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Friday, October 28, 2016

Responsible Budget Coalition Members Show Unity At Wrigley Field

As the Chicago Cubs make baseball history with their first World Series appearance since 1945, members of the Responsible Budget Coalition held a unity demonstration on Monday at Wrigley Field, putting aside historic team rivalries to stand together, celebrate the Cubs’ victory, and make a united call for a fully funded, yearlong state budget.

The participants wore Cubs, White Sox, and Cardinals jerseys and t-shirts to show support for their favorite teams even as they stressed their unity in demanding a fully funded state budget that meets the needs of the people who live in Illinois.

The Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) is a large and diverse coalition of more than 300 organizations concerned about state budget and tax issues.

It includes organizations that serve children, families, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities; education groups concerned about early learning, K-12 and higher education; labor unions; faith-based and civic organizations; immigrant and refugee families; and many others.

They are a non-partisan, trusted source of information on state budget and tax policy and a leader in the fight to pass a budget that chooses revenue over cuts to vital services.

The individual organizations that belong to the RBC represent a diverse range of interests that are united by these three common principles:

  • Adequate revenue to support state priorities and make smart investments

  • No more cuts to vital programs and services

  • Fairness in raising revenue

AmpliVox Sound Systems donated the Pinnacle Multimedia Lectern in a Chicago Cubs team color blue for the Responsible Budget Coalition's press conference that was held outside Wrigley Field.

John Bouman, President of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and chair of the Responsible Budget Coalition Executive Committee, asks for Illinois state leadership to step up to the plate and pass a budget that’s a home run for everyone.

A study by the United Way of Illinois found that the budget stalemate resulted in lost services for nearly a million people statewide. That means one million men, women, and children have been denied mental health services, substance abuse treatment, child care, senior care, HIV prevention, even food programs – and that number doesn’t include the thousands who have lost their jobs because long-established agencies have been forced to close their doors. One recent poll found that one in three Illinois households report being directly harmed by the budget impasse.

"It’s amazing. Some of the seniors served by our member organizations hadn’t even been born the last time the Cubs were in the World Series," Bouman said.

"It’s time for our state leadership to stop asking us to sacrifice while they try to play us off against each other. They need to step up to the plate and pass a budget that’s a home run for all of us.”