IDCCA President’s Message
by Kristina Zahorik, IDCCA President
Dear Fellow County Chairs and Friends,
Labor Day in Illinois is special. Illinois and her ties to the Labor Movement run deep. I hope you can join us this Wednesday, September 9th, as we learn more on the history of Labor in Illinois here.
Labor is still fighting for workers’ rights and protections. These efforts are highlighted during this deadly pandemic. The Chicago Federal of Labor (CFL) has a moving and informative series about the impact of covid-19 on front line workers, among other relevant issues. View the CFL series here.
Labor supports and works with the Democratic Party and our candidates because we support and enact policies that assist workers and working families. The DNC Platform reflects this effort. It is a vision of America where hard work is rewarded. A vision where the rigged system is dismantled, so everyone gets a fair shake to achieve the American Dream. The other side has no platform. They just have the cult of Trump.
I recall when my family moved a step up into the lower middle class. It was when my father took a union job, and with my mom working at the local telephone company. They were able to save enough money for a mortgage. He got that union job, in part, because when he got out of the Army he used the GI Bill to finish college – the first in his family to do so.
My father retired from that union job and still lives in that house. He never moved out of the working middle class, but he did move up a few rungs and gave me a better start because elected Democrats enacted policies and legislation which allowed him to do so.
I share this with you because my father’s story of the American Dream is not unique. What is different now, is that this kind of success is no longer part of the American Dream. There has been a steady erosion of the value of government and the value of labor.
A healthy economy, a healthy society has a robust middle class. Where is ours?
Who is fighting for the middle class and working families? Not Trump. Not his Republican enablers. Democrats have been and continue to fight for the middle class.
In Illinois, it took us electing Democratic Governor JB Pritzker and a super majority in the Illinois House and Senate to pass meaningful legislation to build Illinois back. Governor Pritzker highlighted some of those positive changes, like raising the minimum wage and investing in infrastructure during his IDCCA 2020 Brunch @6 comments. View them here. Thank you to all who joined us this year at the Brunch.
A key policy to building Illinois back better is passing the Fair Tax .
And yet, the richest man in Illinois, billionaire Ken Griffin, just contributed $20 million to stop its passage. While this seems like a lot to folks like you and me, and it is, it pales in comparison to what Griffin has made under the policies enacted by Trump and his enablers. He does not want a fair system. He wants to be able to keep doing extremely well. Under the Republican Trump 2017 tax plan, more than 60% of the tax savings went to people in the top 20% of the income ladder, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Business Insider reported billionaire wealth increased under Trump just over 10%. This suggests Griffin may have added more than an additional $1.5 billion to his wealth. Trump just gave more cuts to the wealthy under the recently enacted Executive Orders to provide COVID relief. Read about that here.
So, who do you trust? A billionaire with a proven record fighting for working families and fairness or one fighting against it.
It is not fair that in Illinois a nurse or a grocery store clerk should have to pay the same rate as a billionaire or millionaire.
Vote yes on the Fair Tax. Vote for Democratic candidates.
Labor Day also signals the earnest start of getting out the vote. Ballots will be mailed in a few short weeks on September 24. This is also the first day you can vote early at your election authority. If you are like me – I cannot wait to vote!
Continue being an active Democrat and help us win. We can count on more distractions, disruptions, and attacks coming. Stay focused. The IDCCA has two meaningful opportunities for you to help: REV Project and the Election Integrity Project. I hope I can count on you to give a few hours of your time. This election is an all hands-on deck, an all-in effort. We need you.
Let’s get to work so we can continue building back Illinois and begin to build back our nation.