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Archive for January, 2016

2016 NASW Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee Endorsements

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Below are the following NASW Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee (NASW IL PAC) endorsements for the upcoming 2016 election.

Cook County State’s Attorney: Kim Foxx

“As social workers we see firsthand the very real effects the state’s attorney’s office has on the welfare of children and our clients. We had hoped the current officeholder would have shared our ideals of social justice as reflected in the NASW Code of Ethics. However her track record and (most glaringly) her lack of a response make abundantly clear that Cook County needs a new voice and a new direction.

We believe strongly that this new voice should be Kim Foxx.”

See full NASW IL PAC endorsement letter here: http://naswilpac.org/2016/01/11/nasw-illinois-pac-endorses-kim-foxx/

Senate District 19: Senator Michael Hastings

Senator Hastings is a strong social work supporter who has worked hard at saving funding for mental health services in Illinois. He received a 90 percent on the social work legislative scorecard for 2015. Of particular note, his tireless work to pass the anti-harassment bill around revenge porn shows his commitment to justice and fighting for women in the state of Illinois. Michael Hastings is strongly endorsed for Senate District 19.

House District 3: Rep. Louis Arroyo

Representative Arroyo was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. He is a strong supporter of women’s health access and issues important to our clients. Louis Arroyo is strongly endorsed for House District 3.

House District 3: Rep. Cynthia Soto

Representative Soto is a longtime social work issue advocate particularly in the areas of Mediciad expansion for low income applicants. She was honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard for 2015. Cynthia Soto is strongly endorsed for House District 3.

House District 5: Juliana Stratton

While a former social worker, Representative Ken Dunkin—who we have endorsed for several years—has taken tough votes over the previous assemblies, his recent shift away from supporting social work issues, particularly childcare, leaves the NASW IL PAC looking for someone new to endorse in the 5th District. Thankfully there isn’t just a replacement running but a true champion for criminal justice reform and education in Juliana Stratton. Stratton is executive director of Cook County Justice for Children and serves as officer on the local school council. Rep. Dunkin scored a 67 percent on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard, one of the lowest scores of any Democrat in Illinois and even lower still than six Republicans. Juliana Stratton is emphatically endorsed for House District 5.

House District 7: Chris Welch

The NASW IL PAC endorsed Representative Welch in previous elections and is proud to stand with him again for the 2016 election. He is a longtime advocate for social services and has been an invaluable asset to Illinois. Rep. Welch was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. We emphatically endorse Chris Welch for House District 7.

House District 8: LaShawn Ford

Representative Ford was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. We strongly endorse LaShawn Ford for House District 8.

House District 26: Christian Mitchell

Representative Mitchell was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. While his opponent is a promising candidate, we endorse Christian Mitchell for House District 26.

House District 27: Monique Davis

Representative Davis was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. We endorse Monique Davis for House District 27.

House District 29: Thaddeus Jones

Representative Jones was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. We endorse Thaddeus Jones for House District 29.

House District 33: Marcus Evans

Representative Evans was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. While his opponent is a promising candidate, we endorse Marcus Evans for House District 33.

House District 40: Jamie Andrade Jr.

Representative Andrade was co-sponsor for almost every bill we pushed in Springfield in 2015 including a ban on conversion therapy. He was once again honored with the NASW Illinois Chapter Spirit of Jane Addams Award for receiving a perfect score on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. While his opponent is a promising candidate, we strongly endorse Jamie Andrade Jr.

House District 67: Litesa Wallace

Representative Wallace’s advocacy efforts on many social work ideals are tough to match. Her impassioned speech on the Illinois House floor around childcare and why this state needs to provide it at a maximum level only reaffirms our belief in her as state legislator. She received a 90 percent on the NASW Illinois Chapter Legislative Scorecard. We strongly endorse Litesa Wallace for House District 67.

Additional endorsements may be coming in races in which the NASW IL PAC has requested additional information and/or candidate interviews.

