as a unique means for engaging citizens, educating the public, fostering constructive dialogue and solving issues collaboratively. They also serve to apprise citizens on issues relevant to the local area and the potential impacts of impending legislation.”We urge Congressman Roskam to follow the example of accountable leadership exemplified by Senator Duckworth and hold a town hall in his district during the current spring recess,” said Patrick Watson, a member of the Coalition. “If Senator Duckworth can hold a town hall in the 6th district, what is Congressman Roskam afraid of?”The Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th is a grassroots coalition consisting of 17 organizations:Brown Bag Progressives
Carol Stream Huddle
Citizen Action Illinois
Downers Grove Progressive Women
Friends Who March
Indivisible DuPage
Indivisible Naperville
Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action
Our Voice
Resist the 6th
Women United for Social Change
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____________________
 
For Immediate Release
March 20, 2017
Media Contact: Patrick Watson – pawatson83@gmail.com 630-947-4865Illinois 6th Congressional District constituents ask Representative Peter Roskam to vote against the GOP healthcare plan and to hold a town hall.
A coalition of Illinois 6th Congressional District volunteers demand that Representative Roskam vote against the GOP healthcare plan and hold a town hall meeting.Barrington, IL – On Tuesday, March 21th 2017 at 5:30pm, a coalition of grassroots volunteer activists:  NWSOFA, and more will hold a rally outside Representative Peter Roskam Barrington Office. Residents of the Illinois 6th Congressional District are asking that Representative Roskam vote against the upcoming GOP healthcare plan that would leave millions of America’s without health coverage. Constituents are also upset that Roskam has repeatedly refused to meet with constituents to discuss critical issues. The protest on Tuesday will be one in a string of large protest against Roskam. The first took place in Palatine, Illinois outside of the Palatine Republican Township Organization. Roskam refused an offer from the League of Women Voters to take part in a controlled town hall meeting, but had time to meet with the Republican township organization. The second protest was outside a Republican River Forest/ Oak Park township organization meeting where Representative Roskam was the keynote speaker; over 60 demonstrated outside of the event on less than 24 hours’ notice. The third took place outside of Representative Roskam’s Barrington office during the congressional recess; well over 100 residents gathered outside of the office. Representative Roskam and his staff were not present at the office, but constituents signed a ledger to let Representative Roskam and his staffs aware that they were there. The fourth took place in Chicago outside of a meeting with the City Club where Roskam spoke at a closed event. Over 70 constituents gathered to ask Roskam for a town hall. On Monday, March 21st protesters will gather at 5:30pm in Barrington, IL.Tuesday’s event will mark the coalitions’ continued steps toward holding Peter Roskam accountable to his constituents.  Representative Roskam has voted on a number of positions and made statements not supported by constituents of the district. Roskam has repeatedly opposed the Affordable Care Act, opposed comprehensive immigration reform, stated that climate change is not real, and stated that the country would be safer with a refugee ban.WHO: A coalition of grassroots volunteer activists: NWSOFA, and more.WHAT: Demonstration asking that Representative Roskam vote against the GOP Healthcare Plan and to meet with constituents in a town hall to address our concerns.WHEN: 5:30 PM 03/21/2017WHERE: Representative Roskam’s Barrington office, 200 South Hough Street, Barrington, IL 60010CONTACT: Patrick Watson – pawatson83@gmail.com 630-947-4865About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For ActionNorthwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.###_________________Transgender locker room debate comes to Palatine District 15 – Daily Herald___________

For Immediate Release:

February 23, 2017
 
Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nw sofa.org
 
Support Our Diverse Community – Immigrants and Refugees are Welcome Here

Palatine, IL – Join the Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) and partner organizations as we declare, Immigrants and Refugees are welcome in the Northwest Suburbs. Many northwest suburban residents are feeling scared and worried due to ICE raids, and unwelcome due to the events over the last month coming out of Washington, D.C. In response to these events, we are sponsoring a Rally that promotes our values of inclusion, welcoming communities, and safety for all. Our speakers will share their story of what immigration and America as an open and welcoming country means to them. 

Speakers include:  Rev. Larry Bullock of Living Faith Cathedral, Abrar Quadar of the Compassionate Care Network,  Steve Hosik Moon-Director of Organizing at Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Matt Flamm, Palatine Dems and Rachel Brady, Civil Rights Attorney.

