ACLU of Illinois

Operating as usual

Pride month is a time to step back and appreciate the progress we have seen for LGBTQ+ people in Illinois—and to identit...
06/28/2021
Housing Discrimination Remains a Big Barrier for the LGBTQ+ Community

Pride month is a time to step back and appreciate the progress we have seen for LGBTQ+ people in Illinois—and to identity the urgent issues and harms still facing these communities. Lack of access to stable housing affects so many people, and anti-LGBTQ+ housing discrimination has long been a barrier to the safety and welfare of q***r and transgender people. And in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, stable housing is more important than ever.

Pride month is a time to step back and appreciate the progress we have seen for LGBTQ+ people in Illinois—and to identity the urgent issues and harms still facing these communities. Lack of access to stable housing affects so many people, and anti-LGBTQ+ housing discrimination has long been a barr...

From our colleagues at ACLU of Minnesota:
06/25/2021

From our colleagues at ACLU of Minnesota:

BREAKING NEWS: A judge just sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years for the murder of George Floyd.

The following statement can be attributed to Ben Feist, chief programs officer of the ACLU of Minnesota:
“Today, for the first time in state history, a white officer will face prison time for murdering a Black man. While this may help heal our grieving community, this rare moment of consequence for killings by police does not represent justice. Justice is about more than a single sentence or a single verdict: Justice would mean George Floyd was still alive today with his daughter, his girlfriend, his family, and his community.

“The systems that led to Mr. Floyd’s murder by police are still intact, and police are still on track to kill 1,000 people this year. We must redouble our efforts to end police abuse of power, disparate treatment, and excessive force against Black and Brown communities, looking to models like the system emerging in Brooklyn Center. We must re-examine our entire system of public safety and public health, and root out the racism that pervades law enforcement. And we must remove police from low-level enforcement and divert money toward community-based services such as crisis-response teams.

“It is time for our elected officials to work with our communities, activists, and organizers to ensure all people are truly safe, no matter where they live or what they look like. It is time for us all to work together to achieve racial justice in Mr. Floyd’s name.”

Find the entire ACLU/ACLU-MN statement at:
https://www.aclu-mn.org/en/press-releases/acluaclu-mn-statements-derek-chauvin-sentencing

This is a big win for students and young people everywhere.
06/23/2021

This is a big win for students and young people everywhere.

This is a big win for students and young people everywhere.

Tell the Chicago Police Department their interim foot chase policy is NOT safe for Chicagoans. Chicago residents: Make y...
06/22/2021

Tell the Chicago Police Department their interim foot chase policy is NOT safe for Chicagoans. Chicago residents: Make your voice heard. Submit comments on their new interim policy. https://www.changecpdfootchases.com/

Tell the Chicago Police Department their interim foot chase policy is NOT safe for Chicagoans. Chicago residents: Make your voice heard. Submit comments on their new interim policy. https://www.changecpdfootchases.com/

Postal banking presents an opportunity to increase accessibility to banking for Black and low-income families across the...
06/21/2021
Why We Need the Post Office to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Postal banking presents an opportunity to increase accessibility to banking for Black and low-income families across the US.

Roughly 50 percent of Black families do not have access to affordable financial services. The post office can close that gap.

We celebrate Juneteenth by continuing the fight to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms.
06/19/2021

We celebrate Juneteenth by continuing the fight to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms.

We celebrate Juneteenth by continuing the fight to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms.

It's been 50 years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs." From 2016 to 2018, 20,000 people in Illinois were co...
06/17/2021
The War on Drugs & Reducing Barriers to Recovery

It's been 50 years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs." From 2016 to 2018, 20,000 people in Illinois were convicted of felonies for possessing small amounts of drugs, and 7,500 were imprisoned. We previously recorded this podcast with a panel of experts and survivors to discuss why it is time to unwind the War on Drugs and install a public health approach to reducing the harms associated with drug use.

LISTEN ON: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Soundcloud | Spotify | Stitcher

Just to be clear….
06/17/2021

Just to be clear….

Just to be clear….

