Join the Poor People’s Campaign Illinois Veterans Rally – May 28, 2018

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. We need you to step up and join our efforts.

Join the Illinois Veterans movement to transform the political, economic and moral structures of our country. Wear your military jackets, shirts, medals, assemble at the State Capitol

Memorial Day — Monday May 28, 2018 at 2pm

Illinois State Capitol
301 S 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62756

Sign up online at:

PPC IL Vets Pledge Card
Watch CVO Chair, Willie Mack, talk about the Poor People’s Campaign Veterans’ Rally to be held May 28th in Springfield Illinois.

Watch Dr. Bruce Parry, former CVO Chair and current Treasurer, talk about the Poor People’s Campaign Veterans’ Rally to be held May 28th in Springfield Illinois.


Poor People’s Campaign Illinois Press Conference

Poor People's Campaign Illinois Chapter

Illinois State Capital – Springfield, Illinois

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.

This campaign has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society.  We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

They demand a change in course.  And on February 5, 2018, they served notice to the state capitals that if their voices are not heard and the issues remain unaddressed, they are prepared to take direct action and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience.

The Illinois Poor People’s Campaign is forming teams across Illinois to organize for next spring and beyond.  We invite you to bring your talents and commitment to the liberation and moral revival of this nation.   Please indicate that you would like to participate in one of the teams and which team you are interested in by replying to this email.

  • Faith Community Outreach Team
  • Volunteer and Organizations Outreach Team (for cities throughout IL, as well as Chicago)
  • Direct Action Coordination Team
  • Movement Cultural Arts Coordination Team
  • Unions and workers Team
  • Millennial and College Students Team
  • Social Media Team

Volunteer organizers are available to meet with your organization and/or smaller groups of people who would like to learn more about our movement. Contact us:

In struggle and solidarity,
Illinois Poor People’s Campaign Coordinating Committee

Top New Illinois Laws Affecting Veterans in 2018

Top New Illinois Laws Affecting Veterans in 2018

1. Top New Laws in 2018 affecting Illinois Veterans Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus
2. Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans We owe our veterans so much for their service and sacrifice.
3. Every year, the General Assembly addresses benefit and care issues for vets. Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
4. Here are some of the top new laws for veterans taking effect in 2018. Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
5. Senate Bill 838 Requires the Dept. of Public Health to promote awareness and programs for providing cancer screening of veterans. Sen. Kimberly Lightford Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
6. Senate Bill 1693 Allows for veteran status, branch of military and the period of time served in the military on veterans’ death certificates. Sen. Tom Cullerton Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
7. House Bill 2449 Allows military members to terminate service contracts like phone or cable during deployments. Sen. Cristina Castro Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
8. House Bill 374 Allows veterans with specialty veterans plates to replace them with another type of plate without paying a fee. Sen. Dan McConchie Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
9. House Bill 2897 Allows the Helping Paws Service Dog Program to also train service dogs for veterans with PTSD or depression. Sen. Andy Manar Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
10. House Bill 2595 Adds a U.S. Coast Guard plate to the state’s military service license plates. Sen. Omar Aquino Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
11. House Bill 3017 Any state or federal entity, agency or person can notify the governor of a death by hostile fire of an Illinois service member. Sen. Dan McConchie Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
12. House Bill 3701 Gives higher education credits to veterans for their military service. Sen. James Clayborne Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
13. Senate Bill 866 Requires the VA to provide returning veterans with information on how to acquire service animals. Sen. Tom Cullerton Top New Laws for Illinois Veterans
14. Top New Laws in 2018 Affecting Illinois Veterans Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus To see a list of all new Illinois laws taking effect on January 1, 2018, click here: NEW2018LAWS

Tom Cullerton announces new laws to benefit veterans in the new year

VILLA PARK- Starting the first of this year there are new laws in place to better serve Illinois veterans.

Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is proud of the work the Illinois General Assembly completed last legislative session to serve and honor the sacrifices Illinois veterans have made for our state and nation.

The laws make it easier for veterans and military personnel to get cancer screenings, terminate their phone contracts during deployment, obtain specialty veterans’ license plates and more.

