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New SEIU radio ad rips Rauner’s home services overtime cuts

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017

* Press release…

A new 60-second radio ad featuring a Chicagoan with a disability who is served by the DHS Home Services Program exposes the real-life consequences of Governor Bruce Rauner’s dangerous cuts to overtime care.

The new ad, which began airing Tuesday, October 17, features Jennifer Kostanski, who lost use of her limbs 14 years ago in a spinal injury suffered in a car accident.

The caregiver on whom Jennifer relies now faces suspension for working hours above the new overtime caps put in place by the Rauner administration; hours of care that Kostanski needs to live safely at home.

Nearly 1,000 caregivers have received similar disciplinary notices resulting from the strict cap put in place in August and all are on track for suspensions.

“I’m paralyzed from the chest down. I can’t imagine that I’d have any quality of life without my home care worker. I consider Melissa a godsend; she is my hands. I don’t see why Bruce Rauner is doing this,” Kostanski says in the ad. […]

Terri Harkin, a vice president with SEIU Healthcare Illinois, said:

“Jennifer’s story is a prime example of the dire consequences facing people with severe disabilities directly because of Governor Rauner’s strict overtime policy. The governor is threatening to take away trusted, dedicated caregivers from the people who need them most. We hope Gov. Rauner will hear Jennifer’s plea, change course and remove the threat of suspension to caregivers resulting from his illegally implemented policy.”

* Here’s the ad, which is airing in the Chicago and Springfield markets

* Script…

Jennifer: I was in a car accident… in a blink of an eye my whole life changed forever… I’m paralyzed from the chest down … I need 24 hour care for the most part

I can’t imagine that I’d have any quality of life without … my home care worker.. I consider Melissa a godsend… She basically is my hands.

VO: Governor Bruce Rauner is continuing his attack on people with severe disabilities and the caregivers they rely on. Rauner is threatening to suspend nearly one thousand home care workers and leave the people they care for with nowhere to turn to meet their most basic needs

Jennifer: I don’t see why Bruce Rauner is doing this…

VO: Rauner is taking away trusted, dedicated caregivers from the people who need them most.

VO: Call Rauner at eight five five nine nine nine zero two seven seven. Tell him to stop attacking Illinoisans with disabilities.

Jennifer: I rely on my home health care worker she’s my lifeline.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - RAGA responds *** Ruiz announces for AG

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017

* Press release…

Jesse Ruiz, a prominent attorney and community leader, announced Wednesday that he is running for Illinois Attorney General.

“I became an attorney so I could use the law to protect and defend others, and be able to step in when people need a champion,” Ruiz said in a video campaign announcement released Wednesday. “For too long, many of us have felt forgotten and let down by our government. As Attorney General, I will use all of the powers of the law as a shield – and if necessary, a sword – on behalf of everyone in Illinois.”

The son of Mexican immigrants, Ruiz has been a strong advocate for the rights of minorities throughout his legal career. He said that Donald Trump’s attacks on immigrant and minority rights motivated him to run for public office.

“Donald Trump launched his campaign by saying, ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Ruiz recalled. “When I heard those words, I got angry. He was talking about my parents, and about the millions of hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding Mexican immigrants who came to this country to build new lives for themselves and their families. I feel that I would dishonor my parents if I failed to do everything I can to resist Trump and to put the law on the side of people who work hard and play by the rules.”

In his announcement video, Ruiz (52) talked about growing up in the working-class Roseland neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. “I learned so much – like the value of hard work and determination, and that if you have enough to eat, you have enough to share.”

Ruiz attended Marist High School, on Chicago’s Southwest Side – a commute that required taking three different CTA buses. To pay his way through college, Ruiz worked a number of different jobs, including stints as a sales clerk, a machine operator, a meter reader, and a handyman. “As I was growing up, my parents made sure I knew the value of hard work and determination,” Ruiz said. “The Attorney General’s job is to be the champion of hard-working people, and I will make sure everyone’s rights are protected – in the workplace and in the marketplace.”

After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in economics, Ruiz spent four years working in the steel industry before entering law school at the University of Chicago.

While in law school, Ruiz took a seminar class on racism and law taught by then-faculty member Barack Obama. Ruiz became one of Obama’s earliest political supporters, knocking on doors with Obama and hosting one of his first fundraisers in his race for the Illinois State Senate. Years later, he worked as a volunteer on Obama’s presidential campaigns.

“As a teacher, Barack Obama always encouraged students to challenge everything, to stand up for what they believed in,” Ruiz remembers. “His example is even more important today, when so many of our nation’s fundamental principles are under attack.”

Ruiz is a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath, a nationally renowned law firm, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He also serves as President of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners.

A tireless volunteer, Ruiz is best known as an advocate for public education. He served over four years as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education and in 2015 stepped in to become Interim CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district. In 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed Ruiz to serve on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission, a post he held for two years. Previously, Ruiz served nearly seven years as Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

As the head of ISBE, Ruiz took prompt action when a school district refused to enroll an undocumented student, in violation of federal law. In an unprecedented action, Ruiz led ISBE to cut off the school district’s state funding. The very next day, school district backed down.

“I want to serve as the people’s lawyer,” Ruiz said. “As Attorney General, I will work to bring the power of government back to the people of Illinois. I will fight back whenever our government goes too far – whether that means standing up against Donald Trump’s assaults on our civil rights or speaking out against Bruce Rauner’s radical agenda here in Illinois. Every day, I will work to make Illinois a better, safer place – for all of us.”

Ruiz and his wife, Michele Ilene Ruiz, met when they were both law students at University of Chicago. Ms. Ruiz is now a partner at Sidley & Austin. The couple live on the south side of Chicago with their two young sons.

* Rate the video

*** UPDATE ***  Republican Attorneys General Association…

“This race is clearly going to be a sprint to the left and Jesse Ruiz will lead the pack. Former President Barack Obama was Ruiz’s law professor in the mid 1990s, so Ruiz learned from the best how to circumvent the rule of law and impose crippling regulations on our hardworking job creators. Illinois needs a fighter, outside the political class, who will defend the rule of law and fight public corruption.”

Campaigning against Obama in his home state? That’ll work.

* Related…

* Ex-CPS board member Jesse Ruiz announces run for attorney general

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


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