The use of tickets, fines and fees to fund governments traps people in a cycle of debt and incarceration. Now is the tim...
06/16/2021
Taxation by Citation

The use of tickets, fines and fees to fund governments traps people in a cycle of debt and incarceration. Now is the time to stop balancing budgets through minor traffic offenses.

The system of fines and fees to collect revenue for local governments is broken. It’s time for us to let our governments know our demand: No more taxation through citation.

Tania Cordova grew up in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood after emigrating from Mexico in 1985. As a transgender wo...
06/16/2021
New Chicago Police Policy Ensures Greater Respect for Trans, Intersex, and Non-Binary People

Tania Cordova grew up in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood after emigrating from Mexico in 1985. As a transgender woman, Tania’s memories of the early 90’s are full of traumatic encounters with Chicago police. ACLU of Illinois' Ghirlandi Guidetti and AIDS Foundation Chicago's Aisha Davis spoke with her for this blog and discuss the Chicago Police's updated policy in interacting with transgender, intersex, and non-binary people, which is the result of a years-long effort by community members and advocates.

Tania Cordova grew up in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood after emigrating from Mexico in 1985. As a transgender woman, Tania’s memories of the early 90’s are full of traumatic encounters with Chicago police. “I used to go to ‘Chicks’ — a trans nightclub — on Broadway and Clark....

Access to abortion is still legal across all 50 states.
06/11/2021

Access to abortion is still legal across all 50 states.

Access to abortion is still legal across all 50 states.

"Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the chases are dangerous to officers, the person being chased and community members. She said...
06/10/2021
Police Department's 'Vague' New Foot Chase Policy Doesn't Fix Glaring Problems, Activists Say

"Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the chases are dangerous to officers, the person being chased and community members. She said the policy would be changed with input from officers and community members. But the revised policy was quietly announced in late May. It’s set to go into effect Friday as officials work on a final plan this fall. Activists at Wednesday’s news conference said the policy is “vague” and not restrictive enough — and community members’ concerns weren’t listened to in crafting the guidelines." (Block Club Chicago)

The policy gives “far too much discretion” to officers to determine when a foot chase is necessary and will lead to dangerous interactions, critics say.

We need to do better for those in our care.
06/10/2021

We need to do better for those in our care.

We need to do better for those in our care.

Pride began as a protest - and it still is one.(📸: ACLU of Virginia)
06/07/2021

Pride began as a protest - and it still is one.

(📸: ACLU of Virginia)

Pride began as a protest - and it still is one.

(📸: ACLU of Virginia)

Pride Month, like every month, is a great month to recognize everybody for who they are. Take action and tell President ...
06/02/2021
President Biden: Accurate IDs for All Now

Pride Month, like every month, is a great month to recognize everybody for who they are. Take action and tell President Biden to give us all access to accurate IDs.

Equal access to accurate federal IDs will help prevent the daily discrimination and harassment trans, intersex, and non-binary people face every day. Take action now.

Beginning July 1, 2021, Illinois can no longer suspend or 'hold' licenses for unpaid red light camera tickets, speed cam...
06/01/2021

Beginning July 1, 2021, Illinois can no longer suspend or 'hold' licenses for unpaid red light camera tickets, speed camera tickets, traffic tickets, or abandoned vehicle fees. If your license has been suspended or held for any of these reasons, find out how you can get it back at license2work.org.

#StopSuspendingLives

Beginning July 1, 2021, Illinois can no longer suspend or 'hold' licenses for unpaid red light camera tickets, speed camera tickets, traffic tickets, or abandoned vehicle fees. If your license has been suspended or held for any of these reasons, find out how you can get it back at license2work.org.

#StopSuspendingLives

BREAKING NEWS: HB 2553 is heading to the Governor. The Protecting Household Privacy Act places parameters on the collect...
06/01/2021

BREAKING NEWS: HB 2553 is heading to the Governor. The Protecting Household Privacy Act places parameters on the collection and use of household electronic data by law enforcement. Thank you Senator Cristina Castro and Ann M. Williams - State Representative for sponsoring this legislation.

