And How are the Children..?

Advocacy in Illinois: Budget Crisis Response Roundup

Posted on: April 7, 2010


There are several advocacy organizations in Illinois that are supporting fair and reasonable funding for early childhood education and services. Confused about which organization to contact? Need more details about the goals and objectives of different advocacy efforts? Want to know who has e-news updates, or Twitter alerts to inform you about advocacy news? Well, read on, concerned citizens! Here is a roundup of major policy advocacy initiatives in our state.

Below you will find a list of organizations, their overall missions and their advocacy platforms. Links and other contact info are provided, so you can get informed and then get involved.

I wonder how Illinois advocacy compares to what other states are doing… I would love to hear from people about what kinds of advocacy efforts are happening in other struggling states.  Are campaigns in other states more or less comprehensive?  What might we learn from each other?

The info in the table below is copied directly from the websites of the featured organizations (with the exception of the advocacy platform for Illinois Action for Children). It is heartening to see organizations such as these putting forward a more comprehensive web presence. Most of these websites have useful tools such as ‘Find your Legislator’ links, or guides that you can download that include talking points and tips for first-time advocates and would-be activists. They provide a lot of what you need to get started.

So take a look at the table below, pick an organization, and get involved!

Org Illinois Action for Children (IAFC)

http://actforchildren.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=478

Mission “Illinois Action for Children is a catalyst for organizing, developing and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most.”
Advocacy Platform for Budget Crisis IAFC does not have a specific budget-related action plan described on their website, but is collaborating with the Responsible Budget Coalition on this issue (see below).
Facebook Presence? Yes
Twitter Presence? Yes – @IAFC_Cares
Types of Info Alerts? E-mail/Fax Action Alerts for members; ‘Advocate News’ Biannual Newsletter; Twitter and Facebook Notifications
Org Ounce of Prevention Fund

http://www.ounceofprevention.org/advocacy/index.php

Mission “The Ounce of Prevention Fund gives children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life by advocating for and providing the highest quality care and education from birth to age five.”
Advocacy Platform for Budget Crisis “We are deeply concerned about the Governor’s plan to slash state spending on education programs, including funds that support Illinois’ nationally recognized early childhood education system…  We are also very concerned about proposed cuts to other essential early childhood services, such as home visiting, child care, and early intervention.  We strongly encourage state lawmakers to support both the proposed tax surcharge and to look at longer-term reform to address the Illinois structural deficit and debilitating cuts in human services.”
Facebook Presence? Yes
Twitter Presence? No
Types of Info Alerts? E-mail Action Alerts; ‘Early Edition’ Triennial newsletter; Facebook Notifications.
Org Voices for Illinois Children

http://www.voices4kids.org/getinvolved/statebudgetactioncenter.html

Mission “Voices for Illinois Children champions the full development of every child in Illinois to assure the future well-being of everyone in the state. We work with families, communities and policymakers on all issues to help children grow up healthy, happy, safe, loved, and well educated.”
Advocacy Platform for Budget Crisis “Illinois needs a sustainable, comprehensive solution—one following the framework of House Bill 174…  HB174 takes the balanced approach of raising greater tax revenues to offset many of the cuts that, alone, cannot solve our widespread budget woes and can only destroy our already weakened system of supports for vulnerable Illinoisans.”
Facebook Presence? Yes
Twitter Presence? No
Types of Info Alerts? E-mail list; Facebook Notifications
Org Responsible Budget Coalition

http://www.abetterillinois.com/

Mission “The Responsible Budget Coalition brings together many diverse organizations that represent and serve millions of Illinois residents.

“We are committed to building the support needed to solve Illinois’ budget crisis, prevent harmful cuts to essential public services, save jobs, eliminate the state’s long-term structural deficit, and make taxes more fair.”

Advocacy Platform for Budget Crisis “We call on every elected official in Illinois to acknowledge that this fiscal crisis, brought on by a long-standing structural budget deficit and an economic downturn, cannot be solved without significant new revenue. The revenue mix contained in HB 174—a comprehensive tax-reform package passed by the Illinois Senate and approved by a committee of the Illinois House—is the most responsible framework for such a solution.

“We support this comprehensive tax reform, including a revenue increase at least equal to that proposed in HB 174. We call on legislators to enact it as soon as possible.”

Facebook Presence? Yes
Twitter Presence? No
Types of Info Alerts? Subscribe to blog updates; Facebook Notifications

Do you know of a resource, or details that are not listed here? Please, leave a comment or send a message to me.

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1 Response to "Advocacy in Illinois: Budget Crisis Response Roundup"

Raise Your Hand (www.ilraiseyourhand.org) is a growing coalition of Chicago public schools and organizations associated with or advocating for public education. Our mission is to influence state and local officials to provide appropriate, equitable and sustained funding for public education.

The coalition provides shared tools and methods to enable schools and organizations, in Chicago and throughout Illinois, to effectively mobilize their own stakeholders using their own member distribution lists and communication avenues. Noto37 is the driving force of this mobilization effort for the immediate funding crisis.

In the immediate term RYH is working to

1. Influence the General Assembly to provide appropriate, equitable and sustainable funding for public education and

2. Influence Governor Pat Quinn to only accept a FY 2011 budget which at least maintains education funding at last year’s levels and to veto any budget which cuts education funding. (noto37 has been primary vehicle for this)

RYH has grown from a representation from 12 schools to over 100 in less than 2 weeks. From 1 to over 700 members on Facebook page. The coalition has organized two rallies in Chicago attended by over 1,500 people.

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