“Illinois’ heroes have worked to serve and protect our democratic values and principles. It’s important that we continue to honor the sacrifices they have made for us by implementing common-sense legislation to improve our military men and women’s lives,” Cullerton said. “I urge area advocates and organizations to familiarize themselves with them to better serve and educate our heroes as they return home.”

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman. He continues to use his military experience to champion legislation to help military veterans, personnel and their families. And believes we must continue to honor the work our military personnel do throughout the year.

“We have more work to do to guarantee our veterans and military persons receive the services and protections they deserve,” Cullerton said. “I remain committed to better serving our heroes and honoring the sacrifices they have made for our great nation. I will continue to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to better serve Illinois veterans and military members.”

DuPage County residents can read the list of laws to aid Illinois veterans that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 at

Cullerton urges veterans, military personnel, service providers and organizations to reach out to his Villa Park Office at (630) 903-6662 for further information or with any questions concerning the legislation or state services.

Help Get Dental Care For Illinois Vets

Not all vets get their health care through the VA, but even for those who do, only some get dental care. We now have a chance to try to get dental care for Illinois Vets, provided that we all put forth the effort to make it happen.

State Sen. Omar Aquino has introduced SB 622 (, and State  Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez introduced a corresponding bill, HB 1803 (, that would, among other things, give us dental care.

Hopefully, these will be enacted, but it’s also highly possible that they will die in committee without ever reaching the floor for a vote. A key to moving the bills forward is for many other State Reps. and Senators to sign on as cosponsors. So far, the Senators who have signed are: Iris Martinez, Julie Morrison, and William McCann. The Reps. who have signed are: Kathleen Willis, Silvana Tabares, Sara Feigenholtz, and Will Guzzardi.

Ask members of your organization to contact their State Senators and Reps. to ask them to support this legislation by signing on as cosponsors.

If you don’t know who they are, go to: http://il–

If you don’t like that website, and you vote in Chicago, go to Click on the tab for VOTING, and from the dropdown menu, click on VOTER INFORMATION. Enter your information and click SEARCH. Then click on your name, and on the next page, click the tab for PUBLIC OFFICIALS, and you will not only get your State Rep. and Sen., but also every other elected official who represents (or rules over) you.

To track the progress on these bills, go to  On the upper left part of the page is a window where you can input the number of the bill, and the latest information will be displayed.


Larry E. Nazimek
CVO Vice Chmn.
Chmn. Of Veterans Affairs Cmte.

Walz, Jim

Jim Walz, running for 14th Congressional District

Veteran’s Promise Initiative

The scourge of veteran unemployment is too severe to ignore, and is one of our greatest shames as a nation. In 2015, there were 495,000 unemployed veterans throughout the country.

It is unacceptable that we allow veterans to live without the dignity of work they want and deserve, and betrays the sacrifices they make to defend our freedom.




“It is unacceptable that we allow veterans to live without the dignity of work they want and deserve”


This is why we must establish a program geared towards rebuilding our infrastructure that will guarantee our active duty veterans the dignity of work.

There are a few key points to remember about the Veteran’s Promise Program:

What Will It Do?

This program will guarantee any active duty veteran who has been honorably discharged from duty the right to an employment opportunity in the Veteran’s Promise program. The program will be based in a group of counties and cities where the concentration of unemployed active duty veterans is highest as a proportion of the population.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of employing all unemployed veterans would be less than $26 billion, while offering all employees in the program a living wage and public sector benefits. This amounts to less than 4.5% of the Department of Defense (DoD) annual budget in 2016, and 0.6% of the total federal budget.

“It will provide unemployed veterans with an opportunity to share their skills with the nation and rebuild our broken economy”


For comparison, annual spending in 2016 on DoD procurement alone amounted to $119 billion – over 20% of the DoD budget, or 3% of the total federal budget.

Can We Afford This?

Yes – along with procurement reform, the program’s costs will be offset by savings on healthcare, which tends to be costlier at higher rates of unemployment. Veterans have unique medical needs, and not being able to return to a well-paid and meaningful job multiplies the mental and physical health problems they face when returning to civilian life.