BREAKING NEWS: HB 2553 is heading to the Governor. The Protecting Household Privacy Act places parameters on the collection and use of household electronic data by law enforcement. Thank you Senator Cristina Castro and Ann M. Williams - State Representative for sponsoring this legislation.

Call your state legislators right now to repeal PNA today! State representative: 1-866-587-3023State senator: 1-866-974-...
05/31/2021
Forcing parental involvement in abortions opens up young people to harm | Letters

Call your state legislators right now to repeal PNA today!
State representative: 1-866-587-3023
State senator: 1-866-974-8813

“If our goal is to ‘do no harm,’ then we must place our trust in young people who are the experts in their own experience, to involve the adults who have earned their trust. Forcing parental involvement simply opens up young people to harm. It is my obligation as a medical provider to listen to young people, lessen their burden and avoid causing harm.” - Dr. Commito

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/5/31/22458419/parental-involvement-abortions-harm-education-covid-letters

What can make abortion care less safe is unnecessary delays that occur when politicians create obstacles based on ideology, not medical necessity. One such obstacle is parental notice.

Today is the last day of the legislative session & we urgently need your help! Please call your legislators & urge them ...
05/31/2021

Today is the last day of the legislative session & we urgently need your help! Please call your legislators & urge them to vote YES on #RepealPNA. Call your state representative at 1-866-587-3023 and your state senator at 1-866-974-8813.

Today is the last day of the legislative session & we urgently need your help! Please call your legislators & urge them to vote YES on #RepealPNA. Call your state representative at 1-866-587-3023 and your state senator at 1-866-974-8813.

Many of the prone restraints previously used by schools were tantamount to the use of deadly force. These practices simp...
05/30/2021

Many of the prone restraints previously used by schools were tantamount to the use of deadly force. These practices simply cannot be permitted in our schools, and this bill makes that clear.

Many of the prone restraints previously used by schools were tantamount to the use of deadly force. These practices simply cannot be permitted in our schools, and this bill makes that clear.

BREAKING NEWS: SB 818 is heading to the Governor. The Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act gives young people the informat...
05/28/2021

BREAKING NEWS: SB 818 is heading to the Governor. The Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act gives young people the information and tools they need to be safe and support responsible and informed decision making about their health and well-being throughout their lives. Thank you State Representative Camille Y. Lilly for sponsoring this legislation.

BREAKING NEWS: SB 818 is heading to the Governor. The Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act gives young people the information and tools they need to be safe and support responsible and informed decision making about their health and well-being throughout their lives. Thank you State Representative Camille Y. Lilly for sponsoring this legislation.

From ACLU of Illinois Criminal Justice Policy Director Ben Ruddell: "Recent emails made public reveal that Mayor Lori Li...
05/27/2021
Letters: Editorial’s assertion about electronic monitoring is not based on data

From ACLU of Illinois Criminal Justice Policy Director Ben Ruddell: "Recent emails made public reveal that Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police officials, who have trumpeted the same “safety” argument, know the data doesn’t support it. Those emails show the mayor, police leaders and other staff pointing out that the claim that violence was spurred by those on pretrial release is wrong. As one city official described it, the argument is “kind of weak.” It is time to recognize that we need to invest more in ensuring that people awaiting trial are not unnecessarily detained because, as is often the case, they do not have the means to pay bail. Illinois lawmakers rejected this outmoded theory when they voted to end cash bail. Rather than revisit old, tired debates about pretrial detention and public safety, now is the time to turn our energy to creative solutions that address the root causes of violence. The editorial board could help lead that discussion." (Chicago Tribune)

Over the past few years, the editorial board has opposed various attempts to reduce the number of people merely accused of crimes who are jailed for months while awaiting trial.

