​​​​In the News

September 19, 2022: Northpoint Tenant Association in collaboration with NA4J held a press conference to demand that Related Midwest finish improvements to Northpoint apartments. 

Photo credit: Joe Ward/Block Club of Chicago 

State Budget Showdown

Service Cuts Have Deep Negative Impact; Renews Calls for Taxing the Rich
by Kathy Powers, NA4J Board Member

Currently, there is no state budget. Funding for human services and other vital services such as education and childcare is in serious jeopardy.

Governor Rauner is pushing for deep spending cuts, including $138 million in cuts to human service. The Illinois General Assembly’s budget, vetoed by the governor, includes nearly $5 billion more in spending than Rauner’s proposal, but is about $4 billion short of the revenue needed to cover the spending.

We cannot abide this situation any longer! Conditions at the DHS office at 5050 N Broadway are already bad enough as it is; we fought many years to fix problems such as bed bugs, mold, mice, excessive heat, and lack of parking.

NA4J and the Alliance for Community Services partnered to host town hall meetings to educate members about these devastating cuts. Over 75 people attended our Northside town hall meeting on May 6, facilitated by fellow board members Louella Pickett and me.

Illinois has a long-term structural budget crisis. A budget solution that prevents continuing crisis after crisis requires long-term progressive revenue measures. NA4J urges our members to contact their state legislators in Springfield to push for progressive revenue solutions and to end this austerity agenda. None of our state legislators have proposed bills for new revenue; they are only criticizing Rauner.

NA4J and the Alliance propose several progressive revenue options:

  • LaSalle Street Tax: Also known as a financial transactions tax, would put a small sales tax ($1-$2 per contract) on transactions made on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and other exchanges (options, futures, swaps, etc.) that large banks, hedge funds, and flash traders make. Would generate $8-10 billion annually.
  • Progressive Income Tax: Would charge a higher income tax rate on top income earners, as is done at the federal level. Would general $2-3 billion annually.
  • Bad Business Fee: Would require companies to disclose how many of their employees receive public assistance from the state or federal government. Companies would then pay a fine based upon subsidies that they receive by making taxpayers pay for their labor expenses.
  • Luxury Sales Tax: Would tax more “high-end” goods and services.
  • End Corporate Loopholes: Two-thirds of Illinois corporations pay NO income taxes. Closing loopholes (e.g. foreign dividends, net operating loss deduction) would generate $300-$350 million annually.
  • Raise Corporate Income Tax: Corporate profits are up, but their tax rates have dropped. Bringing the corporate income tax rate back to 7% would generate $700 million annually.

Northside Action for Justice has an important voice in our community and plans to continue the fight for adequate funding to support decent, robust public services.

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​Northside Action for Justice (NA4J) is a grassroots, member-controlled organization that builds power for low- and moderate- income people in order to advance the cause of economic and social justice on the north side of Chicago and across the globe.


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To review, here are some proposed cuts:

Impacts on senior citizens

·         $140 million in cuts, capping income eligibility and raising the Determination of Need Score (DON) from 29 to 37.

·         During the course of a year over 36,000 senior citizens will lose the services that allow them to live independently. Also, over 10,000 persons with disabilities would lose all services.

·         Because admission to nursing homes and institutions use the same DON score for admittance eligibility, displaced people won't be able to move to nursing homes or other institutional settings.

·         There appear to be no other options available for these 36,000+ individuals

Impacts on youth and families

·         The budget proposal eliminates youth programming, after-school programming, violence prevention, substance abuse prevention, youth homeless services, Boys and Girls Clubs, After School Matters, youth summer employment and other programs designed to provide safety and security for youth and young adults.

·         Childcare is cut by $135 million by eliminating any services for children over 6 years old. Parents will now have to choose whether to leave their children 7 and older home alone during work days if the parents work to support the family.

·         Respite services for 1,840 families with developmentally disabled or delayed children will be eliminated.

·         All statewide services and supports for families with Autism will be eliminated.

·         State support for Easter Seals and Epilepsy Foundation and their statewide community-based service networks will be eliminated.

·         Early Intervention Programs will be drastically altered by raising the threshold for EI to a developmental delay of 50%.

·         Elimination of services to immigrants and refugees such as Welcoming Centers and Immigrant Integration Services

Impacts on Healthcare

·         71% cuts to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

·         23% cuts to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program

·         $400 million in cuts to hospitals

·         $335 million in additional cuts to safety net and critical access hospitals serving high Medicaid volumes

·         Elimination of adult dental and podiatry services which were just restored after severe negative consequences for both patients and providers

·         Severe rate reductions to children's ventilator service and children's mental health services

·         Mental Health cuts of $82 million, Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention cut by $27 million and Developmental Disability funding cut $62 million.

·         Severe cuts to all services (including dialysis) for persons with Renal Disease which threaten the viability of kidney dialysis service statewide.

·         Reinstatement of prior authorization for prescriptions for persons with severe mental illness

·         Elimination of Supportive Housing funds and Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities. Substantial cuts to Supportive Living Facilities

·         Elimination of the Alzheimer's Program and Poison Control Centers


Chicago voters overwhelmingly vote Yes for an Elected, Representative School Board in advisory referendum:

Northside Ward Results:
40th Ward - 86.94% YES
46th Ward - 83.21% YES
47th Ward - 84.04% YES
49th Ward - 87.03% YES
50th Ward - 83.87% YES

The referendum was on the ballot in 37 wards throughout the city, garnering 87% of the vote citywide. Every single ward approved the Elected School Board referendum with at least 82% of the vote.

NA4J put the referendum question on the ballot in the 46th and 49th wards. We congratulate all of our members who worked hard to gather the signatures and turn out the vote for the Elected School Board referendum.

We need to put the Elected School Board issue at the forefront of the April 7th mayoral and aldermanic runoff elections. Meanwhile, we will continue to push our state legislators to move towards establishing an elected, representative school board.

Elected School Board Referendum Wins by Landslide in 37 Wards - Elected Board Now

Chicago REALLY Wants an Elected School Board, Ballot Results Show - DNAInfo Chicago

Want to Be Part of Planning NA4J Campaigns and Activities?
Join A Campaign Committee!

Housing Committee: 1st Monday of the Month
Email housing@actionforjustice.org for more details.

Education Committee: 4th Saturday of the Month
Email education@actionforjustice.org  for more details.

Human Services Committee: 3rd Saturday of the Month
Email humanservices@actionforjustice.org  for more details.

Fundraising Committee: Email events@actionforjustice.org  for more details.

Membership Committee: Email membership@actionforjustice.org  for more details.

Meetings are open to all members, but please RSVP.


No TIF Giveaway for JDL!

Say NO to $15.8 million in TIF funds going to JDL's luxury housing plan at Uptown's Montrose-Clarendon "Maryville" TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District.

NA4J members, along with members of Coalition4Uptown, TIF Illumnating Project, and Jesse Sharkey of the Chicago Teachers Union, testified before the Chicago Community Development Commission against this proposal. Our next step is to pressure the city council to vote NO on this massive abuse of TIF Funds.

More coverage from Progress Illinois and the Chicago Reader