Feb. 12-18, 2008
State and federal budgets:
Who's getting a slice of the pie?
This week we offer an analysis of the Illinois budget for fiscal year 2008, approved by the General Assembly last month. We also round up helpful information on the federal 2009 fiscal year budget proposed by President George W. Bush last week.
Chicago Foundation for Women believes that a government’s budget is best measured by how fairly it treats those who are often left out of the executive and legislative power struggle over funding priorities—women and girls. Budgets are public documents that should not escape public scrutiny. They are also moral documents that tell us who and what matters to the government officials we elect.
Our budget analysts. Thanks to Voices for Illinois Children for preparing the FY 2008 Illinois budget report which we commissioned. And thanks go as well to the National Women's Law Center, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, the Source on Women's Issues and Congress and the National Network to End Domestic Violence for their reporting on how the FY 2009 federal budget looks as of now.
The Chicago Tribune and reporter Judith Graham for a Feb. 8 front-page story on the “emerging health crisis” among Cook County women who are going untreated because of budget cuts and staff reductions in the county health system. The story referenced our 2007 study on Illinois' uninsured women. Cook County residents: Scroll down to our Advocacy section for an action alert.
Tuesday Blast reader Jennifer from Evanston won our randomly chosen Tuesday Blast feedback prize. Jennifer sent firstname.lastname@example.org a suggestion: "Please add the option to send action alerts to other people so that we can reach more folks." Thanks, Jennifer--we're working on that now and your prizes are on their way. Keep sending in your thoughts and you could end up with a Chicago Foundation for Women T-shirt, tote bag and mug plus a few surprises.
Analysis: Freedom from violence
Women who have survived domestic violence are more likely to suffer health problems in the future, according to a report released last week by the Centers on Disease Control. The Feminist Majority Foundation summarized the findings: "[W]omen who are victims of domestic violence are 1.3 times more likely to have high blood cholesterol and 3.1 times more likely to have risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases. They are also significantly more likely to use disability equipment such as a cane or wheelchair." The report also estimated that one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence.
The story: For feminists, Valentine's Day is also V-Day, when women speak out against sexual violence and speak up for women's rights and sexual health, often by performing "The Vagina Monologues." Anti-feminists find all this a blight upon polite society. As Feministing mentioned last week, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute released a press release that says the Monologues uses "shock value as its main tactic" to advance "the purported message of ending violence against women." Despite praise the world over, "others--perhaps more than you think--are quietly left wondering how embracing vulgarity is going to make the world a safer place for women."
What's missing: The anti-feminists somehow can't make the connection between "shock value" and shocking truth--as we see it, the invisible epidemic of violence against all women and girls. The only "vulgarity" in the Monologues is the unveiling of these facts. Yes, performers often use choice words and may even discuss the female anatomy in detail. But fear of women's sexuality is part of what allows violence to occur and prevents society from seriously confronting the issue. Read more about violence prevention in our "What Will It Take?" initiative's final "Call to Action, Part 1" report.
Mary F. Morten, our interim executive director, was pictured in the Windy City Times at the Equality Illinois “Justice for All” gala.
Hannah Rosenthal’s departure was in the Chicago Tribune’s foundation column by Charles Storch on Feb. 7.
As mentioned above, the Chicago Tribune's cover story on women's health in Cook County mentioned our 2007 report on uninsured women in Illinois.
Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at cfw.org.
Take action: Show love for women's health
Calling all Cook County residents: The county health system is in crisis, and women and girls are paying the price. During Valentine's Day week, let's call our representatives on the Cook County Board of Commissioners and demand an independent trusteeship take over the Bureau of Health Services. Click here for a PDF phone script with background information, or use the script below:
“Hello, my name is ____________, and I am a resident of [town]. I am calling today to urge Commissioner ___________ to support an independent trusteeship for the Bureau of Health Services. Cook County residents deserve an efficient, transparent, and well-funded health care system. Thank you very much for your time.”
To find your Cook County Commissioner, visit www.civicfootprint.org and enter your home address. Then click on your commissioner's name to get his or her contact information.
Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.
In the spotlight
FEB. 13: Reproductive Rights Telephone Briefing: Migrant farm worker women, 3-4:30 p.m.
FEB. 14: Grantees: Budgeting in Times of Economic Uncertainty - Capacity Building, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
FEB. 14: 5th Annual Distinguished Family Violence Lecture (co-sponsorship with DePaul University), 2:15-4:15 p.m.
New events this week
FEB. 21: Grantees: Executive Director Roundtable – Active Board Engagement, 12-1:30 p.m.
FEB. 28: February Fever Frolic: Lesbian Leadership Council party, 5:30-8 p.m.
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