The Chicago Police's new interim foot pursuit policy was developed without incorporating the ideas of Black and Brown Ch...
05/26/2021

The Chicago Police's new interim foot pursuit policy was developed without incorporating the ideas of Black and Brown Chicagoans who have been the victims of reckless foot pursuits and have stood ready to work with the City on a policy to restrict foot chases. The Superintendent reports on an ‘internal process’ that sought input on the policy from CPD officers, but that process ignored Chicago residents. The only true path to police reform includes meaningful and deep community input in order to shape policies and practices that end patterns of violent policing that have targeted Chicago’s communities of color for generations. But this requires the City to be truly open to changing policies to reflect community experiences and needs. The Monitor enforcing the Chicago Police consent decree found that the City relegates community engagement to the late stages of policy development and fails to incorporate community engagement which often prevents meaningful community participation. To achieve real reform, the City must do better. https://www.aclu-il.org/en/news/aclu-illinois-reacts-chicago-police-departments-new-interim-foot-pursuit-policy

The Chicago Police's new interim foot pursuit policy was developed without incorporating the ideas of Black and Brown Chicagoans who have been the victims of reckless foot pursuits and have stood ready to work with the City on a policy to restrict foot chases. The Superintendent reports on an ‘internal process’ that sought input on the policy from CPD officers, but that process ignored Chicago residents. The only true path to police reform includes meaningful and deep community input in order to shape policies and practices that end patterns of violent policing that have targeted Chicago’s communities of color for generations. But this requires the City to be truly open to changing policies to reflect community experiences and needs. The Monitor enforcing the Chicago Police consent decree found that the City relegates community engagement to the late stages of policy development and fails to incorporate community engagement which often prevents meaningful community participation. To achieve real reform, the City must do better. https://www.aclu-il.org/en/news/aclu-illinois-reacts-chicago-police-departments-new-interim-foot-pursuit-policy

"Community activists and lawyers engaged in efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department have blasted Mayor Lori Ligh...
05/26/2021
Lawyers and Activists Blast Mayor, Police for Lack of Consent Decree Progress

"Community activists and lawyers engaged in efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department have blasted Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD leadership for failing to move quickly on implementation of a court-mandated consent decree that is supposed to ensure change.

“The consent decree requires meaningful engagement between impacted communities and the solutions to violent and racist policing. I think that the city has shown that they don’t actually believe the community has input that is worth taking,” said Nusrat Choudhury, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “The mayor is not living up to her commitment as a candidate and that is deeply, deeply disappointing to communities of color in the city of Chicago.” (Chicago Tonight, WTTW News)

Community activists and lawyers engaged in efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department have blasted Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD leadership for failing to move quickly on implementation of a court-mandated consent decree that is supposed to ensure change.

“It is long past time for D.C. to be granted statehood. Making D.C. a state is not a partisan issue, it is a campaign fo...
05/26/2021
ACLU of Illinois Testifies in Support of D.C. Statehood

“It is long past time for D.C. to be granted statehood. Making D.C. a state is not a partisan issue, it is a campaign for equal civil rights. It is a democratic effort to re-enfranchise more than 712,000 Americans who have been wrongly denied their full voting rights for more than 200 years. Every member of our state legislature, every member of the U.S. Congress, and every person who believes in our Democracy and equal rights should support D.C. statehood. The ACLU of Illinois encourages you to pass this resolution and add your voice to those demanding statehood for our fellow Americans in Washington, DC. It is time for this historic wrong to be corrected." ACLU of Illinois Executive Director Colleen Connell. https://www.aclu-il.org/en/news/aclu-illinois-testifies-support-dc-statehood

Calling the step necessary to fix a flawed democracy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois today submitted testimony in support of House Joint Resolution 16, supporting statehood for the District of Columbia.

