Freedom from poverty is a human right, and the realization of this freedom requires a comprehensive vision and plan. To that end, Heartland Alliance has created the From Poverty to Opportunity Campaign: Realizing Human Rights in Illinois. This campaign has brought together a broad range of residents from the most affected communities throughout the state, advocates, community partners, and policy leaders.
Our goal is to develop and advocate for a poverty elimination strategy that will reduce extreme poverty in Illinois in half by the year 2015. Our advocacy strategy is built on the report released by the Commission on the Elimination of Poverty - Building a Pathway to Dignity & Work: A Plan to Cut Extreme Poverty in half by 2015 in Illinois. Read the Report.
This summer the Commission held hearings and listening sessions across the state in Quincy, Rockford, Cairo, and Chicago, to hear from Illinoisans impacted by poverty and seek input for anti-poverty policy solutions. Watch these videos from our "Poverty is Real" series to hear their stories:
Where We Are Today:
The Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty, created in 2008, set a goal of cutting extreme poverty in half by 2015. While such a goal may seem challenging, the Commission determined that with the right data on need, policy solutions targeted directly at that need, and the political will to see the policy changes through, Illinois can indeed reach this goal, and in 2010 released its recommendations for reducing poverty in Illinois. Our report, "The Power of Policy Change: 5 Policies Proven to Reduce Poverty in Illinois" summarizes findings from The Urban Institute’s modeling of what the impact on poverty will be if Illinois adopts five of the recommendations in the initial Commission report: increase in the TANF cash grant, increase in the TANF participation rate, expansion of rental housing subsidies, provision of additional community college scholarships, and creation of a statewide Transitional Jobs program. Read the Commission's 2012 annual report for our most recent update, and see what we're working on this year in our 2013 legislative agenda.