Contact: Aileen Kelleher (312) 351-0395
For immediate release
Movement vs. Machine: Action Now Forum To Change Political Landscape Featuring Alderman Toni Foulkes and Jay Travis
Grassroots leaders who went up against the Chicago political machine share what they have learned about challenging the establishment
Chicago – Action Now is holding a political forum titled “Movement vs. Machine” this morning, May 10th, 2014 at 10am at Beautiful Zion Missionary Baptist Church located at 1406 W. 64th Steet. The forum will host speakers Jay Travis, a former candidate for State Representative who almost beat incumbent Christian Mitchell by 477 votes even though he outspent her 8-1, and Alderman Toni Foulkes, a grassroots community leader who was elected to the Chicago City Council in 2007. They will share with Action Now leaders their experience going up against the current political machine in our city and state and how grassroots organizing can change the political landscape
Action Now is holding this forum to begin new conversations about the state of politics in Chicago and Illinois, and how community engagement and progressive movements can help shape and redefine the power structures that the current political establishment is working to keep in place. Our elected officials have stood silent while school closings, foreclosures, lack of investment and the Mayor’s assault against good jobs have decimated our neighborhoods.
As Action Now leader Charles Brown stated, “Politicians only listen to us when it’s an election year. We make several trips to Springfield each year to talk to legislators and we hold meetings with our city politicians, but they refuse to act in the best interest of working people. Only the rich and connected have influence. We need change and we are ready to take action to get people in office that fight for us.”
In the recent March 2014 primary elections Action Now leaders saw that grassroots organizing can help a fresh face defeat the political machine’s incumbent. Action Now is in the process of creating a Political Committee of Action Now members that will focus exclusively on identifying, supporting, and cultivating candidates that take direction from their constituents and remain accountable to communities instead of corporate interests.
Visuals: 50 Action Now leaders will be in attendance to hear Alderman Foulkes and Jay Travis speak. Then members will break off into groups to rate the current legislators and discuss whether or not to support them in upcoming elections.
Action Now is a grassroots community organization whose mission is to organize working families and strengthen their voices on issues of racial, social and economic justice.Our vision, is for strong, safe, and stable communities where everyone has access to living wage jobs, quality public education, affordable housing and has a powerful voice at the decision making table for their communities, cities, state and nation. Find out more at www.actionnow.org