Community residents continue their hunger strike in the State Capitol building, with only a few days left in session and more than $7 billion in cuts to vital state programs and services looming. Close to 200 community allies will join Hungry for Justice, an ad hoc group of residents aged 24 to 87, to send the clear message to the Legislature that they must protect the safety net for seniors, children, and working families, and pass a fair revenue increase.

“I’m blessed to be in good health, but what about all the seniors who aren’t?” said Brenda Hobson of Westchester, age 65. “If the General Assembly votes cut these programs, we’re all in trouble. That’s why I’m here.”

Slashing core programs such as home care services for seniors and people with disabilities, prevention programs that reduce violence, teen pregnancies, and substance abuse, and education and safety programs such as parent patrols and Grow Your Own teachers is unacceptable. An estimated 5 million Illinois families depend on these programs. At a time of economic crisis, cuts to our safety net are the worst possible action the Legislature can take.