They asked Representative Harris to stand up for mothers by asking his leadership to put aside non-budget agendas and pass a responsible budget
Mt. Prospect – Local mothers, providers, and advocates held a press conference outside Representative David Harris’ office today, the day after Mother’s Day, regarding the budget impasse’s negative impact on mothers and women. They unveiled a new report demonstrating how the failure of leaders in Springfield to put aside non-budget agendas and pass a budget that chooses revenue is creating barriers for mothers and women. Representative Harris attended the press conference and afterwards invited the group into his office to discuss the impasse in more detail.
Randi M. Gurian, the CEO of The Harbour, spoke about young moms she serves that are at risk of homelessness. Gurian said the failure of the state to fund homeless services and other supports for moms that The Harbour provides represents a broken promise.
“We need Rep. Harris to make sure the state stops breaking its promise to moms and their families. We need our state leaders to put aside non-budget agendas and choose revenue to fund services our moms need,” Gurian said.
Gurian asked Representative Harris to take this message to his party’s leadership.
“Mothers shouldn’t have to worry about a thing on Mother’s Day, but many moms feared for their lives yesterday and they fear for their lives today. They fear for the lives of their children as well,” said Yesenia Maldonado, Executive Director of Between Friends.
Between Friends provides domestic violence services out of an office in the court house in Rolling Meadows. The state is not funding services for 17,500 Illinoisans impacted by domestic violence, eviction, and financial exploitation. That puts mothers who are trying to obtain orders of protection and representation in child custody hearings at risk.
“The choice is simple: put the safety of mothers first not the Governor’s non-budget agenda. Pass a budget that chooses revenue instead of choosing to put mothers’ lives in danger,” said Maldonado.
Ji Hye Kim, the Associate Director of KAN-WIN, an organization that serves domestic violence survivors from the local Asian American community, also spoke. She said a major barrier to escaping abuse, particularly for mothers who are new to America, is financial independence and knowledge of where to get help. She said that cuts to English courses, childcare, and job training services put mothers’ safety at risk and asked Representative Harris to choose revenue instead.
Sheila Schultz, an advisor for the North/Northwest Suburban Task Force on Supportive Housing, spoke about mothers at Meyers Place in Mt. Prospect that are losing mental health and job training services that help them be successful mothers, citizens, and taxpayers. Schultz said Meyers Place is considering a 50% cut to psychiatric services. Meyers Place is also unable to accept any new clients to their vocational program due to the impasse. Schultz recalled meeting a mother who had been living out of her car before Meyers Place opened two years ago.
“I don’t want mothers like her to have to live out of their cars again,” she said.
The group appreciates Rep. David Harris attending the event and listening to their concerns.
The Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) is a large and diverse coalition of more than 250 organizations concerned about state budget and tax issues. It includes organizations that serve children, families, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities; education groups concerned about early learning, K-12 and higher education; labor unions; faith-based and civic organizations; immigrant and refugee families; and many others.
The RBC is a non-partisan, trusted source of information on state budget and tax policy and a leader in the fight to pass a budget that chooses revenue over cuts to vital services.
The individual organizations that belong to the RBC represent a diverse range of interests but are united by these three common principles:
· Adequate revenue to support state priorities and make smart investments
· No more cuts to vital programs and services
· Fairness in raising revenue
Media Contact: Neal Waltmire, firstname.lastname@example.org, 815-353-7655