Key Updates and Action Items: Illinois Fair Tax, HACC Waitlist Open, New Toolkits, Immigration/Disability Survey, VOTE!


October 29, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Key Updates and Action Items

Illinois Fair Tax, HACC Waitlist Open, New Toolkits, Immigration/Disability Survey, and it’s time to GET OUT THE VOTE

Fall is an incredibly busy time for disability advocates, especially as we head towards the national election next week. Today, we have several important updates and resources:

Have You Voted Yet?

Thank you to everyone who has exercised their right to vote so far! If you have not yet voted, please create a plan to vote on November 3, or vote early depending on your state’s early voting deadlines (see this link). If you have a mail-in ballot, we urge you to consider dropping your ballot off at a dropbox ASAP as opposed to waiting on the mail. It is very important that all votes be counted on November 3. If you are voting in person, be sure to check whether you should be ready for long lines. Voting is powerful and important; vote in good spirits!

As a reminder, there is a national nonpartisan disability voting resource at this link from AAPD, and in Illinois, Equip for Equality is tracking disability voting rights and running a voter helpline on November 3.

Illinois Voters, Support the Fair Tax:

Illinois voters, we urge you to consider voting “YES” for the Fair Tax(it’s the first item on your ballot!). The Fair Tax would allow the State of Illinois to change its income tax structure. At present, everyone is taxed at the same percentage rate. This often means that people with less income have a heavier burden than people with more income. The State of Illinois wants to shift to a graduated tax structure, where people who make more than $250,000 pay more in taxes, and people who make less than $250,000 a year will pay the same or less taxes (see calculator here). Access Living supports the Fair Tax because for years, state-funded disability programs have suffered from lack of funding caused in part by not enough tax revenue. Learn more about the Fair Tax here. Among many supporters is the AARP of Illinois, which has a page on it here.

Waitlist Open for Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC):

Seeking housing using a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) in Cook County, Illinois? The HACC waitlist is open through Monday, November 2. They are taking applications online, and then doing a lottery of those applications to add 10,000 names to their voucher waitlist. Sign up is here. This is important housing info so please spread the word. The info is available in multiple languages.

New Toolkits on Institutions:

In order to understand why people with disabilities are fighting to live in the community, it helps to understand the history of institutions. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has created two new toolkits called “Institutions: The Old, The New, and What We Should Do”, and “The Cycle of Institution.” These toolkits are available in both Easy Read and Plain Language formats. The toolkits are available at this link. Thank you ASAN for these great new toolkits.

Illinois Survey on Immigrants and Disability:

As a reminder, the Disability and Immigration Taskforce of Illinois is conducting a survey about the needs of immigrants with disabilities in Illinois. The deadline is Friday, November 13. You can access the survey at this link. Survey participants should be immigrants who have disabilities; participants have the option of being entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card. Again, please spread the word.

Thank you for your advocacy!