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Campaigns

1. HIV/AIDS
2. Green Jobs – Saving the Planet and Southside Jobs
3. Anti-Violence – Common Sense Gun Laws
4. Transit Campaign – GOLD Line
5. Education Funding Reform
6. Accountable & Transparent Government

HIV/AIDS – Education & Testing

Did you know HIV/AIDS is:

  • The leading cause of death among black men ages 35-44?
  • The leading cause of death among black women ages 25-34?
  • Is manifesting 66% of its cases in African American women?
  • If black Americans made up their own country, it would rank above Ethiopia (420,000 to 1,300,000) and below Ivory Coast (750,000) in HIV population. (Source: CNN.com)

This disease has been the scourge of our neighborhoods for too long. We have refused to talk about it, considering it a disease that was only relevant to gay men. But the rate of infection has continued to rise, and can no longer be ignored. The statistics mentioned above are simply staggering, an epidemic in our time.

It is outrageous that these numbers exist in the most advanced and developed nation in the history of the world. At SOUL we’re doing several things to combat this issue. We host events that provide condoms, dental dams and other safe-sex materials to community residents. We offer free HIV/AIDS rapid testing. And perhaps most importantly, our pastors and lay leaders are engaging our youth in open conversation and dialogue about the challenges facing our youth today, sex and sexuality, and their relation to spirituality. We are dedicated to saving lives, opening minds and changing the narrative around HIV/AIDS.

Please join us at our HIV/AIDS Youth Summit on May 16th to give voice to your concerns and hear about innovative new tactics to fight the silent and deadly spread of this disease! Every voice must be heard.

Contact Christian Mitchell for more information on how you can help at 708-280-5487.


Green Jobs – Saving the Planet and Southside Jobs

The Southside of Chicago has definitely seen its fair share of inequities from transit to neighborhood
beautification. However, the most alarming inequity is the lack of employment opportunities available on the
Southside. For every 6 people on the Southside there is one available job, however when we head north
employment opportunities increase to every 3 jobs for one person.

Chicago could see a formidable wave of new Green projects blowing in with a recently passed Economic Stimulus
Bill underway and the strong possibility of a Capital Bill being passed in April. Hopefully, the windy city will find that
Green projects will feel a strong gust to the South – Green projects could potentially create 100s and 100s of,
much needed, “Green” collar jobs. When we have more jobs, than we have less violence on our streets, we have
residents quality‐of‐life improving, we have commercial development, and we have healthier communities.

While the jury is still out on the whos, whats, whens, and wheres for Green collar jobs – SOUL and the Southside
communities are definitely clear on the whys. Please stay tuned for developments and initiatives on our Green
Jobs campaign.

Please visit this website later for more information on the Green Jobs campaign. Contact Christian Mitchell for
more information on how you can help at 708‐280‐5487.

Click for Campaign Updates


Anti-violence Campaign – Common Sense Gun Laws

Neighborhoods are supposed to be defined by the sounds of playful laughter, leisurely chats, churning
lawnmowers, the singing of birds and the bouncing of basketballs. But other sounds have begun to dominate our
neighborhoods.

Sirens. Gunshots. Broken glass. Screeching tires. Screams. Crying.

Our loved ones are being taken from us. Our children are being stolen from us. A leisurely walk to and from school
becomes a survival story.

At SOUL, we believe enough is enough.

We know that there are many underlying causes ‐ criminalization, joblessness [preceding text should be a link to
green jobs]), and hopelessness, but we also recognize that there are simply too many guns on our streets.

One of SOUL’s 2009 priorities is to support common sense gun legislation that mandates universal background
checks, makes it harder for criminals to acquire guns via the regulation of private gun transfers, and makes them
easier to track. We have an ally in this effort, our freshman State Representative from the 26th District, Will Burns.
Representative Burns is already the second signatory on HB 48, a bill that would mandate universal background
checks. We will be taking groups of concerned residents just like you and I down to Springfield to give voice to our
hope for a better day and to our broken hearts. Please get involved today, and help us take back our communities and save our kids.

Please stay tuned for lobby dates! Contact Christian Mitchell for more information on how you can help at 708‐
280‐5487.


Transit Campaign – GOLD Line

Chicago’s public transit fails to reach hundreds of thousands of Southside residents, leaving them no realistic
alternative to expensive and polluting car travel.  Many train lines have slowed to a crawl as the Chicago Transit
Authority struggles to fix train tracks that finally reached the breaking point after years of neglect.  In 2007, there
were 60% fewer passenger trips on the Southside CTA train lines than on the North Side lines, with roughly equal
population.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of Southside residents are not able to access a transit system that

would enable them to save money on gas and reach jobs that are often located in far‐flung suburban industrial parks.  The lack of jobs on the Southside leads to much longer commute times for Southside residents than for
people in any other part of the city.
Meanwhile, the City of Chicago is pursuing a bid for the 2016 Olympics that will put the city and its public transit
system in the global spotlight.  SOUL believes that this is a perfect opportunity to hold our elected officials
accountable and push for Chicago’s Olympics plan to include transit improvements on the Southside that will
benefit the community after the Olympics are over.

SOUL’s Proposal
SOUL is organizing to push Chicago’s transit agencies to turn the Metra Electric South Chicago branch train line
from Randolph/Michigan to 93rd St./Baltimore into a more effective train line that will serve tens of thousands of
Southside residents.  This line runs through one of the most densely populated areas of the South Side, but many
Southside residents do not ride the line because service
is infrequent (just once per hour during most of the
day), transfers between CTA and Metra are limited, and
there is a huge gap between 27th St. and 47th St. with no
stops.

SOUL’s proposal – which the organization is calling the ‘Gold Line” – is to make the following improvements on the Metra Electric:

  • Run trains to/from Randolph/Michigan and 93rd St./Baltimore every ten minutes from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight
  • Accept CTA fares and allow transfers between CTA and Metra
  • Upgrade stations at 59th Street and 63rd Street and build a new station at 35th Street

The Metra Electric serves many proposed Olympic venues (Soldier Field, Northerly Island, McCormick
Place, Jackson Park) plus the Olympic Village.  The Gold Line will allow visitors to get to Olympics sites during
the Olympics, enable workers from the Southside to commute to Olympics sites as they are being built, and
continue to be useful to Southside residents after the Olympics conclude.

Elected officials endorsing the Gold Line: State Rep.Will Burns, Alderman Willie Cochran, State Rep. Marlow Colvin,
State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, Alderman Leslie Hairston, Alderman Michelle Harris, Alderman Sandi Jackson,
Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, and State Sen. Kwame Raoul.

For more information, contact SOUL transit organizer Will Tanzman at (312) 402‐0572.


Education Funding Reform

SOUL has been vital player in the fight for an adequate and equitable school funding system that decreases the
reliance on property taxes which burden poorer communities and under‐funds their schools, increases the state’s
share of funding, creates an adequate per pupil base and creates greater equity in the system.
Please visit this website later for more information on the Education Funding Reform campaign. Contact David
Hatch for more information on how you can help and/or get involved at 773‐330‐5684.


Accountable & Transparent Government

SOUL is working with a coalition of communities, civic and public policy groups, and organized labor to ensure that
the citizenry knows what their government is doing and eliminates the corrupting influence of money such as the
exchange of campaign finance and government contracts and business.
Please visit this website later for more information on the Accountable & Transparent Government campaign.
Contact David Hatch for more information on how you can help and/or get involved at 773‐330‐5684.

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