Chicago Women’s Agenda: An end of the year request

December 19, 2017

Dear Sisters,

Today I am writing to you as co-convener with Ann Breen-Greco of Chicago Women Take Action, the four year old group that initiated the alliances that produced the Chicago Women’s Agenda and the recent Women’s Gubernatorial Forum.  As our mission statement says “We are a group of activists of all ages, united by our commitment to advocate and fight for the social justice, economic security and peaceful world in which women and their families can thrive.  We are confident that working together, and with others, our voices, our actions  make the critical difference”.

Over the past years, we have worked together to raise the minimum wage in Chicago and across the state, to preserve health care for all, to protect immigrant rights, to stem gun violence and demand police accountability, to foster the women’s movement by boosting the Marches of last January, creating coalitions of all Chicago-area women’s groups, and of course protecting the access to full reproductive health care that is essential to women’s economic, mental and physical health.

We regularly communicate news, ideas and events through email and we meet each month in downtown Chicago. Our meetings are open to all. Attached is the Agenda that guides our actions – an agenda forged in 2014 when 22 organizations and hundreds of women came together to say what Chicago women need and want.

As important, if you like our work and support our mission, please consider making an end of the year gift to us.  Note that all support of $50 or more will automatically also entitle you to a voting membership.  You can support us in one of two ways.  You can send a check made out to Chicago Foundation for Women with for CWTA in the memo line either to me at the address below or directly to Chicago Foundation for Women.  Or, you can go online to Chicago Foundation for Women and contribute by clicking here. Please designate that the funds are for Chicago Women Take Action.

Whatever your decision, have a wonderful holiday season.

In Sisterhood,

Marilyn Katz

Marilyn Katz
MK Communications
350 West Hubbard Street
Chicago, Il.  60654

What Chicago Women Want For Women Everywhere

On October 18, 2014, nearly 200 women from diverse communities across Chicago came together at the end of a two month process to forge, through discussion and debate, the first Chicago Women’s Agenda. Some issues – like equal pay and reproductive rights – are long time challenges faced by previous generations of women. Others reflect more recent concerns – about Democracy, protection of public assets, gun violence. Together these issues represent the thoughts and desires of women on which we intend to act and on which we should judge candidates, elected leaders and corporate actions alike.

Note: This document contains shortened versions of our full agenda. View the  longer agenda. All agenda items are of utmost value. They are numbered for clarity and ease of reference.

  1. Full Reproductive Rights – Ensure full, affordable access to health services, including contraception and abortion, as well as the pre-natal and family health care services, paid sick leave, and other family-friendly policies that make real choice possible
  2. Economic Security – Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for a full week of work, and ensure equal pay for equal work
  3. Tools for Economic Empowerment – Ensure that women have the opportunities they need for economic success, including access to quality, affordable education and training and to capital for entrepreneurial ventures
  4. Expanded Opportunities for Young Women – Increase access and funding for sports, education, good nutritional choices, and health care, and end objectification, including rape and sex trafficking, that stifles possibilities
  5. Real Immigration Reform – Pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that protects women and reunites families
  6. Freedom from Violence – Create laws and real consequences to end the violence against women, particularly young women, that affects every realm of their lives – from harassment on public transportation, sexual assaults in the military, and on campus, to the violence that occurs at home
  7. Common Sense Gun Control – Enact sensible gun control laws that outlaw assault weapons and make guns of all types less accessible
  8. Criminal Justice Reform – Decriminalize drug laws and reform police, courts and prisons to end brutality, wrongful convictions and sentences that impair lives
  9. Protection of Public Assets – Preserve and protect the public institutions and assets that provide opportunity and well-being for women and their families
  10. Protection of Democracy – Ensure the right to vote, the right to speak and voice unpopular opinions, to gather in public places and to unfettered access to the Internet
  11. Livable Conditions – Pass legislation and engage in practices that ensure that the environments in which women and families live are affordable, healthy, and safe, with access to nutritious food.
CWTA Gun Violence Prevention and Police Accountability Committee.

Rev. Janette Wilson, Operation PUSH, and also a member of the CWTA Gun Violence Prevention and Police Accountability Committee, said of gun violence prevention in Chicago. “None of us are safe until all of us are safe.”

The women of CWTA are united not only by our agenda – formally adopted in 2014 – but by our agreement to PROTECT the civil, political and human rights of women and their families; RESIST attacks on any as an attack on all and ACT to further the agenda we together have forged.  JOIN US!