Friday, May 20, 2011

Small Step Forward

Dear Friends,

First of all, thank you for your support and encouragement. Together, we are less isolated and more empowered. Know that your kind words and resolute action make a difference.

We have won a small victory through the collective effort of tens of thousands of Illinois voters. The House Personnel and Pensions Committee has postponed its hearing on SB 512. This seems to indicate that legislators realize we are watching. They cannot muster the votes they need to shirk their responsibilities.

Even so, there are four hearing dates scheduled for this upcoming week. Which means the Illinois House could call for a vote at any time. This ambush tactic is habitually used to foist bad legislation on Illinois residents. We've seen it previously with irresponsible budgets, with unproductive tax plans, with gambling legislation, and with previous attempts to dismantle state pension systems.

Call 1-888-412-6570 or click here to be connected with your state representative. Urge them to OPPOSE SB 512—PROTECT, NOT CUT PENSIONS for public employees. (1)

Please share these talking points with your friends and family:
  • The average pension to retired Illinois public employees is $32,000 a year. How well could you manage retirement on that income?
  • Illinois public employees contribute more from their paycheck to state managed pensions that private workers contribute to Social Security
  • Illinois public employees covered by pensions are not covered by Social Security
  • Illinois public employees contribute to their pension every pay check; Illinois legislators have habitually reneged on their pension obligations.

Contact your state legislators again today. And tomorrow. And next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday so that they finally understand the message: Illinois residents deserve honest political service. We cannot afford, nor will we tolerate, continued irresponsiblity.

Just as we expect first responders to support us in time of need, so too do we expect Illinois legislators to make decisions in our best interests. It is in our best interest to provide retirement security in our communities. It is in our best interest to demand that our elected leaders do the right thing.

Our voices do change the outcome. We no longer stand alone. Call again. Email now. Ask more adults to join you. You intercession has been the only brake on this bad legislation. Without our vocal demands for ethical behavior, the Illinois Legislature has a green light to proceed with business as usual. And that business has bankrupt our state.

I cannot thank you enough for helping to turn the tide of malicious political rhetoric against public workers in our state. Your participation in the legislative process gives hope to the fire fighters and police who work while we sleep. Your support encourages nurses who care for the disabled and chronically ill. Your voice matters to the people who care for our children.

As a teacher, I am proud to know the community stands behind me. Thank you for time and thank you for demanding better from the Illinois State Legislature.

(1) Link provided by

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