“SACCC-tivists” Who Helped Launch CUB Now Push for Mayoral Term Limits and a Full-Time Consumer Advocate
CHICAGO – Pat Quinn was joined by activists from a revered community group – the South Austin Coalition Community Council (SACCC) – in pushing for the Take Charge Chicago referendums on Wednesday.
“Thirty years ago, I worked with Lillian Drummond, Bob Vondrasek, Elce Redmond and other ‘SACCC-tivists’ to help get the Citizens Utility Board up-and-running,” Quinn said. “In the 1980s, SACCC was in the forefront of demanding lower electric rates. Today SACCC is in the forefront of demanding a term limit on Chicago’s Mayor and opening up City Hall. They’re all fired up and ready to go!”
The Take Charge Chicago referendums would term limit Chicago’s Mayor and establish an elected Consumer Advocate. They would be the first binding referendums in memory once 100,000 signatures are collected.
Quinn – a long-time West Side resident – addressed SACCC’s monthly meeting where he ripped the Mayor’s record-breaking property tax hike and its impact on every Chicagoan.
“This tax hike on the backs of everyday people shows the need for structural change in City Hall. It shows why we need mayoral term limits and a full-time Consumer Advocate,” Quinn said. “A Consumer Advocate could partner with groups such as SACCC on issues which the Mayor’s current hand-picked consumer affairs commissioner won’t touch.”
The Mayor announced the historic property tax hike just after his reelection. His $588 million increase easily eclipsed the previous record increase – $88 million – imposed by the previous Mayor just after he was reelected to his 6th term.
Chicagoans already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, on top of artificial fees such as red-light cameras and the brand-new garbage collection fee which appeared on recent water bills.
In 1982, Quinn won passage of a Chicago referendum calling for the creation of the Citizens Utility Board, Illinois’ largest consumer group for the past three decades. In CUB’s early years, SACCC and CUB joined forces to cut Com Ed’s monthly service fee, restrict winter heat shut-offs and provide universal phone service for seniors.
The South Austin Coalition Community Council is one of Chicago’s most enduring and respected community groups.
Former Illinois Governor Quinn also served as Commissioner of the Cook County Board of (Tax) Appeals (1982-86), the nation’s largest property tax appeal agency.
Chicago is the only city among the nation’s ten largest without mayoral term limits.
The Take Charge Chicago referendum on mayoral term limits would read as follows: “Shall Chicago adopt the following term limit for the office of Mayor effective for the mayoral election in 2019 and thereafter: No person may hold the office of Mayor for more than two consecutive elected 4-year terms (with all prior consecutive terms of the current officeholder counted in determining the term limit for that officeholder)?”
The Take Charge Chicago referendum on an elected Consumer Advocate would read as follows: “Shall Chicago establish an elected Consumer Advocate for taxpayers and consumers to replace the appointed Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection?” Currently the Commissioner is hand-picked by the Mayor.
Anyone interested in circulating or signing the referendums to term limit the Mayor and elect a Consumer Advocate should contact Take Charge Chicago, PO Box 8048, Chicago, IL 60680, or call 773-999-2016. Visit TakeChargeChicago.org to download a petition, find Take Charge Chicago on Facebook and follow @TakeChargeChi on Twitter.
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