Although the holidays are approaching, we can’t let up in our preparations for the lame-duck legislative session that begins right after New Year’s Day. All of our work to protect the modest pensions earned and relied on by teachers, police officers, nurses, caregivers, and other public employees and retirees will be in danger if politicians come back to Springfield in early January and jam through an unfair, unconstitutional pension-cutting bill.
That’s why the We Are One Illinois coalition has assembled a three-step plan:
1. Get Ready!
Our coalition will be leading two days of action, Jan. 3 and 4, at the State Capitol in Springfield. Please come and personally lobby your lawmakers to show your support for our fair pension funding plan. Click the link for more information.
2. Get Set!
As you may have seen in the news, just yesterday the coalition released two important studies. They detail the coalition’s stance against deep benefit cuts for workers and retirees and offer framework recommendations that address the pension funding crisis in a fair and constitutional way. You can read summaries and the full studies at WeAreOneIllinois.org.
We also created a new video that features several members carrying our message of fairness. View the video on our website or by clicking the image below:
As always, our general fact sheet on pensions is available here. With this background, you’ll be ready to lobby your legislators in Springfield. (It never hurts to call them in advance to arrange an appointment for the day you’ll visit the Capitol—if you don’t, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to meet them face to face.)
For our Pension Preservation Days in Springfield on Jan. 3 and 4, those arriving in the morning can check in and pick up advocacy materials at a tent located on the east side of the Illinois Education Association headquarters building (100 East Edwards Street). Then you’ll be off to lobby, entering the Capitol building through the north or east doors. (Bring as few personal items as possible, since you’ll have to pass through security; state employees can speed the process by bring their state employee IDs.)
Around noon each day, we will rally in the State Capitol rotunda. If the building is filled to capacity, the State Police may order that no one else be admitted. An overflow crowd would send a strong message to lawmakers, so be sure dress warmly in case our rally spills outside.
Those arriving in the afternoon should also plan to lobby their lawmakers—by setting up either in-office appointments in advance or being “on the rail” outside legislative chambers.
It is possible that the coalition will ask supporters to return to Springfield between January 5 and January 8 if unfair pension legislation begins to move. Be prepared!
Thank you for your continued commitment to a fair, constitutional, and sustainable pension funding solution for Illinois.
Let’s make them hear our united voice!
We Are One Illinois