Join us if you can! along with other Northwest Suburban residents for a short program and “Call to Action” RALLY. We will not be silenced or Fearful!!!  Bring your voices, NO BAN, NO WALL!

Who:  Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) and partner organizations
 
What: Support our Diverse Communities Walk and Rally
 

Where: Palatine Library, 700 N. North Ct, Palatine, IL

When: Saturday, February 25th, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.

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Rep. Peter Roskam On Trip Promoting Democracy Abroad While Constituents Seek Meetings At Home The congressman is on a three-nation tour to promote democracy and reassure allies, especially those intimidated by Russia. – The Patch

___________

Defending ACA in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago – Earned Media

2017-02-23

Group Calls for Town Halls with Congress Members – ABC7Chicago

2017-02-04

We received a great amount of press coverage. Hundreds of people gathered in suburban Palatine to protest Rep. Peter Roskam on Saturday morning. This is the most we have seen at a suburban event of this kind so far. Great job, everyone!

IL-06 Palatine Roskam Demonstration Press Clips:
 
NBC 5 Chicago: Hundreds Protest Rep. Peter Roskam in Suburban Palatine
http://www.nbcchicago.com/…/peter-roskam-protest-palatine-4…
CBS 2 Chicago: Hundreds Protest Rep. Peter Roskam In Palatine
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/…/hundreds-protest-rep-peter-r…/
MSNBC Rachel Maddow: At public events, Republicans hounded over anti-health care plans
http://www.msnbc.com/…/public-events-republicans-hounded-ov…
Politico: Republicans face anger over Obamacare repeal during town halls
http://www.politico.com/…/republicans-obamacare-repeal-town…
Think Progress: Republican congressman sneaks out of meeting swarmed by hundreds of protesters
https://thinkprogress.org/republican-congressman-sneaks-out…
Daily Kos: Resistance protests fading away? Nope. Just getting started. And in places you may not have heard of
http://www.dailykos.com/…/-Resistance-protests-fading-away-…
Chicago Tribune: Protesters gather outside GOP meeting attended by Roskam
http://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-ecn-roskam-protest-st-02…
Daily Herald: Roskam meets with Republicans in Palatine, ignores 400 protesters
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20170204/news/170209444/
Chicago Tribune: Protesters rally outside U.S. Rep. Roskam’s meeting in Palatine
http://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-protesters-rally-outside…
Patch.com –Naperville: Hundreds Protest Congressman who Represents Part of Naperville
http://patch.com/…/hundreds-protest-congressman-who-represe…
Daily Herald: Pediatrician discusses arrest at Roskam protest in Palatine
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20170205/news/170209362/
Journal & Topics: Roskam Expected To Face Protesters At Meeting In Palatine
http://www.journal-topics.com/…/article_36ba593e-ea2c-11e6-…

_____________

Letter to the Editor – Daily Herald “Stooping to Name Calling” by Mark Muehlhausen

_____________

For Immediate Release:

January 22, 2017

Media Contact: Bill Davis, Chapter Co-Lead, 224-558-5438info@nwsofa.org

NWSOFA Climate Change Partner Postcard Drop and Rally with Sierra Club and People’s Climate Movement

West Chicago, IL – Join the Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA), Sierra Club and the People’s Climate Movement as we do a Postcard Drop and Rally at the office of Rep. Peter Roskham to ask Rep. Roskam to continue to support the Paris Agreement and to move forward with the Clean Power Plan.
 
Who: NWSOFA, Sierra Club, People’s Climate Movement and grassroots supporters
 
What: Climate Change Partner Postcard and Rally
 

Where: Office of Rep. Peter Roskam, 2700 International Drive , West Chicago, IL 60185 

 When: Monday, January 23rd 3:30 pm  – 5:00 pm

About Northwest Suburbs Organizing For Action

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) is the northwest suburban chapter of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012. As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington. OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, Gun Violence Prevention, Fulling the Promise – Diversity Outreach, Comprehensive Immigration Reform and measures combating Climate Change that the majority of the American people support. More information at nwsofa.org or by phone at (224)241-2012.

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________________________________

posted: 1/17/2017 1:00 AM

Paper leaves voice of the right wing unchecked

I saw your editorial about fake news, and the irony dripped from it so strongly it pulled the characters out of shape.

It hits me in two ways. During the recent campaign the Daily Herald breathlessly printed every story about every rumor regarding Secretary Clinton that it could find, front page or overleaf. However, most stories about Trump’s aberrations, course reversals, insults and rants indenting violence ended up on Page 9, buried under a softball headline. That was fake news. Own it.

