Public Policy

Arise Chicago has joined and founded several coalitions in order to advocate for public policy changes most effectively. Arise trains and organizes low-wage workers and religious allies to advocate for policies that will benefit their families and entire communities.


Cook County Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance

Angelica at Cook County ordinance press conferenceInspired by a large Arise Worker Center workplace justice campaign a Chicago suburb, Arise Chicago partnered with the Cook County Board of Commissioners to create ground-breaking legislation at the county level. The ordinance, passed unanimously in February 2015, revokes or denies tax incentives or business licenses to corporations found guilty of wage theft.  The ordinance goes into effect on May 1, 2015. Read more



Chicago Anti-Wage Theft OrdinancePreventing Wage Theft in Chicago

Arise Chicago led the effort to make Chicago the largest city in the nation to have an ordinance that punishes employers who are found guilty of committing wage-theft by revoking or not renewing their business license.  The ordinance was passed unanimously in city council and began to take effect on July 1, 2013. Read more



Earned Sick Time OrdinanceFighting For Family

Arise is a founding member of the Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition, which is working to support passage of a ordinance that would provide all workers in Chicago the ability to earn paid sick time.  Over 460,000 workers in Chicago do not have access to a single paid sick day to stay home when ill, take care of an ill family member, or attend a doctor’s appointment for themselves of a family member.  Without such access, workers go to work sick or risk loss of wages or a job by taking time off.

In a non-binding ballot question on the February 24, 2015 Chicago election voters were asked if they support paid sick time. In a resounding mandate for a city ordinance, Chicagoans voted 82% in favor paid sick days.

Arise’s Executive Director, Rev. C.J. Hawking, served on the City of Chicago’s Working Families Task Force to advocate for such an ordinance as well as policy that would end exploitative and unpredictable scheduling practices.  Additionally, Arise members have mobilized, spoken at press conferences, and testified at five of the six public forums.  Arise awaits the release of the Task Force’s report, and plans to continue its advocacy with its coalition partners until victory.

Learn more about the coalition and campaign on our coalition website.



Raise the Illinois Minimum Wage

Arise Chicago is an active member in the coalition of 36 organizations, Raise Illinois, made up of community, business, faith, and labor organizations along with minimum wage workers and supporters that are committed to advocating for a raise to  $10.65 an hour and tie it to inflation thereafter.

If you are a religious leader, you can add your name to list of hundreds of religious leaders who support the raise.  Sign the Religious Leaders Petition

If you live in Illinois, you can add your name to thousands of citizens who support the minimum wage.  Sign the Voters Petition

If you are a responsible business owner or the director of a non-profit who wants to help lift families out of poverty, you can also add your signature. Sign the Business Owner Petition

Learn more  on the Raise Illinois coalition website.



End Exploitation of Domestic Workers

Arise domestic worker members in Washington D.C. for a training and day of action with National Domestic Workers Alliance Director, Ai-jen Poo

The National Domestic Workers Alliance is one of the most innovative and powerful new worker organizations. In 2012 Arise Chicago joined the National Domestic Workers Alliance to advocate for Polish domestic workers, which comprise nearly 25% of the Chicagoland work force.

Arise established a Domestic Workers Organizing Committee and is a member of a local coalition seeking to establish an Illinois Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, similar to the one passed in New York, that would  extend basic employment and labor laws to domestic workers. Hear directly from domestic worker members on why they are fighting for a bill of rights in these videos from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Learn more about the state and national campaigns.



Towards Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Uniting Worker Families

Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a national leader in the movement for comprehensive immigration reform, invited Arise Executive Director Rev. Hawking to join his Family Unity Advisory Group.  The group meets on a regular basis to challenge Immigration Customs and Enforcement to advocate for a sharp decrease in deportations by invoking ICE’s discretionary power with greater frequency.  Learn more 


 Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance

Privatization Transparency ordinance press conference BArise Chicago participated in a press conference calling for the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance to be moved out of committee, as it has been stalled for 26 months. Along with 32 community groups, Arise Chicago supports the ordinance calling for accountability when the city proposes to outsource jobs and assets of the city.




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