No More Excuses – Trauma Center Now

June 26, 2015

Jay and Demands

By Jay Stanton
JCUA Member

Earlier this June, I spent one Thursday reminiscing about my time as a student at the University of Chicago and being both pleased and horrified at some of the changes that have been made on campus in recent months. The previous day, nine activists were participating in peaceful civil disobedience, calling on President Robert Zimmer to discuss a list of demands for the University of Chicago to help solve the trauma center desert crisis on the South Side.

Instead of pursuing its ordinary tactics of ignoring protesters until they get tired, or superficially meeting demonstrators’ demands to meet with high-level administrators while not making any changes as a result,  the university enlisted the help of the city fire and police departments to extricate and arrest the activists.  They have been charged with serious misdemeanor charges that have the potential to result in jail time. All non-student activists have been banned from campus. These charges can only be meant to punish and intimidate them and the rest of us into silence about the refusal of the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) to open a trauma center. In order to encourage the free expression of ideas, the University should drop the charges immediately.

TAKE ACTION NOW:
1. Sign this petition calling on the University of Chicago to drop charges against the nine trauma center protesters.
2. Join the protesters in court on July 10th. Details and RSVP in the above petition.
3. Write an email to president Zimmer expressing your concern for the University’s actions and the lack of a trauma center.

But here’s the bigger question: why is the U of C singling out trauma center activists? Read the rest of this entry »



Governor Rauner: Be A Pursuer of Justice

May 27, 2015

Rabbi-ReevesBy Guest Blogger Rabbi Frederick Reeves 
KAM Isaiah Israel

On Wednesday, May 13, JCUA took part in a rally with over 200 people to call attention to the devastating impact of Governor Rauner’s “Turnaround Budget” on those who are most vulnerable across the state.  As we gathered in front of one of the Governor’s ten homes, Rabbi Fred Reeves of KAM Isaiah Israel gave the opening prayer, posted below.

Together we turn our thoughts and direct our words to the Eternal in this universe.

Eternal One, we gather together here this day each one of us from our own place. We come from many neighborhoods; we come from many faith traditions, but we are united in our belief that bringing justice into our world is the duty of humanity.

Grant diligence to us as we work for the betterment all the citizens of Illinois. Imbue us with a love of our fellow human beings so that we work not for our self- aggrandizement, but for the improvement of the position of others.

Keep our elected leaders in health as they perform the difficult task of leading this great state, and grant wisdom and discernment to them as they make the choices that determine the direction that this state will go. And especially to our governor, Bruce Rauner, grant a deep and motivating sense of justice for all of the citizens of Illinois. Help him do what is right. Silence those voices around him encouraging him to help those who do not need his help, and strengthen those voices calling on him to help the helpless, lift up the fallen, feed the hungry. Make our governor into a Pursuer of Justice.

For all this, we pray to You, Eternal One. We say together, Amen.

Group-Shot

As a rabbi, I am guided by the words of my own tradition, and there are two words which call out most powerfully, so powerfully in fact, that one of them is used twice. Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: Justice Pursue Justice. We stand here as part of the Responsible Budget Coalition rejecting Governor Rauner’s proposed budget because of the unacceptable way that he has tried to make an unbalanced budget look like a balanced one. A truly balanced budget is not only balanced in terms of dollars and sense, it also is balanced in social responsibility and balanced on the scales of justice for our society.

It is an unbalanced budget that slashes critical investments in Illinois families and our future including transportation, education, and health care.

It is an unbalanced budget that denies Illinois families the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty, make ends meet and send their children off to school.

It is an unbalanced budget that denies access to health care, a good education, quality child care, and universities people can afford, and good roads, buses and trains to get back and forth to work.

It is an unbalanced budget that creates revenue shortfalls by failing to maintain responsible tax rates and instead has harmful and shortsighted tax cuts which have time and again failed to produce the benefits that their supporters promise.

So I call on Governor Rauner to clean up his unbalanced budget, and to present one that balances responsibility with the needs of those whom he was elected to serve. I call on him to put the teachings of justice into practice and become a pursuer of justice for all of the citizens of Illinois.



‘Just’ Eat at the JCUA Family Supper Table

May 14, 2015

By Adam Sawyer
‘Just’ Eat Event Committee Member

Greetings friends!  My name is Adam Sawyer, and I was asked to join the host committee for JCUA’s ‘Just’ Eat annual fundraiser by my fiancé and JCUA’s communications manager, Hannah Wolod.  Being deeply infatuated with this woman, I couldn’t say no.  So here I am, absolutely thrilled to be helping out with an event that she cares about, but that also speaks to the heart of what it means to me to be a family.

Growing up in a one-horse town in the middle of Central Illinois, we didn’t have a family meal nearly enough.  My father was an iron foundry worker who changed his shift more times than I could count during my childhood.  Couple this with the fact that myself, my brother, and my sister were always busy with after-school stuff, the regular family dinner was somewhat of a rarity.  This wasn’t due to a lack of trying from my mother though.  If and when there was a time when we were all together in the house during “Supper” time, we were eating together as a family, dammit! I urge YOU to join JCUA on June 15 at their supper table, ‘Just’ Eat.

Evite Just Eat Heading DraftWhy should you come? Because for me, it was these semi-rare suppers that helped create the man I am today.  While they may not have been high in quantity, they were loaded with quality content.  Some of my first political, social, and spiritual belief systems were developed around that table.  It was at this table, eating Hamburger Helper, where I first truly understood what it meant to be part of the lower-middle class.  It was at this table where I realized how important education equality, access to health care, and stamping out other social injustices was. So join JCUA at their supper table, ‘Just’ Eat, and help them continue to influence beliefs in Chicago like my table shaped me.

JCUA is a family, bound together by a belief structure that as a community, we can make Chicago, the greatest city in the world, a beacon in a country ripped apart by racial, social, and socioeconomic injustice.  That, and I promise you, the food will be way better than the Hamburger Helper I’m used to!

P.S. Did I mention that the company I work for, Genuine Scooters, is also proudly participating in this event. Enter the ‘Just’ Raffle for your chance to win any of several super awesome prizes. The grand prize scooter package comes with a brand new Buddy ‘Brit” Scooter! Ride away in style. Buy raffle tickets now!

buddy50_brit


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