Students Attend Rally for Illinois and Federal Legislation

Speakers at the event included upcoming candidates for Congress and for attorney general of Illinois.

By Feng Ye and Daniel Labrousse

Two local activist organizations—the People’s Lobby and Reclaim Chicago—hosted a public awareness rally for legislation in Illinois, named “From Protest to Power,” last Sunday afternoon.

Both organizations are based in Chicago, and work to endorse and mobilize support for progressive public policies and candidates that prioritize people’s needs before corporate interest and mobilize support for progressive legislation.

The student group UChicago Student Action (UCSA) attended the event, alongside hundreds of other people.

Speakers at the rally included Martese Chism, a registered nurse at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County; Ibie Hart, chair of the People's Lobby Mass Incarceration Task Force; Eglė Malinauskaitė, a Chicago Student Action member; Natasha Erskine, a Veterans for Peace member; and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the 35th Ward Alderman.

Issues raised during the rally included ending mass incarceration, including a global minimum wage as part of NAFTA, and providing nationalized health care for the U.S.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx stated her commitment to support the People’s Lobby. Upcoming candidates for Congress and for attorney general of Illinois also spoke at the event, sharing their platform and expressing their commitment to the People’s Lobby.

“I think it’s really important that…[people] recognize that the economy doesn’t really work as a zero-sum game,” fourth-year Nora Helfand told The Maroon. “It’s more an issue of who is at the top, pulling the strings, and how we can protect workers without shoving someone else under the bus.”