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If you follow Chicago politics in any capacity, you know that City Council is a minefield for progressive legislation. While the body's 50 alderpeople have historically moved in lockstep with the mayor -- at least when the mayor isn't pushing a progressive agenda, as was the case when Harold Washington was in office -- it's much harder to build a coalition to get substantial reforms passed without the mayor's blessing. That's been the case for Just Cause for Eviction for more than a year, as we've had to fight for every single vote to get our bill passed. Despite that adversity, the Chicago Housing Justice League is pleased to announce that we've made significant progress in the last several weeks, with three new co-sponsors that we're pleased to announce.
Since September, our coalition has secured the support of three new alderpeople: Emma Mitts (37th Ward, Austin/West Garfield Park/West Humboldt Park), Robert Maldonado (26th Ward, Humboldt Park), and, just this week, Derrick Curtis (18th Ward, Ashburn). We are grateful to all three for agreeing to meet with our coalition, for working with us to strengthen the legislation, and for ultimately agreeing that the urgent concern of preventing unnecessary evictions is too great of a concern to wait on any longer.
Every vote counts, and with these three on our side, we are now up to 16 co-sponsors on the bill, pushing us even closer to the 26 votes needed to pass a bill in City Council. Still, there's lots more work to do, and we need your help. We still need help letting more people know why Just Cause is so important -- why people shouldn't be displaced for no reason, what happens when people unexpectedly lose their homes, and how Just Cause will promote neighborhood stability and community trust. In the coming weeks, we will be having more phone banking opportunities to target specific undecided alders to convince them to join our side, so please be on the lookout for more news there.
We're so glad that we're gaining legislative allies who understand the urgency of our moment. But make no mistake: Just Cause will only win if there's real pressure from our communities to get it passed. As the eviction courts reopen in Illinois and thousands of residents face the threat of eviction, we know our neighborhoods are suffering and in need of support. Just Cause is one important step forward towards housing justice, but there's lots more we need to do. We hope you'll join us in this fight.