Category Archives: Action Alert

Support Marriage Equality!

Illinois NOW Action Alert – Support Marriage Equality

Please contact your Senator TODAY to VOTE YES on SB 10.

Senate Bill 10 (Heather Steans), the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, is now on 3rd Reading in the IL Senate and can be called for a vote at any time. Please contact your Senator and urge them to vote YES on SB 10.

You can contact the Capitol switchboard at 217/782-2000 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. You can then leave your message with their staff person – VOTE YES on SB 10!

Support Equal Pay!

For the last two weeks, supporters of equal pay have been making calls to the Senate, and we can’t thank you enough. Well, we still need your calls, and we’re excited to let you know that the toll-free number is still working, so please read on . . .

U.S. women need fair pay now — and two minutes of your time could help them get it!

The Paycheck Fairness Act directly affects working women and families in your state and across the country. Nationally, a typical woman working full time, year round still is paid only 77 cents for every dollar a typical man is paid. PFA is the next step in closing this disparity. Call your senators today at 1-888-876-9527 and ask them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act!

Currently there is no broad prohibition against penalizing or even firing employees just for TALKING about their salaries. By keeping workers in the dark, employers prevent them from ever learning they are experiencing pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act changes that.

Your senators vote will be crucial in passing this bill that will help to close that wage gap.

STEP 1: Let your senators know that constituents want them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Women and families need equal pay in this economy. You can help: Call 1-888-876-9527 today.

Once you call, you will hear directions explaining how to speak with your senators, and then you will be patched through directly to their office.

STEP 2: Double your impact by forwarding this message to friends and family!

Women need fair pay now. Will your senators support equal pay? Every call counts, and the vote is expected next week! Your call is needed today. Please dial 1-888-876-9527.

2012 Illinois NOW PAC Endorsements

We hope you are registered and ready to vote tomorrow, March 20th!! NOW is ready, and we have our list of 2012 endorsements to help you at the voting polls tomorrow:

Congressional candidates endorsed by national NOW PAC:

Federal Races

Name Office District Election Result
Leslie Coolidge U.S. House 6 race pending
Tammy Duckworth U.S. House 8 race pending
Ilya Sheyman U.S. House 10 race pending
David Gill U.S. House 13 race pending
Cheri Bustos U.S. House 17 race pending


Illinois State Senate:

Kevin Allen, 23rd District, DuPage County


Illinois State Representatives:

Kelly Cassidy, 14th District, Chicago

Robert Martwick, 19th District


Illinois Judges:

James Shapiro

Celia Gamrath


Get out and honor our foremothers by VOTING!!


Action Alert: YES on HB 1958!

Illinois NOW Action Alert
Please call your state senator today and urge them to vote YES on HB 1958.
As you recall HB 1958, bans shackling pregnant female prisoners. The bill as amended affects ONLY Cook Countyjail – not state prisons, downstate jails, or arrests by local police. Senator Hutchinson, the lead sponsor in the senate, committed to work with state corrections and the IL Sheriff Association on their bill, and we need to pass this Cook County version now. It addresses the safety of the mother and fetus and addresses correctional concerns by allowing exceptions when there is risk of harm or escape. It imposes best practice and government transparency through a reporting provision. Cook County has been using this framework since February 14 with no incidents.

Please go to to find contact info for your senator or call the Capitol switchboard at 217/782-2000 and ask to be connected to your senator. All you have to do is leave a message to urge your senator to VOTE YES ON HB 1958. Our downstate senators especially need to hear from us.

Illinois Veto Session Starts This Week

Please take action today on HB 3027, the newest version of the Comprehensive Health Education Act.
This bill was amended to include comprehensive sex education and is on concurrence in the House. The opposition is putting out alerts full of misinformation on this bill, so we need you to call in NOW to counter their false statements.

ACTION NEEDED: Please call your Representative and URGE THEM TO VOTE YES ON HB 3027. The Capitol switchboard is 217/782-2000. Ask the operator to be connected to your Representative.
Here are some of the opposition’s arguments and the correct information:
(You can also click here for a fact sheet: )

  • It mandates curriculum promoting abortion, stating that it is legal, safe, and parents don’t have to know about it. [FALSE: the bill does not have any language referencing abortion.]
  • It calls for “medically accurate” sex education, but the curriculum misinforms students by telling them that “morning after pills” don’t cause abortion.[FALSE: the bill does not specify any particular messages regarding EC. When it approved Emergency Contraception (EC), what they refer to as “morning after pills”, the FDA concluded that EC will not harm an established pregnancy.]
  • It will force abstinence programs out of the public schools by taking away local control and mandating the teaching of contraception and condoms. Public schools in Illinois already have the ability to teach comprehensive sex education if they wish. [SORT OF: Teaching about abstinence is required to be taught under HB 3027. Abstinence-ONLY programs that exclude medically accurate information about contraception cannot be taught under the requirement in HB 3027.]
  • It does not follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations that a) abstinence be prioritized and b) school health education policies and programs be locally determined and consistent with community values. Many communities in Illinois have strong Judeo-Christian value systems and would have their teachings violated by the requirement that contraception be taught to children. [FALSE: Abstinence is such a priority under HB 3027 that the bill requires it to be taught. Local school districts can modify sex education curricula to meet local needs. Teaching about contraception is required, but any parent who feels this violates their family’s religious values can remove their child from the sex ed class.]


Register for Illinois NOW’s 2011 State Conference!

2011 Illinois NOW State Conference

Saturday, October 15 · 9:00am – 5:00pm


Jane Addams Hull House Museum

800 S. Halsted
Chicago, IL

Created By

More Info

This year’s theme is Unifying Voices for Women!

