New Online Tool Aims to Take Back Chicago from Corporate Interests, Uplift Legislation Important to Working Families

Today, Grassroots Illinois Action (GIA) publicly launched a new online campaign to call attention to Aldermen who have consistently voted with corporate interests over the interests of neighborhood residents. The campaign focuses around a new website, TakeBackChicago.org, featuring a scorecard which assigns to each of the 50 Aldermen a ‘People’s score’, ranging from champion to rubber stamp. Each Alderman’s profile page also lists key votes since 2011, details how often the Alderman has voted with the Mayor, and notes if he/she was appointed or elected.

TakeBackChicago.org Website Highlights City Council Rubber Stamping of Mayor Emanuel’s Corporate Agenda  

CHICAGO -   Today, Grassroots Illinois Action (GIA) publicly launched a new online campaign to call attention to Aldermen who have consistently voted with corporate interests over the interests of neighborhood residents. The campaign focuses around a new website, TakeBackChicago.org, featuring a scorecard which assigns to each of the 50 Aldermen a ‘People’s score’, ranging from champion to rubber stamp. Each Alderman’s profile page also lists key votes since 2011, details how often the Alderman has voted with the Mayor, and notes if he/she was appointed or elected.

“Although a majority of City Council claims to support working families year after year, we have seen vital services cut, schools close, and inequality grow. There is a clear need for a tool to help Chicago residents see which Alderman are really voting to support working families and which ones are allowing Mayor Emanuel to sell off our city piece by piece,” explained Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Illinois Action.  

Katelyn Johnson, Executive Director of Action Now, echoes, “The City Council’s rubber stamping of Mayor Emanuel’s corporate agenda has hurt Chicago and devastated black and brown communities on the South and West Side. Our communities deserve elected officials who value residents’ needs over corporate dollars. It’s our hope that this new tool, our continued work, and efforts across the city will hold our Aldermen accountable to the working families they claim to represent.”

The organization plans to tap into growing desire for independent City Council leadership.  The site will also draw on community energy around efforts to raise the Chicago minimum wage to $15 an hour, the push for an elected representative school board, and campaigns to preserve affordable housing.

The site has already struck a chord with residents across the city. The development of the site was funded by small individual donations, collected through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and at house parties. The organization intends to continue to add additional functionality into the site leading up to and following the municipal elections.

“It‘s election season, and many of the Aldermen responsible for policies that have hurt so many families and devastated neighborhoods will be making promises and claiming to stand with our communities. Our goal is to show what Aldermen are actually doing, and by doing so, help make our democracy better,” stated Amisha Patel.

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