January , 2019

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Rev. Crider: “Election is about raising the wage, keeping affordable health care”

By Chinta Strausberg

The battle cry for Illinois Democrats to take their “souls to the polls” come Tuesday, November 4th, was sounded by a number of clergy and political activists during a “Stand Up For Gov. Pat Quinn for Raise the Wage” rally held over the weekend at the Gloria Taylor Banquet Hall in Harvey Illinois.Democratic Lt. hopeful Gov. Paul Vallas was the keynote speaker; however others before him like Chief Apostle William McCoy, organizer for the Raise the Minimum Raise for Pat Quinn, Bishop Dr. Claude Porter, Chairman, Interfaith, Illinois, Pastor Tyrone Crider, Gladys Taylor, assistant director, Illinois Department of Corrections, Harvey Park District Comm. Anthony McCaskill, Dantrell Evans, activist Al Kindle, motivational speaker Lamont Brown, and dozens of SEIU workers and others also urged voters to come out on election day not just in two’s but to bring their entire block to the polls.

Pastor Crider, who heads the Mount Calvary Church Baptist Church, set the stage for the fight and need to pass the minimum wage referendum. “In March of 1998, I collapsed in the pulpit and was rushed to Mercy Hospital. I was found to have 14 cancerous tumors in my body, and doctors gave me at that time one year to live in 1998, but it’s not March. It’s September. It’s not 1998. It’s 2014, and I’m still here,” Crider told a cheering audience.

“A minimum wage even today is not a livable wage,” he said. “This is why our rcampaign is raising the minimum wage…. This election, November 4th, some people think it’s against Quinn vs. Rauner, but it is also about minimum yes, minimum wage, no…. Though (this election) is listed as Quinn vs. Rauner, it’s about whether we keep Affordable Health Care or that it is canceled,” said Crider.

“It’ actually whether we want to raise the wage, whether we want to keep the affordable health care. These become the two key issues that I urge you to fight for, mobilize for and stand with,” Crider said.

“There is only one in that campaign that supports raising the minimum wage and that is Pat Quinn. There is only one in that race that supports affordable health care continuing and that is PatQuinn. There are some things at stake that are not just Quinn vs. Rauner…,”Crider. He said the victory of passing those two initiatives is literally in their hands.

Activist Al Kindle fired up supporters by challenging them to “take your souls to the polls.” He called for unity to “raise the awareness in the community” and vote with a purpose on the wage issue. Jaquie Algee, vice president, director of External Relations for the SEIU looked on with approval. She is leading this campaign for the SEIU Healthcare.

In introducing Vallas, McCoy said, “A change has got to come. We are tired of this mess.” An unapologetic support of Quinn, who is running under the banner of “Everybody in. Nobody Left out,” McCoy told the crowd, “A house divided shall not stand.”

Referring to Rauner’s TV commercial where his wife claims she is a Democrat and her husband a Republican, McCoy said, ‘We are here to make a difference and the difference is in the power of the vote.” “It’s time for a change…. We’ve got to face the most important issue and that is to not let this state turn red.” Referring to Quinn, McCoy said, “He’s for the people and the people got to understand not to sweat the small stuff….”

“If this guy, this Republican gets in, it will be hell to pay,” warned McCoy. “And, all of those who sold out to sweat the small stuff for personal” gain, “they will be paying along with them.”

McCoy introduced Vallas who stirred up and challenged supporters to support the minimum wage referendum.

Vallas told of how when Quinn took over it was “during the worse recession…a recession driven by greed. He came into office when two former governors were in jail, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. For 28-years, we had Republican governors. I thought I was going to die before I saw a Democratic governor….

“We’re running against a man whose values are not like ours,” McCoy said referring to Rauner,” said Vallas. Nothing, he said, could spell out that difference clear than Quinn’s support to raise the minimum raise and his support for the Affordable Care Act both of which is opposed by Rauner.

Saying he has known Quinn for 30-years, Vallas said he was in Haiti doing public service work when the governor asked him to be his running mate. While surprised, Vallas said Quinn has dedicated his entire life being a public servant and said the choice between Quinn and Rauner is as “clear as night and day.”

Citing some of those differences, Vallas said Quinn is for raising the minimum wage vs. Rauner who is opposed to it. “It’s easy for someone to be against this when they make $25,000 an hour,” said Vallas referring to billionaire Rauner.

Pointing out another stark difference between the two candidates, Vallas said Quinn is for the Affordable Care Act and has backed President Obama from day one vs. Rauner who opposes it and is against Obama. Because of the Affordable Care Act, we now have over 700,000 people enrolled” in this plan. “We got a lot at stake,” warned Vallas.

On education, Vallas said Quinn has launched a five-year blueprint $6 billion education plan that includes universal early childcare education.  Quinn, he said, wants to create a universal job-training program for those who are no longer in the workforce but need more job training. “Quinn wants to invest money into schools but Rauner wants to disinvest and blame the teachers” for failed schools.

Under Rauner, Vallas said one-third of educational funding would be cut. “We need to invest, not disinvest,” said Vallas who is the former CEO of the CPS. He also accused Rauner of “wanting to tax consumption as opposed to basing it on income.”

Vallas said Rauner is opposed to the raising the minimum wage and that “working families should have a livable wage. People who work 40-hours a week should not have to live in poverty. They should have the resources so they can provide for their families.”

Vallas took another swipe at Rauner accusing him of wanting to “dismantle the Affordable Care Act….”

Saying Rauner has “18,000 commercials and deep pockets,” Vallas said that’s easy “when you make $1 million a week.” Vallas said African Americans in particular should be outraged that out of a staff of 51 or 51 Rauner “did not have a single African American in his GTCR Company.

Vallas said Rauner “has more African American’s in his commercials than he has hired at his firm. We know when we are being conned and this is the biggest con.”  In comparison, Vallas said Quinn “has always viewed the state as a region that should be diverse…. We need to be inclusive” in every facet of government, Vallas stated.

Referring to Nov. 4th, Vallas said, “We cannot win this as a squeaker. We have to win this by a landslide. We have to send a message that we will not be toyed with…that we will not be insulted.”

Also speaking was Christopher Patterson head of the Returning Citizens Organizing for Racial Equality (R.C.O.R.E.). “The level of violence that plagues communities of color has not always existed. Yet the poverty and lack of funding and opportunity that could potentially elevate the economic status of many communities of color is the sole cause of an increase in a booming prison industry not just in areas like Chicago and Harvey” but in America as well.

Patterson, who is organizing returning citizens, is fighting what he says is the current condition…1 out of 3 black men and 1 and 6 Latino men are locked up. “We are citizens of this great country, and we want our right like every other American.

If you live in Chicago and want to check the status of your voter registration,click on this link:

http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/home.html,and if you live in the south suburban Cook, click on this link: http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/pages/default.aspx.

And, so just in case it slipped your mind, don’t forget the civil rights movement that raged from about 1955 to 1968 that included marches, boycotts, sit-ins, civil disobedience that began with the killing of Emmitt Till, the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her bus seat to a white man and the entree of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who died fighting for fair wages for garbage workers and other civil violations.

You are standing on the shoulders of all of those, black and white, who chose to die fighting for your right to vote today. Like Paul Vallas said, “You have the power and it lies in your hands” but only you can exercise that right. So, are you going to be part of the solution or the problem? Your answer and action will change the course of history and fairness for the state of Illinois. Will you help Illinois turn red or keep it blue? Which shall it be?

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

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