The CTU Latinx Caucus recently hosted a webinar on Sanctuary in a time of Crisis. CORE steering committee member Norma Noriega writes about the process.
“The work that the Caucus does is work that we (the Caucus) see as necessary when we engage with the families that we serve. During the strike, we were campaigning and won Sanctuary contract language as well as bilingual education contract language that had never existed before. Although the reality we're living in now is completely different, the communities we live in and serve in are hurting.
We are hearing of undocumented families that don't qualify for stimulus money or Aid money and the bills are piling up. Landlords are threatening to call ICE. Even now we see additional policing of Black and Brown people across the city. When the virus is disproportionately affecting People of Color, the blame is shifted on to us. We see that the virus is highlighting systemic inequity yet that's not the response that we are seeing from our elected leaders. As members were sharing concerns and thinking of ways to help, we decided to create this webinar and start actions that will directly benefit our communities. We gathered resources and shared how to set up individual school relief funds, knowing that these measures are unprecedented but so necessary.
Members across the city have taken action to aid families who are struggling, we had this webinar to lift up our members' actions. At the same time, we know the fundraising we are doing is not enough. We are not going to fundraise ourselves out of this crisis. We urge people to donate and also recognize that bold and swift government action is necessary to address the inequity in impact due to the pandemic and the long history of deep rooted racism that’s compounded by this crisis. We need local, state and federal action that provides financial assistance, housing relief and healthcare to all people regardless of immigration status. If the federal government does not act, the state and city government must ensure assistance includes all Illinoisans.”