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2,000 women, allies march on Springfield

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About 2,000 women and allies were in Springfield April 25 for the Illinois Women March on Springfield for a wide range of progressive legislation and a responsible budget.

The event pushed bills including women's rights, labor rights, immigration, LGBTQ, youth homeless, healthcare, gun safety and much more. Soon after the event was over, the house passed one of the big bills pushed that day: HB 40, assuring a women's right to choose abortion in Illinois.

More than 110 organizations co-sponsored the march and rally, which included lobbying inside with elected officials, plus a closing rally in the rotunda with five of the Democratic candidates for governor.

More than two dozen elected officials spoke outside, including House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Both advocated for HB 40, the women's choice bill. Rev. Jesse Jackson also addressed the crowd, as did advocates on various issues. Trans advocate LaSaia Wade was among the speakers inside.

Illinois Women March on Springfield was co-chaired by Jaquie Algee (SEIU Healthcare and, Women's March on Chicago); Tracy Baim (Windy City Times and Pride Action Tank); Jennifer Camille Lee (Action Illinois and Women Rising-Illinois); and Jessica Scheller (Women's March on Chicago).

Lobbying is still needed on many bills, see for the list of bills and tips on lobbying.

Details on the passage of HB 40 here: .

An overview of the day

During a noon rally at the Lincoln Statue, speakers included:

— State Comptroller Susana Mendoza

— Speaker of the House Michael Madigan

— Senate President John Cullerton

— Sen. Mattie Hunter

— Sen. Heather Steans

— Sen. Don Harmon

— Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

— Rep. Litesa Wallace

— Rep. Carol Ammons

— Rep. Will Guzzardi

— Rep. Lou Lang

— Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

— Planned Parenthood's Brigid Leahy

— Citizen Action Illinois' William McNary

— ERA activist Jeanne Dauray

— CAIR-Chicago's Maaria Mozaffar

— PASO — West Suburban Action Project's Mony Ruiz-Velasco

—Illinois Nurses Association's Alice Johnson

— Singer Deborah Lane, Amalgamated Transit Unit 241/308

Rep. Kelly Cassidy was scheduled to speak, and she was among more than two dozens politicians introduced outside, but she had to return to chamber to work on legislation.

After the speakers, the crowd marched once around the Capitol Building and then went inside to lobby legislators. The crowd circled the building during the march.

Following the lobbying there was rally in the rotunda, with speakers including trans advocate LaSaia Wade, ACLU's Jenna Prochaska and gubernatorial candidates Sen. Daniel Biss, Ald. Ameya Pawar, Chris Kennedy, Bob Daiber and J.B. Pritzker.

Shani Smith of SEIU lead some very spirited chants, with students from Latin School front and center for the program.

The Champion partners of the march were: Action Illinois, Indivisible Illinois, Pride Action Tank, SEIU-Healthcare IL and IN, Windy City Times, Women Rising — Illinois, Women's March on Chicago, and Chicago Women Take Action. Funding support provided by Women's March on Chicago, Alphawood Foundation, Chicago Foundation for Women, Crossroads Fund, SEIU Healthcare and Woods Fund.

Other partners for the March include the Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Illinois NOW, CAIR-Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union, Equality Illinois, Amalgamated Transit Union 308 (ATU), AFSCME, G-PAC, Citizen Action, OFA, Mujeras Latinas en Accion, Fight for $15 Chicago, National Immigrant Justice Center, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, Women's March Illinois, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Lambda Legal, and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. See many more online.

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