Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Protesters make it inside the governor’s mansion
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Protesters make it inside the governor’s mansion

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016

* A group of high school students joined homeless activists and somehow got inside the executive mansion today…

…Adding… Related…

* Students Protest Higher Education Cuts at Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Five protesters who had purchased tickets to the CSO show entered the performance hall and dropped a banner from the second-floor balcony. The banner read “Sam Zell, Ken Griffin, Tell Rauner: Don’t Cut Colleges.” Security and audience members quickly moved to take the banner down, according to Wood. After about 15 minutes inside, security threatened the protesters with arrest, and the protesters left the building.

*** UPDATE ***  The explanation for today’s action…

100 homeless youth, providers, and allies took to the Governor’s Mansion this morning to protest the Governor’s refusal to release funding for housing services. They pushed for Governor Rauner to support HB 4955/SB 2603, legislation that releases millions from state funds earmarked for services that provide affordable housing and end homelessness.

“I traveled hundreds of miles to ask the Governor why he thinks my future’s not worth investing in,” said Kevin Flint, age 23, who rode on a bus this morning from Chicago to get a hearing with the Governor. “I want to move out on my own and become independent, but the Governor is harming the program that can help me do that.”

Kevin ended up spending 18 months in adult prison for failing to register as an address with parole for crimes he had committed ten years before as a juvenile. When he got out, he was homeless, but ready to change his life. He found Neon Street Dorms, a state-funded homeless youth program which helped him get on his feet. During the last six months, Kevin’s mother died and he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition which required surgery. Despite these difficulties, Neon Street has been able to support him in finding full time employment, getting back into school and saving money for an apartment.

“Our youth are doing their best to better their circumstances but because of the budget crisis their futures and the futures of the programs that assist them are in jeopardy. It is horrifying that the person elected to lead our state continues to stand by and allow this happen,” said Jeri Linas, Executive Director of Teen Living Programs.

Due to the continued budget crisis Teen Living Program has had to make $300,000 in cuts to vital programming. The organization has also had to layoff staff. These cuts can change the circumstances of a youth’s life trajectory; it can mean the difference between becoming successfully independent or their ultimate failure and lifelong dependency in and on the system.

In February, twenty homeless youth and service providers met with the Governor to discuss HB 4955/SB 2603. Days later, Gov. Rauner, through his policy director, told the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless he would not support the funding measure for housing services.

“Governor Rauner  refuses to explain why he, an individual with nine homes, will not support the release of funding for homeless services across the state, including funding for homeless youth,” said Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.  “We implore the governor to show leadership by reconsidering and supporting legislation that would immediately release funding to ensure these youth have a place to lay their heads at night.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    Over-privileged youth helping under-privileged youth. There might be hope for us yet.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    Rep. Hammond,

    Yeah, no one will blame the governor. Ugh.

    “We’ll take it from here… Representative Hammond”

  3. - Mama - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    Will the homeless kids be spending the night?

  4. - Huh? - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    Two concerns: 1. Where was security? 2. Where was 1.4% during the sit in?

    I am sure that 1.4% will be having a discussion with his protection unit about security at the mansion. Wonder who’s head will roll.

  5. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    They should get an A in their civics course.

  6. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    Will the Guv take a selfie with these students?

  7. - BBG - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    Sweet! That’s goin’ to wake a few people up at the Governor’s mansion. Maybe he can find a new security company who will work for nothin’.

  8. - LuckyCharm - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    Never underestimate the resourcefulness of homeless youth. A+.

  9. - Formerly Known as Frenchie M - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:39 am:


    “Great to meet protesters. What democracy is all about.”

  10. - Johnny Pyle Driver - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    Somehow? I was there a year or two ago and had to pick something up after an event. I was with my wife who had to pee really badly. After I did my business she insisted we find a bathroom. We wandered around most of the entire bottom floor of the mansion completely unabated. We just kept opening doors until we found a bathroom

  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    “Bruce has no social agenda”

  12. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    This is our leader of our State! I’m glad he has everything the way he likes it for security at the Mansion! He has no one to blame but himself! He is the top dog!

  13. - Gruntled University Employee - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    Looks like Niles North and Niles West are now officially on Double Secret Probation.

  14. - Dread Pirate Roberts - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    Proud of those kids.

  15. - Because I Said So..... - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    Well done students, well done!

  16. - Mama - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    A 1960 sit- in or 2016 sit- in at the mansion?

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    ===I was there a year or two ago and had to pick something up after an event===

    The point is, you were already inside.

    They have a guarded, locked gate.

