Roundup: March 24, 2023

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1. Medical debt disproportionally affects immigrant, Black communities

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), the Legal Council for Health Justice, and Community Catalyst have released a new report showing the disproportionate impact of medical debt on low-income immigrant and Black communities.

Illinois has expanded access to healthcare for older adults, regardless of immigration status, but many people still don’t know about these resources or face technology and language barriers.

JCUA and our ICIRR partners are organizing to prevent medical debt as part of our 2023 Everybody In platform. We are pushing to require hospitals to pre-screen uninsured patients for eligibility for health insurance and discounted care programs, and to provide information and assistance for patients who qualify.

Take action! Help us pass the ICIRR 2023 platform and address medical debt by joining JCUA’s upcoming lobbying days in Springfield on April 19 and May 9.

2. Illinois grant to protect institutions against attacks

The State of Illinois has awarded $20 million in grants to religious and cultural institutions — as well as reproductive health centers — to enhance security against potential terrorist attacks. Funds will be spent on active shooter training, security equipment, and/or hiring security personnel.

“Though we have taken historic steps to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the nation, there has been a rise in antisemitism, anti-Asian American hate, anti-immigrant rhetoric and hate crimes,” said IL Sen. Ram Villivalam. “We must stay vigilant and provide as many tools as possible to root out hate.”

3. Meet Sam, JCUA’s new Housing Justice Fellow

JCUA is excited to welcome Sam Rose as our new Housing Justice Fellow. Sam will be supporting our work on Bring Chicago Home, building JCUA’s base and supporting the campaign at a critical time. Sam has been involved with JCUA and our campaigns since he was an Or Tzedek fellow in college and is an active member of the Housing & Economic Justice Committee. Get to know Sam!

4. Make a plan to vote!

We’re 10 days away from the Chicago runoff elections! Do you have a plan to vote? Early voting is now open in all 50 wards (find polling locations). You can request a mail-in ballot until March 30, but we suggest doing so sooner! Election Day is next Tuesday, April 4, and we encourage everyone to get out and vote. The City of Chicago is also looking for election judges!