 

And on the same page as that editorial, only inches away, was a letter, uncommented, pushing the totally discredited Laffer curve idea (government income rising after a tax decrease) — ask Kansas about that.

Any reader who wants to keep up with the latest nut-job conspiracy theories need look no further than the Daily Herald letters to the editor section.

It’s all there: climate change denial; incorrect statistics on black violence; lies about LGBT issues; incorrect assertions about immigrant crime — not to mention incorrect assertions regarding crime trends, unemployment rates, the national debt, voter fraud rates (while ignoring voter suppression and gerrymandering impacts).

It’s all there for your reading pleasure with no disclaimers. And the more factually incorrect the claims, the more space they seem to get.

It’s time you start practicing what your editorial admonishes others to do.

Mark Muehlhausen

Schaumburg

________________

NWSOFA Fellow, Abrar Quader, to Dine with President Obama on July 21, 2016 Honoring Ramadan and American Muslim Leaders

IMG_7393 IMG_7399

Abrar Quader of Compassionate Care NetworInvited by President Obama to White House Dinner Honoring Ramadan and American Muslim Leaders

Abrar Quader, attorney and Director of Government and Community Partnerships for the public health non-profit Compassionate Care Network, is one of the American Muslim leaders from across the United States who have been invited to an official White House dinner. Scheduled to be on July 21, the dinner is an annual White House tradition commemorating Ramadan, and will be an opportunity for President Obama to host American Muslim leaders for the Eid holiday.
 
“…we are one American family,” said President Obama when announcing the event. “I stand firmly with Muslim American communities in rejection of the voices that seek to divide us…I stand committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans no matter their religion or appearance. I stand in celebration of our common humanity and dedication to peace and justice for all.”
 
Abrar Quader has been invited several times in recent years to participate in White House
meetings on health equity policy, the Affordable Care Act and providing healthcare access in
underserved communities across the United States, and it is because of the role of
Compassionate Care Network in providing healthcare to the uninsured that he received this
invitation.
 
“This meeting is important especially now because it serves to lift up the countless contributions of American Muslims who have always been an integral part of the fabric of this great nation,” said Quader. “It symbolizes that all Americans can come together regardless of their diverse faiths. I am accepting the invitation on behalf of all of the unsung heroes from my organization and others who work on issues like civic engagement, violence prevention, immigration, public health and the environment, to share their stories too.”
 
“This Ramadan we celebrated the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali, who showed the world that there is no contradiction between the values of America and the principles of Islam,” said
Quader. “Now more than ever, it’s critical for all of us to come together and work to promote
peace, unity, understanding, tolerance, justice, compassion and equality,” said Quader.
 
“As I have done throughout my presidency,” said President Obama, “I look forward to opening the doors of the White House to Muslim Americans during this special occasion… I can think of no better way to mark my Administration’s last celebration of Ramadan as President than to honor the contributions of Muslims in America and across the world for Eid.”
 
This past year Quader has provided leadership on several initiatives, including campaigning for expanded healthcare to the uninsured, relief for lead poisoned residents of Flint, gun violence prevention legislation advocacy, countering extremism, mental health awareness, urban public health and anti-violence campaigns. In doing this work, Quader has partnered through Compassionate Care Network with the White House, U.S. Surgeon General’s Office, U.S. Health and Human Services, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Organizing for Action, Enroll America, Healthy Communities Cook County as well as other leaders.
 

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Letter to the Editor

Make a difference; support gun laws – Daily Herald 7/18/16

7/18/2016 Make a difference; support gun laws

Letter to the Editor posted: 7/18/2016 1:00 AM
Make a difference; support gun laws

Do you know someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence? What would you do if you lost a loved one to gun violence? Ask your elected officials and they say, “I’m praying for the victims …”

We need real action now!

You may think that this could never happen to you, or at least you hope it won’t. The residents of Orlando, Chicago, Charleston, Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, San Bernardino,

Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Santa Monica, and Oak Creek never thought it would happen in their cities or towns. Tragically, it did.

Why? Why in a country that vows “liberty and justice for all” are citizens gunned down with regularity?

The reason is that there are too many guns available to people who should not have a gun in their possession.

I go to my local hair salon. The stylists need a license, which generates revenue. I want to drive a car. I need a license, which generates revenue. I go to purchase alcohol. The seller needs a license, which generates revenue. I want to go fishing. I need a license, which generates revenue.

