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Thursday, Feb. 22: Sit-In at City Hall to demand decent wages for Chicago youth

Hundreds of youth and community members will gather to protest at City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 12 PM and deliver pink slips to both Mayor Daley and B.J. Walker of the Mayor’s Task Force for Summer Youth Employment, for their lack of efforts in securing adequate resources and employment opportunities for Chicago’s low-income youth.
Tomorrow! Thursday, Feb. 22: Youth Plan Sit-In at City Hall to demand decent wages and an end to Daley’s Summer Sweatshop Plans!

What: Hundreds of youth and community members will gather in protest at City Hall and submit pink slips to both Mayor Daley and B.J. Walker of the Mayor’s Task Force for Summer Youth Employment, for their lack of efforts in securing adequate resources and employment opportunities for
Chicago’s low-income youth.

This year’s Summer Jobs Program offers almost 10,000 less jobs than last year’s program, and proposes to pay its youth participants stipends worth less than a minimum wage. Additionally, the 2001 Summer Jobs Program has been
developed with no community input. The City of Chicago should send a strong message to first-time workers that their labor is valued and important.

When: Thursday, February 22, 2001, 12 P.M.
Where: Mayor’s Office – City Hall
121 North LaSalle Street – rm. 509

Who: The Community Justice Initiative is a multi-organization, grassroots alliance, with youth leaders from all over Chicago. The Community Justice Initiative’s primary purpose is to assure that the City of Chicago puts Youth First! in terms of its spending practices.

Last year, Youth First! leaders organized accountability sessions between youth and high-level city commissioners, including B.J. Walker, proposing that the city of Chicago provide a permanent source of funding from its corporate budget for 10,000 summer jobs at $6 an hour for youth each year, starting in fiscal year 2001. This funding should be in addition to any funding the city receives from federal, state, or private sources.

Why: This year, the City of Chicago has only planned to
provide between 9,000 and 11,000 summer internships for
youth. That’s almost 10,000 less jobs than last year’s program! The City is also planning to offer youth stipends worth between $150 and $400 for the entire summer! That’s only between $1.20 and $3.33 per hour, well below minimum wage! Not offering young people a fair wage for the tasks that they accomplish clearly communicates that the City of Chicago undervalues the work of its youth, and is not properly invested in supporting young people in their efforts to become productive members of the workforce.
 
 

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