CHICAGO – Nearly 200 Chicagoans rallied in front of the building where Governor Bruce Rauner owns a lakefront penthouse. More than a dozen people concerned about the draconian budget cuts proposed by the governor brought tents and sleeping bags to camp out.
“I’ve already experienced what it’s like to have my Medicaid cut,” said Victor McWilliams a board member of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus. “I didn’t know if I would have to live on the streets and how I would pay for food. It’s ridiculous that Governor Rauner thinks he can balance the budget by cutting programs for seniors and other vulnerable people in Illinois. What he needs to do is tax corporations and the One Percent.”
People set up props and rolled out their sleeping bags to mimic the depression-era Hoovervilles. The possible cuts would lead to more homelessness, more people going without medical attention, and unable to meet their basic needs. The Raunerville settlement shows the governor the future he wants to lead us down.
“Governor Bruce Rauner would rather put his wealthy friends ahead of the hard-working families of Illinois, said Annie Harris, a member of Action Now. “He would rather side with billionaire Ken Griffin instead of someone like me.”
Other sources of revenue for the state are within reach if the Governor would side with working families instead of his wealthy friends. Illinois can utilize a millionaire’s tax, a progressive income tax system, closing corporate tax loopholes, among others.
“Cuts to mental health services will cause instability in people’s lives across the board, said Marnee Koob, a leader with ONE Northside who is formerly homeless. “It will create homelessness and cost the state more money for hospitalizations and incarceration. It’s time to raise revenue by taxing LaSalle Street trading.”
Photo: Aaron Krager