Evanston aldermen Monday night rejected out of hand a request from Gov. Bruce Rauner that they endorse his “Illinois Turnaround Agenda.”
The vote came after aldermen heard from close to a dozen union activists who said the plan would lead to a “race to the bottom.”
One speaker, laborer’s union member Benito Rivera, said he’s a single parent who’s only able to provide the medicine his diabetic son needs because of health benefits negotiated by his union.
Without the health coverage, the medicine would “almost be like paying for another house note,” Rivera said. “I might have to go on public assistance without the union medical benefits. But instead I’m able to contribute to society because of the benefits I enjoy as a union member.”
Rivera, an Aurora resident, made a similar presentation to the Kane County Board last week.
Evanston firefighter Jason Hays.
Jason Hays, of 712 Dobson St., a member of Evanston Firefighters Local 742, said the governor cried for shared sacrifice, “but left it to workers to do the heavy lifting.”
He said the governor’s proposal for “right to work” legislation would create a “‘right to work’ — for less — less representation, less safety, less protection and less equity.”
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, calling the governor’s proposal “wrongheaded,” moved that the Rules Committee reject the endorsement resolution and send a copy of the video of public comment at the meeting to the governor.
“We should stand by the people in the audience tonight,” Rainey added.
Her motion was approved on a unanimous roll-call vote.