NASW Illinois PAC Endorses Kim Foxx

Kim Foxx for Cook County State's AttorneySocial Workers Stand for a New Cook County State’s Attorney

Chicago, IL − On behalf of the over 7,000 members of the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter Political Action Committee (NASW IL PAC) and the over 20,000 licensed social workers in the state of Illinois, it is our pleasure to emphatically endorse Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney in the upcoming 2016 General Primary Elections.

As social workers we see first-hand the very real effects the state’s attorney’s office has on the welfare of children and our clients. We had hoped the current office holder would have shared our ideals of social justice as reflected in the NASW Code of Ethics. However her track record and (most glaringly) her lack of a response make abundantly clear that Cook County needs a new voice and a new direction.

We believe strongly that this new voice should be Kim Foxx.

Her childhood background as well as her early work as a guardian ad litem with the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office tell us she will understand the context around future juvenile cases, a skillset which seems to be lacking in that department as life-altering decisions are being made.

Her over twelve years’ of experience supervising dozens of assistant state’s attorneys in Cook County assures us she understands the culture of this office which needs dramatic change.

Her commitment and experience to criminal justice reform seals our confidence in Kim Foxx to understand that the winds of the office have changed toward a holistic approach to transforming the system. For far too long this position has been used for future public office by politicians who are only reactive to crimes after media attention, while focusing too many efforts to increase their tally of non-violent drug convictions. This pattern of ignoring justice for personal gain needs to stop. No one should be above the law, nor should the goals of the department be to find a way to get a conviction on the innocent at any cost.

There is no candidate running for this office we trust more than Kim Foxx to bring life-altering improvements to this department.

As social workers, we understand that political candidates cannot simply overnight become advocates for criminal justice reform. When reviewing other candidates in the race for Cook County State’s Attorney, the NASW IL PAC had serious concerns about other candidates’ sudden commitment to social justice, their previous careers, as well as their political endorsements which do not share the social worker’s commitment to justice and community.

For these reasons and so many more the NASW IL PAC enthusiastically endorses Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney.


 

Learn more and get involved at: www.kimfoxx.com

NASW IL PAC RELEASES 2016 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

The NASW Illinois Chapter is guided by the policy statements that appear in Social Work Speaks 2015–2018 in its advocacy efforts with special emphasis on subjects below.

The agenda will guide the chapter legislative and policy advocacy work during the coming year.

  • The NASW Illinois Chapter (NASW IL) will support the development of sufficient resources to support our state budget that will help support the delivery of vital human services to Illinois citizens in need, including efforts to ensure prompt payment to providers.
  • NASW IL will support and monitor Illinois’ implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the role social workers can play in it.
  • NASW IL will work to expand and clarify rules and regulations surrounding telehealth services to expand access to underserved areas and populations.
  • NASW IL will work towards a comprehensive loan repayment program that addresses shortages for behavioral health areas and specific need populations.
  • NASW IL will work towards final passage of a statewide minimum wage increase.
  • NASW IL will work to strengthen the social work license by reviewing and suggesting for implementation requirements for supervision training.
  • NASW IL will continue working towards establishing the rules process for PA 95-518 (the social work Medicaid reimbursement law) which will enable mental health services to be more readily available on a community level; we will also work on how this will fit into the Medicaid reform laws adopted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011 (PA 96-1501).
  • NASW IL will advocate for fair and equitable insurance reimbursement rates for licensed clinical social workers.
  • NASW IL will work to rescind language requiring social workers to notify the client’s physician if they are receiving services (PL 86-1434).
  • NASW IL will work to promote the hiring of social workers and advocate for the role of the social work profession in the human service sector in Illinois.
  • NASW IL will closely monitor and review (and support when deemed appropriate) initiatives to eliminate or reduce poverty in Illinois.
  • NASW IL will advocate for providing quality mental health services to reduce rates of recidivism, re-entry, and incarceration.
  • NASW IL will advocate for stricter laws aimed at the reduction of mental, sexual, and physical abuse of children, women, and elderly including expanded reporting requirements.

 

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with over 150,000 members. The NASW Illinois Chapter is one of the association’s largest chapters with over 7,000 members in Illinois alone. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

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