The UIC Forum in Chicago was rocking on Thursday, July 7th. Hundreds of UNITE HERE Local 1 members and volunteers wearing red shirts and waving red signs shouted and chanted in support of better jobs and schools and affordable housing. We were joined by thousands of other people from other unions and community organizations. Summer organizers in Chicago helped plan and organize this event, the first-ever People’s City Council. It was a huge success. The meeting was loud and energetic, featuring a mock debate between a character called “Mr. Moneybags” and working people from across the city.
Kim Junior, a UNITE HERE Local 1 member working for Hudson News at Chicago O’Hare Airport, talked about working full time but still struggling to put food on the table for her family. That’s why she is fighting for a policy in Chicago that would guarantee a living wage and job security for her and thousands of other airport workers. Summer organizers are helping in this fight by organizing and mobilizing communities around the city. We do canvassing with workers and volunteers twice a week in different parts of Chicago. In one neighborhood, we have gathered over 1,200 petitions from residents supporting the airport living wage!
Politicians are definitely paying attention. 19 Chicago aldermen attended the People’s City Council. At the end of the meeting, they signed a pledge and spoke in support of the living wage and other progressive policies. Many of them gave UNITE HERE Local 1 a shout-out in their speeches, acknowledging our leading role in fighting for better jobs in Chicago.
-Martin, Summer Organizer, Chicago