Who Will Implement This Program?

The program will be implemented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through an appropriation that flexibly expands their authority to hire unemployed active-duty veterans, and authorizes work on critical public safety, infrastructure, and environmental improvement projects.

This program will put an end to the deplorable economic reality that our men and women in uniform endure today. It will provide unemployed veterans with an opportunity to share their skills with the nation and rebuild our broken economy. Not only does this make financial sense, but it’s the right thing to do.


CVO is 501(c)(3) organization, so we do not endorse candidates. Our request for candidate inputs will be put on our website, so that veterans can educate themselves on the candidates.

Kirk, Mark Steven

Mark Steven Kirk, Republican for United States Senator

Mark Steven Kirk“The VA has become a corrupt, political and bureaucratic mess on many levels – the more we learn, the worse it is. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, I am confronting the VA at every level. I stand with those who shine light on the corruption, like at Hines VA Hospital. Too many of our health care workers are failing our vets, and the few who stand up to protect them are ignored and punished. I have enacted new laws to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and firing.

I continue to prioritize holding the VA accountable. Earlier this year, I called on the VA to address black mold festering at a Hines VA Residential Care Facility after whistleblowers informed me that the VA had failed to address the problem in a complaint filed in August of 2015 and sent a letter to the VA demanding immediate action and answers as to how this issue has gone untreated. In April, I demanded the VA take steps to address reports of cockroaches in the Hines VA kitchen after hearing complaints from whistleblowers that contamination has been going on for years. Most recently, I introduced legislation to address whistleblower reports that indigent veterans’ remains are consistently left in the Hines VA morgue for over 30 days. On numerous occasions, bodies of indigent veterans or veterans without next of kin, are left in the morgue without proper and timely post mortem care, allowing their bodies to badly decompose. Specifically, whistleblowers report that in the month of August, 2016, there were two veterans who had been left in the morgue for upwards of 45 days. I will continue to fight on behalf of our veterans upon my re-election.”



CVO is 501(c)(3) organization, so we do not endorse candidates. Our request for candidate inputs will be put on our website, so that veterans can educate themselves on the candidates.

Mandell, Gary

Gary Mandell, Republican Candidate for State Representative, Illinois District 11

I fully support government benefits for those that have served to defend our country and our freedoms, and that our history of doing so has been shameful. I look forward to working with Veterans groups to address their needs including, but not limited to, medical (including addiction treatment), mental health, homelessness, unemployment and job training. In addition, I applaud the efforts of the many organizations that support the training and hiring of veterans.

We are working hard in the State House District 11 race to unseat my opponent who votes for unfunded spending bills that can never be implemented without tax increases. We believe that we must balance our budget by making Illinois a better place to open a business, employ workers to the state who live nearby, who live in Illinois but work in a neighboring state and pay taxes to that state, as well as reduce our staggering unemployment rate here. This will allow us grow our revenues by expanding our tax base, and not by adding to the high tax burdens that our citizens already face, and are causing many of them to leave.


Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is designed to assist eligible low income households pay for winter energy services. LIHEAP will provide a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills. The amount of payment is determined by income, household size, fuel type, and geographic location.

LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the state of Illinois. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCEO). Energy Assistance is provided by local community action agencies or not-for-profit agencies throughout the state. You may contact the agency provider in your area to apply for assistance.

General Program Requirements
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Illinois and you must need financial assistance for home energy costs.

In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:

Household Size*

Maximum Income Level (Per Year)

1 $17,505
2 $23,595
3 $29,685
4 $35,775
5 $41,865
6 $47,955
7 $54,045
8 $60,135

*For households with more than eight people, add $6,090 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.

A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or certain needs-tested Veterans benefits may be automatically eligible.

Your Next Steps
The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process
Contact your local Community Action Agency to make an appointment to apply for LIHEAP.

Program Contact Information

For more information on Illinois LIHEAP, please visit the Utility Bill Assistance page.

Public inquires can also be toll-free:


Residents in central Illinois can call: