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To the Editor: Sept. 18 DeKalb meeting for real change

August 18, 2010

I remember when we would organize and talk about the need to end homelessness. Remember Comic Relief I, and II, & III, and so on…well you don’t read about the need to end homelessness any longer.

Now, instead, we are looking to expand our homeless shelters to accommodate growing numbers of homeless; but no one is talking about the need to end homelessness, it has now become accepted that the homeless are always going to be with us. Well, you may have seen the op-ed in The New York Times this Sunday, leading free market economists are now saying that 10 percent unemployment may become the “new normal.” We used to hear that we need unemployment at around 5 percent to keep down inflation while still fueling the econmoy. What I fear, like homelessness, someday in a year or two we will hear that we need to hold unemployment at 10 percent.

As you are well aware, Winnebago County has the highest unemployment in the state, and for many this is becoming normal. Well, if we are going to stop this from being “just the way the American economy is,” it will take a strong, united outcry from the people.

As Paul Krugman said, in his Aug. 1 N.Y. Times op-ed, “Defining Prosperity Down,” a “public outrage” will be needed to prevent “high unemployment” from being accepted as “structural” in the same way homelessness has become accepted as a “structural” reality of the present free market economy.

Our hope is that if we form a strong regional coalition of labor, other unions, environmental, education, and social justice groups, we will have a better chance to have an effect on policy and legislation.

Our mission statement: “Living Wage Jobs for All Illinois Coalition.”

Living Wage Jobs for All is a nonpartisan research, education and action group committed to development of and advocating for policies that create sustainable living wage jobs and challenge the existing economic inequalities.

Our meeting Saturday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Unitarian Church at 158 N. Fourth St. in DeKalb, Ill. 60115, will be to strengthen the organization that we are already growing. This will be our third meeting; our other meetings have been attended by 35-45 people from across the area. The September meeting will hopefully be attended by U.S. Rep. Foster for part of the time; the rest of the meeting will be focused on the next steps to create a structure for our coalition and plan the next action steps. We see this as a regional coalition built for the long haul to address the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, to begin altering the economic inequalities that are causing the working people of the 14th and the 16th congressional districts to struggle so much just to make ends meet or to survive financially.

I hope that you share this with others whom you think would like to join this effort.

Living Wage Jobs for All, dkenney53@hotmail.com, (815) 793-0950.

Dan Kenney

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Free speech for some, but not for others?

The Rockford City Council voted 11-2 to support a ban for one year from city council meetings on a Mr. Buckingham, who had made veiled threats against the mayor.

Ald. Karen Elyea voted against banning Mr. Buckingham from the city council meetings, even though he threatened the mayor. The alderman claimed she was concerned about his free speech rights.

This is the same Ald. Karen Elyea who tried to ram a bubble zone law through the Rockford City Council that would take away the free speech rights of hundreds of Christians who offer help to mothers at Rockford’s abortion mill.

There has never been one complaint to the police by a mother entering the abortion mill against a sidewalk counselor. They are only there to help women in need.

It seems Alderman Elyea supports the right to make veiled threats against our Mayor but not the right for Christians to offer free help to mothers in need at the abortion mill.

This kind of hypocrisy has led us to killing over 50,000 children in the womb in Rockford.

Kevin Rilott

Rockford Pro-Life Initiative

Rockford

From the Aug. 18-24, 2010 issue

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