Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=125321
Story Retrieval Date: 6/18/2013 5:31:39 PM CST
Dozens of community members gathered outside the Simeon Career Academy Wednesday morning, hoping to catch their lawmakers’ attention and encourage them to pass a balanced budget that protects important public services.
While several state representatives and Chicago aldermen were preparing to begin a forum on transportation needs, members of the Campaign for Illinois’ Future said they wanted to remind legislators to look beyond simply passing a capital bill.
“We can’t just cut our way out of the budget,” said Sadie Kliner, Communications Specialist for SEIU Healthcare Illinois. She said the organizations involved in the campaign are looking for a fair, balanced budget—and while they’re prepared to face increased taxes, they want the distribution of those taxes to be equitable for low- and middle-income families.
For Frieda Becoat, the loss of some state services could mean an entirely different way of life. Becoat uses a wheelchair and needs a personal assistant to help her around the house.
“I can live independently, with dignity, and have some privacy,” she said to the crowd. “That is the way you should be able to live as a person with a disability.”
Becoat said she feels blessed to receive assistance through the Illinois Department of Human Services, but worries that cuts to the 2010 Illinois budget will cause her and others with disabilities to lose their home care.
The Campaign for Illinois’ Future comprises more than 20 Illinois organizations that want to solve the state deficit problem. In addition to several community events in upcoming weeks, the organization says more than 1,000 people plan to rally in Springfield on April 22nd.