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FREEDOM OF SPEECH Today I am convinced that the Granite City Police Department is involved in the hate crime against my life. My primary Dr. faxed a statement to the Granite City police about the poison that is being sprayed from the attic, but no police has come to this building to get the people out of the attic. For six months of living in Granite City I have begged the police for help, but I am told lies that the police will stop this hate crime. Minister ShandyeMarie Lampkins
IT'S TIME TO TAKE TRUMP TO COURT! Donald J. Trump was put on trial by a politically biased U.S. Senate with Republicans who equate acquitting Trump with exonerating the GOP / Republican Party. What is needed is indicting and dragging Trump into a FEDERAL COURT on the charges of trying to extort the Secretary of State of Georgia (Brad Raffensperger) AND for inciting his followers to commit insurrection at the nation's Capitol. What's needed are the following organizations/agencies to unite and bring these charges against Trump: The ACLU, NAACP, Black Lives Matter, The Lincoln Project, The Democratic Party, Latinos for Biden, and many others (a class-action lawsuit). Then Trump needs to face additional CRIMINAL charges in separate courts for income tax evasion AND being a sexual predator like Harvey Weinstein. The Manhattan D.A.'s Office AND other attorneys can deal with Trump's other criminal charges. IF Trump is in jail/prison, he won't be able to promote himself on his own TV show, inspire his domestic terrorists (Trump Troll & Trump-ka-Teers), and run for political office again.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH Today I am afraid to call the Granite City Police in fear that I may be arrested for repeatedly begging them for help against a hate crime and being poisoned while inside of my home, as well as, I am being spayed with poison when I leave my home and go into public places. I heard one of the people who is living in the attic and who is forcing in poison say, " I want you to call the police today". A lot of poison is being forced into my home when he said the above statement to me. I know that the Granite City Police refuse to help me, but I won't believe that the police is involved in this hate crime. I have not broken any laws and I am a United States citizen who grew up in a home with authority figures living in my home. I ask that this hate crime against my life and many others be stopped and the police departments across the United States be reformed. This hate crime against my life should have been stopped in 2016 when I first reported it in Greenville, Illinois. Minister ShandyeMarie Lampkins
FREEDOM OF SPEECH WOW! Not another day of poisoning! Last night I noticed that the people who has been poisoning me with poison for five years did not spray poison on me from the holes that is made in the attic right over my apartment, but I noticed, as well as my dog noticed that poison is sprayed into my apartment from the bottom of my front door. This mourning the hatters are back in the attic. My landlord Jimmy Mundloch has security cameras in the hallway pointing towards my door, so when checked you can see the people crouching down at my door forcing in poison into my home. If you need evidence that will show poison being forced into my apartment the DVR that is located at Jimmy’s home in Richmond Heights Missouri can be placed into evidence against him. This is attempted murder! Minister ShandyeMarie Lampkins
FREEDOM OF SPEECH Poison is still being forced in on me by the people who are living in the attic even though my Dr has sent a statement to the Code Enforcement Department of Granite City, Illinois. Why is this allowed to go on? I am told when I called the Code Enforcement Department yesterday that an inspector will show up today to check the attic but no show so far. The people who are living in the attic knows that an inspector is suppose to come today, but they are still in the attic, so this tells me that the people who are living in the attic knows that the police and inspector wasn't coming today. Last night I called the Granite City police and requested that the police come with the inspector today and I asked that the police request the copy of the Dr statement, but no show today.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH The Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution’s Fifth Amendment says that no person shall be “…subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb...” I Shandye Lampkins is arrested in Greenville, Illinois for calling 911 for help due to this hate crime and reporting that I am being poisoned. I am evaluated by a phycologist and deemed stable, but the court of Bond County wanted me to spend time in a State Hospital and I was sent to another phycologist that agreed with Bond County Court. The problem with this is the fact that Bond County courts helped me get a Medicaid card to pay the psych evaluation that took three days shy of a month to complete, but Bond County Court paid a psychologist for the second evaluation that stated that I needed a year in the state hospital. I researched, wrote letters, sent out emails and I talked with a woman at the state hospital and the state hospital rejected me from being admitted. I have already been convicted for calling out for help and reporting what I have been reporting, so to say that I am crazy is definmential of character. Everything that I have been reporting is true. Minister ShandyeMarie
