News Tag: Advocacy


June 23, 2017

New LSC Study on the Justice Gap

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) released a comprehensive new study last week that shows the number of low-income Americans in need of legal help far exceeds the legal aid services available to help them. We encourage you to continue reaching out to Senators Durbin and Duckworth and your member of Congress to thank them for their continued support of strong funding for LSC.

Take Action

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May 19, 2017

aba day with senator durbinCBF Joins Colleagues from Throughout the Country to Advocate for Access to Justice

The CBF once again co-anchored the Illinois team at the annual ABA Day in Washington last month. Working with our colleagues at the CBA, ISBA and ABA and a number of dedicated volunteers, our Illinois team once again met with the entire Illinois Congressional delegation.

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April 24, 2017

Why Taking Action Matters

Ever wonder what happens when we ask you to take action and contact Congress? This New Yorker article gives a great overview of why taking action matters, what is most effective, and who is answering your call. Quick summary: personalized constituent-based communication is key!

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March 30, 2017

cbf staff and friends in springfieldCBF Advocates in Springfield

The CBF traveled to Springfield the past two weeks to advocate for our two main state legislative priorities this year and to support the effort to restore state funding for the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation. We are happy to report that both legislative initiatives a law simplifying the language governing evictions as well as a law to reform the system of court fees and fines were voted out of their respective committees and are moving through the legislative process.

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March 23, 2017

Take Action: Advocate for LSC Funding

As the FY17 federal budget negotiations continue, we encourage you to reach out to your Senators and member of Congress to encourage them to oppose any efforts to reduce or eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), encouraging them to instead support a much-needed increase in this funding.

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March 23, 2017

The Right Way to Respond to the President’s Budget Proposal: Using Good Baseball Strategy

As you’ve surely heard by now, President Trump’s first budget blueprint released last week targets the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and 18 other agencies for elimination, and calls for significant cuts to a number of other federal agencies and programs that provide vital help for people in need. This is just the start of the budget process and represents both a challenge and a big opportunity for our legal community to respond. We are advocates by trade with a strong hand to play here. We need to call on those skills to remind our members of Congress of the critical role LSC, as the principal funder of civil legal aid at the national level, and other federal access to justice programs play in assuring fairness in the justice system and carrying out one of our nation’s most fundamental responsibilities.

In honor of it being less than two weeks from the Cubs opening game as defending World Series champs (and how cool is it to be able to say that!), I think it is fitting to use a baseball analogy to frame the issue and talk about key points to remember for our legal community’s response.

It’s only the top of the second inning, but the opposing pitcher has knocked our team off its game by calling unusual and often unpredictable pitches and challenging basic notions of sportsmanship. The good news: it is still very early in the game, we’ve got the meat of our batting order coming up, one of our best pitchers on the mound, and a deep and rested bench and bullpen to call upon. While that is all good, it’s going to take a strong game plan to turn those advantages into a win.

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March 20, 2017

Bills Up in Springfield on Wednesday

Take Action for Equal Justice Today!

Hearings are set this Wednesday, March 22nd in the Illinois House of Representatives for two of the CBF’s priority legislative initiatives this year:

  • In the House State Government Committee at 2pm in support of HB2591, a bill to reform the civil and criminal court fees and fines system in Illinois
  • In the House Civil Judiciary Committee at 8am in support of HB3359, a bill to simplify the law governing evictions in Illinois

Please take three minutes to fill out a virtual witness slip in support of each of these two bills.

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March 17, 2017

Bar groups unite to save aid program

An article in the March 17, 2017 edition of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin focuses on the President’s elimination of all Legal Services Corporation funding in his recently proposed budget and the devastating effects this funding loss would have on legal aid services in Illinois. The article highlights the response of LSC-funded organizations in Illinois and national and local bar groups, including the CBF.

Read the article…

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February 28, 2017

Immigration and Access to Justice: A Much Bigger Problem Than It Needs to Be

People come to America for the same basic reasons now as they have from the time of our nation’s founding: to seek economic opportunity and the American dream, to join their families, or to flee persecution or terror. We truly are a nation of immigrants, and from the start of our country to today, immigrants have played integral roles in our economy and in our communities.

Even if we had a well thought out and well-functioning immigration system that reflects these fundamental truths which no rational observer would mistake our current system for immigrants would have some unique needs for legal help, and many would also face additional challenges due to the language and cultural barriers they often confront.* Unfortunately, however, immigrants face far greater access to justice challenges today because we have a broken immigration system. These added challenges are unnecessary and ultimately counterproductive for all concerned, and expanding immigration enforcement without fixing the underlying systemic flaws will only make things worse.

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February 22, 2017

Eviction Court Name Change Legislation

The CBA and CBF are working with Representative Elgie Sims to spearhead legislation in Springfield (HB 3359) that simplifies the law governing evictions in Illinois by changing the confusing and archaic title of the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act and making other corresponding changes in the Act. By changing the name of the Act to […]

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