We are proud to announce that Allendra Letsome, National NOW Membership Vice President, will be our honored keynote speaker. Read more about Allendra and her feminist background here:

Join other feminists at the Hull House Museum for a full day of workshops, speakers, an auction and elections. Plus, we’ll be setting the action agenda for 2012!

Lunch will be provided. Lunch will include vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. For accessibility and travel information, visit:

Questions? Requests? Accommodations? Call Susan at 217.898.3152 or email

Illinois NOW strives to bring the latest and most relevant feminist issues to attendees. We welcome ALL equality-minded individuals to come and benefit from the nationally and locally recognized speakers and networking opportunities offered at our annual state conference – and this year proves to be no exception! Don’t miss this inspiring and motivational day of thought and activism! Register today!

To register, contact us at or register online at via Paypal!

*You must pre-register by October 7th if you need child care, a signer or alternative housing.


Legislative Update – Call Your Representatives!

SB 1619 Comprehensive Sex Education

The sponsor, Senator Heather Steans (D-7) got a deadline extension of May 4 for this legislation.  We are very close to garnering the 30 votes needed to pass it out of the Senate.  We cannot wait to generate calls, emails, and faxes tostate senators asking them to vote YES on SB 1619. Illinois youth need medically accurate and age appropriate information in order to make responsible decisions that will help them stay safe and healthy. The capitol switchboard is 217-782-2000.  A list of senators is available here: Click on the senator’s name to link to contact information.

The House deadline for passage of bills originating in the House was Friday, April 15.  Anti-choice legislation has stalled (with no deadline extensions) or has moved forward after having been positively amended.  We will carefully monitor legislative action for any attempts to revive anti-choice measures.


HB 786/HB 1919 – Ultrasound Mandate

The sponsor, Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-118), did not call HB 1919 for a hearing.  Instead, he moved HB 786 out of the Agriculture Committee.  He did not call it for a vote before the full House before the deadline.


HB 1144 – Broadening Definition of Homicide of an Unborn Child

The sponsor, Rep. Dan Brady (R-88), did not call this bill for a committee hearing.


HB 1569 – Abortion Restriction on Health Savings Accounts

Prior to passing out of committee the sponsor, Rep. Patti Bellock (R-47), amended the bill to remove the language restricting use of state employee health savings accounts to pay for abortion care.  This amendment resulted in our removing our opposition to the bill.  Bellock never called HB 1569 for a vote by the full House.


HB 2093 – Child Abuse Reporting

After HB 2093 passed out of the Agriculture Committee, the sponsor, Rep. David Reis (R-108) amended the bill with agreed language which allowed us to remove our opposition.  HB 2093 passed out of the House overwhelmingly and was sent to the Senate for consideration.  It is assigned for a hearing in the Human Services Committee.


HB 2321/HB3156 – ASTC Regulation Expansion

The sponsor, Rep. Darlene Senger (R-96), got both bills to the House floor.  After an amendment which would have broadened HB 2321 to apply to any facility that performed 50 or more of any type of surgery was approved for consideration, the sponsor decided not to call HB 2321.  Instead, she called HB 3156 for a vote.  It fell 3 votes short of passage.  Senger put the bill on “postponed consideration” which allows for a second chance at a vote. However, she did not request a second vote prior to the deadline.


HB 2988 – “Choose Life” License Plates

This bill, along with all other special license plate bills, was sent to the House State Government’s Special License Plate Subcomittee. It never had a hearing.

More info on SB1123: Call IL Senators NOW!

Please call IL state senators NOW: 217-782-3944

Windy City Times reports:

“An amendment to a proposed bill in the Illinois Senate states that “a child welfare agency that is religiously based or owned by, operated by, or affiliated with a bona fide religious organization may decline an adoption or foster family home application … from a party to a civil union if acceptance of that application would constitute a violation of the organization’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

SB 1123, the bill including this amendment No. 65, means that unmarried straight or gay couples in civil unions who do not share the religious values or faith of the organization could be denied the chance to adopt or be foster parents.”

Phil Reese at The Bilerico Project also expands:

“Religious institutions would be able to discriminate in these matters against anyone for any religiously motivated reason. Race, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, it doesn’t matter.”

Phil also adds:

“Right now we really need:

  • Catholic families against injustice
  • Folks raised by same-sex parents who live in Illinois
  • Same-sex headed families willing to stand up and be heard

Get on the phone right this moment and ask for your Illinois Senator at 217-782-3944″



Urgent Action Alert


Tell Senate Executive Committee to VOTE NO on Senate Amendment 1 to SB 1123!

Senate Bill 1123 Amendment 1 by Senator Koehler amends the Civil Union Act to allow religiously affiliated child welfare agencies to discriminate against parties to a civil union and to refer the parties to a civil union to DCFS  for information concerning non-discriminatory child welfare agencies for adoption or foster family home applications, licensure and placements. A fact sheet from the ACLU is attached.

This amendment will be heard in the Senate Executive Committee early Wednesday morning (4/13/11). Call these members of the Committee NOW and URGE THEM TO VOTE NO TO DISCRIMINATION! Call all the members of the Committee by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 217-782-2000 and ask for the Senator’s office. You can leave a message with their staff.  

Chairperson : Don Harmon D
Vice-Chairperson : Ira I. Silverstein D
Member: James F. Clayborne, Jr. D
Member: M. Maggie Crotty D
Member: John J. Cullerton D
Member: Kimberly A. Lightford D
Member: Antonio Muñoz D
Member: Jeffrey M. Schoenberg D
Member: Donne E. Trotter D
Minority Spokesperson : Dale A. Righter R
Member: Bill Brady R
Member: John O. Jones R
Member: David S. Luechtefeld R
Member: Matt Murphy R
Member: Christine Radogno R