FREEDOM OF SPEECH This is a written complaint to the Granite City Police Department Chief of Police Richard E Miller: Dear Chief of Granite City, Illinois Richard Miller, I Shandye Lampkins has been calling the Granite City police department for for months begging them to stop a hate crime against my life and the poisoning that is being forced into my home from the people my landlord Jimmy Mundlock has allowed to live in the attic in an attempt to force me out of my home. Many of my downstairs neighbors have warned me of what my landlord does to people by falsely forcing them out and now it is happening to me. The difference is that the same people who poisoned me starting in Greenville, Illinois are the same people who are living in the attic located at 2118 Nameoki Rd, Granite City, Illinois 62040. But what remains the same is the woman in apartment number 11, the woman in apartment number 9, and the male who lives in apartment number two is involved in fraud ratly forcing people out. When I called the Granite City Police Department complaining about the person living in apartment number two banging on the ceiling making loud noises, the police responded and the man living in apartment two is caught in the act of banging, but a Granite City police dispatcher told me that no police report is made by the responding officer and I am denied public records. One day over two months ago a Granite City Police knocked on my door and I stepped out to talk with him. The officer who knocked on my door promised me that there will be an investigation and if the people are seen living in the attic, the landlord would be fined. I waited a whole month before contacting the Granite City police Department again and when I called, I was told by an officer that no code violation has been broken by the landlord for allowing people to live in the attic. The woman in apartment 11 has come out of her apartment and harassed me four times by going off on me and calling me names. I am also told by a Granite City Police Dispatcher that the police won't help me. This became a police matter at the point when poison is being forced into my home and my health is being affected by it. The landlord trying to force me out is a civil case and I got this one under control by going to court and winning. Is the reason why the Granite City police department refuses to help me is because I am a black woman? I have never broken the law in Granite City nor have I spoken bad words to your officers, as a matter of fact, my step dad is a retired Illinois State Police and I always adored officers because of him. My father is a US vet who went to the vietnam war to give us all freedom and my father is shell shocked and PTSD set in, but my father went on to accomplish a great career that did an excellent job and stayed with the same job until he did. I have been through a lot of trauma that caused me to suffer from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. But I am not crazy! I graduated from college with honors while having PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. I am high risk of Covid-19 because the poisoning has damaged my respiratory system beyond repair causing me to lose my underwater welding career. What has been done to my resportory system is called attemted murder and I am deemed permaontly disabled because of the damaged done to my health. Why has no one been arrested? This complaint has been made verbally by leaving a message on the Granite City Police voicemail twice, and I am publicly exposing this because I have not received a response from the Granite City Chief of Police. I am at high risk of Covied-19 and I rather not come into the police department to make a complaint about the Granite City Police refusing to help me. Shandye Lampkins
FREEDOM OF SPEECH This horrific hate crime and poisoning that has hurt me and many others has been allowed to go on for over four years. It is said that I am crazy and out of my mind because I exposed this hate. I am not crazy and I am a woman of God who speaks truth. To allow this crime against me and many others to continue means that the criminals will continue to hurt people, but they are growing more dangerous because the police wont stop them. The state hospital has rejected me and I have won two fraudulent cases against me in Greenville, Illinois by going Pro Se and the power of God by my side. I am a college graduate who graduated college with honors with a TBI (traumatic brain injury) . I am not going to stand by and be silent and watch many people be hurt. I have a voice and I use it very well without incriminating myself. This hate crime and poisoning did not just start in Granite City, Illinois. This hate crime started in Greenville, Illinois 2016. I have watched my grandson be poisoned by poison that is forced in and my baby has seizures because of it. The Greenville, Illinois police did not respond to my call to help my grandbaby, but instead I was arrested for calling 911 in Greenville for help. Even though the State Attorney Dora Mann of Greenville, Illinois knew that poison is in my body, she ordered my arrest. I am arrested in 2019 in an attempt to keep me quiet. But that did not work because God led me to fight back and win in court. Two people have died as a result of the poisoning, two of my grandsons are poisoned, I lost my underwater welding career because my respiratory system is damaged beyond repair because of the poisoning, poisoned is sprayed in four different Walmart including the Walmart in Granite City, Illinois... The two police departments that I have contacted repeatedly (Greenville, Illinois Police and Granite City, Illinois Police) have refused to help. Where is order? If the police are on the side of criminals, who is keeping peace and order? It is time for police reform! We need police departments that will bring order not chaos. Where there is no order there is chaos. Minister ShandyeMarie