I go to buy a gun. The seller does not need a license in Illinois. No revenue! Did you know that Arlington Heights has seven gun dealers?

Did you know that over 90 percent of voters in suburban Cook County support the licensing of gun dealers in Illinois?

Did you know that 77 percent of Illinois gun owners support the licensing of gun dealers in Illinois?
What can you do? Contact your state legislators and congressmen and tell them you want common sense gun laws Save a life! Make a call! Send an email! Make a difference.

Kathy Carter
Arlington Heights

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#WearOrange Party for Peace – NBC5Chicago

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NWSOFA GVP Partners with GVP Groups and Meets with Gabby Giffords

 

Today, ICHV proudly stood with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and our gun violence prevention partners from across Illinois to officially launch the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition to urge state leaders to support a new proposal what will be introduced next week, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.
The measure would give state authorities and law enforcement the tools to encourage better business practices among federally licensed gun dealers and hold corrupt dealers accountable to slow the flow of illegal gun trafficking in Illinois and help keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Negligent gun dealers within Illinois fuel the illegal gun trade. From 2009 to 2013, 40 percent of the guns used in crimes in Chicago came from gun dealers within Illinois. But thanks to loopholes in federal law and a lack of federal resources for enforcement, Illinois doesn’t have the tools and authority it needs to combat illegal or negligent business practices that threaten Illinois families.
“Stopping gun violence takes courage – the courage to do what’s right, and the courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” said Congresswoman Giffords in a speech at this morning’s announcement. “Now is the time to come together – to be responsible! Democrats, Republicans – everyone.”
The Gun Dealer Licensing Act which will be sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon, and State Representative Kathleen Willis, will strengthen Illinois’ laws and help slow the flow of illegal guns through a number of small changes to the state’s laws, including:
·      Law enforcement inspections
·      Background checks on all employees
·      Video surveillance and improved security
·      Training and education for gun dealer employees
“Illinois is in the grips of a gun violence crisis that claims a life every eight hours. As a state and as a nation, we must do better – and we can start by making it harder for dangerous people to get guns. That means supporting a responsible proposal like this one to give our state authorities the tools they need to combat illegal gun trafficking and ensure fewer criminals get a gun,” said Colleen Daley, Executive Director. “This kind of commonsense step won’t prevent every gun tragedy in our state, but it will help save lives – and we think that’s something worth fighting for. I hope our leaders in Springfield from both sides of the aisle can come together to support this badly-needed change to our laws.”
Between 2002 – 2014, 14,273 people were killed with guns in Illinois, nearly three times the number of all U.S. combat troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.  A person is killed with a gun in Illinois every eight hours.  In 2014, 1,179 people were killed by guns in Illinois.
Groups represented in the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition include:
ABJ Community Services
All Saints Episcopal—Chicago
Americans for Responsible Solutions
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Catholic Charities
Center for American Progress
Chicago Board of Rabbis
Chicago Survivors
Chicagoland Brady Chapter
City Church of Chicago
Community of Congregations
Community Renewal Society
Countryside Unitarian Church
Emanuel Congregation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Faith Community of St. Sabina
Greater Institutional AME Church
Gun Responsibility Advocates
Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)
Howard Area Community Center
Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Illinois Conference of Churches
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV)
Increase the Peace Englewood
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JAC PAC)
League of Women Voters of Illinois
National Gun Victims Action Council
Northwest Suburbs Organizing for America
Open Communities
Organizing Catholics for Justice
Organizing for America Chicago North Chapter
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Parents for Peace and Justice
Peace & Justice Committee Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
Peaceful Communities
People for a Safer Society
Presbyterian Church USA
Progressive Community Church
Purpose Over Pain
Quinn Chapel AME Church
Saint Joseph Anglican—Springfield
Saving Chicago’s Youth
Seabury Western Theological Seminary
St. Felicitas Catholic Church
St. Francis Xavier Parish
St. Joseph Anglican
Strengthening Chicago’s Youth
The Peace & Justice Committee of St. Edmunds
United Church of Christ
United Church of Rogers Park
United Methodist Church
For more information about the Gun Violence Prevention Coalition or to add your organization to the list please contact Mark Walsh atmwalsh@ichv.org
 

GABBY GIFFORDS COMES TO ILLINOIS TO PROMOTE GUN DEALER LEGISLATION