  18. - retired firefighter - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:48 am:

    The Executive Mansion is open to the public for tours every Tuesday morning. Has been for many years, and I hope it always will be. I used to be a docent there. Always State Police presence there. If the Gov is in building, his detail is with him. I don’t believe this was a security issue.

  19. - sparky791 - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    The homeless would be treated better if they were one of the governers dogs. At least then he might show a little emotion.

  20. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    I hope they are old enough and are registered to vote
    Perhaps security is waiting to get paid

  21. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    Wonder if Bruce will get the message from them? Doesn’t get if from anybody else

  22. - Johnny Pyle Driver - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    “The point is, you were already inside.

    They have a guarded, locked gate.”

    Oh, were these guys not even supposed to be in the gate? Cuz yea, my experience was that once i was inside the gate, there was no security presence to speak of. Even inside the mansion

  23. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    Good job, kids.

    Good job.

    – MrJM

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    HBO - “Dad’s Home State” - Season 2, Episode 25

    Bruce gets a late start to the Capital, leaves the front gate open at the mansion. Diana’s State Employeee convinces Diana to head to Chicago early. Diana leaves for Chicago seeing the protesters and wonders where they’re headed. Lance trolls protesters tweets, “ck” hands out “Turnaround Agenda” packets to protesters, Goldberg writes a note to the students’ principals. Comedy, 54 minutes.

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===there was no security presence to speak of===

    Yes, there is. You just didn’t see it. Had you ventured into an off limits area you woulda seen it. Trust me on this one. Personal experience.

  26. - burbanite - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    Well good for these kids, their school and their parents should be proud.

  27. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    Ah, the creativity of youth. Much better this than putting a Volkswagen inside the cafeteria.

    I agree with Rich, without saying how, that security measures are in place at the Mansion, whether a visitor can see them or not.

  28. - Anonymiss - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:29 pm:

    BTW, Niles West HS is the alma mater of (SCOTUS nominee) Merrick Garland. I agree with @47th. Good on those students.

  29. - Magic carpet ride - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    Our governor was elected to solve problems not create them. What will it take for this thick skull to wake up.

  30. - Stumpy's bunker - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    Let me share my disturbing vision with you: busloads of “protestors” with murky backgrounds show up at the capitol to establish a virtual hobo camp in front of the office of Mike Madigan. They pay for their snacks at the canteen with fresh fifties.

  31. - Spidey9 - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    It is very affirming to see students at the high school level take action like this. The trip from Niles to Springfield is a very long one, they would not have made it if their heart wasn’t in it. It gives me hope!

  32. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    At first I wondered if Meeks organized it. Then realized no media, so it couldn’t be Meeks .

  33. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    ===Trust me on this one. Personal experience.

    Sounds like a good story.

  34. - Dr X - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 1:35 pm:

    Dear high school students

    No internships for you.

    PS. Get a job.


    Donna Arduin

  35. - northsider (the original) - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 2:59 pm:

    The kids are alright!!

  36. - Stop the spending - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 4:45 pm:

    Let’s teach these students that money doesn’t fall from the trees. Our State has been over spending for too long and it has to stop. Governor Rauner is doing the right thing.

  37. - Former Hoosier - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 4:56 pm:

    ==Let’s teach these students that money doesn’t fall from the trees. Governor Rauner is doing the right thing.==

    Wow Mr. or Ms. “Stop the spending”, if you don’t believe that our state should be spending money to aid homeless youth, then you are truly inhumane.

  38. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 5, 16 @ 5:06 pm:

    –In February, twenty homeless youth and service providers met with the Governor to discuss HB 4955/SB 2603. Days later, Gov. Rauner, through his policy director, told the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless he would not support the funding measure for housing services.–

    They forgot to mention the governor’s hugs and his promises as to how he would get “creative.”

    Keep in mind, these are non-GRF funds, dedicated specifically for homeless youth shelters, gathering dust in the Treasury…

    ….waiting to be swept to help cover the historic GRF deficits of Gov. Fiscal Responsibility.

    –Will the homeless kids be spending the night?–

    I can’t think of an Illinois governor in my lifetime who would not have met and talked with these kids, gave them a hot meal, and the opportunity for a bath and laundry, at least.

    Actually, all of them would have done a lot more.

    Until this one.

  39. - Stop the spending - Wednesday, Apr 6, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    You can call me inhumane, but all of our citizens would be better off if our State learned to live within their means. Where do you think this money comes from? We are finally trying to pass a budget that doesn’t spend what we don’t have. Get behind our Governor, who is doing the right thing for once.

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