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Hitting the phones and the streets this weekend!

We had our largest turnout to date last weekend for volunteer phonebanking and canvassing -- with folks concerned about an elected school board making it a special point to come out and volunteer. This weekend, many of the 26th District's most passionate advocates for accountability in our criminal justice system are joining us to knock on doors and make calls for the campaign, and talk to voters about this critical city -- and statewide -- issue. 

Join us this weekend!

Saturday, Dec.12 from 10 AM - 1 PM | Sunday, Dec. 13 from 4 PM - 7 PM.
RSVP at 773-285-9801 or email 

Many thanks to our tireless donors, canvassers and phonebankers!
You're helping us broaden our campaign and expand our support every day.

Keeping truth front and center.

People who know me also know I'm a stickler for the truth, the foundation of trust -- and the only basis by which we should judge public policy. In recent weeks, the Hyde Park Herald has published a series of exchanges between me and the incumbent we're working to unseat -- as I fight to put the record straight on both his history and my agenda. You can read my special column in this week's issue the Herald at this link, read and share the link-rich version at, or read on below!

The truth versus the incumbent's spin:
A Hyde Park Herald special column, December 16, 2015

In response to a letter from Rep. Mitchell that ran in the Hyde Park Herald on December 9, 2015. Follow links for source material from IL State Board of Elections, IL General Assembly legislative database, et al.

Good governance is built on the truth. Facts empower people -- and the families of the 26th district deserve elected representation that is honest. So I’d like to provide the facts, along with sources, for Herald readers about Rep Mitchell’s record, a record he seems instead determined to spin and shun.

Fact: Rep. Christian Mitchell worked for a lobbying firm that did business with the payday lending industry. Mitchell’s LinkedIn page lists his work for Conlon Strategies, from November 2011 until July 2014 -- a year and a half after he became state representative. The company is registered as a lobbyist of Illinois agencies that include the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Departments of Commerce, Corrections, Human Services and Insurance -- and General Assembly members!

Conlon’s clients have included the Community Financial Services Association, the national trade association for payday lenders, which paid Conlon at least $150,000 between 2008 and 2009. When Mitchell worked for Conlon in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the company’s clients included the Retail Energy Supply Association, whose members include AEP Energy, which forked out $50,000 to bankroll last year’s annual meeting of the right-wing bill mill ALEC -- and whose corporate parent just slashed weatherization assistance for poor people in Ohio by half. Illinois officials are currently investigating another prominent Illinois Conlon client -- Integrys (2012, 2013), the parent company of People’s Gas -- for hiding huge cost overruns in its pipeline project to grease state approval for its merger with another energy company. Those cost overruns could cost the average Chicago customer $7,700 over the next 20 years, according to the Chicago Tribune, while Integrys executives pocketed more than $30 million from the merger.

Mitchell currently lists himself as a as a "Senior Strategist" with The Strategy Group, whose clients have included Chicago mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel -- and IEC, the Illinois Environmental Council. Mitchell touts his support from IEC, which initially backed Illinois’ fracking law -- but which has also said “the safest and best solution to this issue is a moratorium on fracking.”

Fact: Rep. Mitchell could have -- but didn’t -- sign on as a cosponsor of HB 3086, which called for a moratorium on fracking. Instead, he voted for SB 1715, the controversial fossil fuel industry-driven fracking bill that deeply divided Illinois environmental groups. That legislation required the State’s powerful Joint Committee for Administrative Rules to issue regulations for fracking. JCAR predictably buried the devil in the details and issued rules so toothless that by September of 2014 two of the most prominent environmental groups that originally backed SB 1715 (in direct opposition to their sister groups in California) -- the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club -- abandoned their support and instead joined the demand for a moratorium advocated by the very grassroots groups they’d earlier opposed.

Fact: Rep. Mitchell has accepted over $35,000 from the We Mean Business PAC, whose funders include both Governor Bruce Rauner and billionaire hedge fund boss Ken Griffin, a generous donor to both Rauner (more than $13 million) and Mayor Emanuel ( $425,000 from Griffin and over $100,000 from his wife, as well as $850,000 to the pro-Emanuel PAC Chicago Forward). Crains succinctly laid out the group’s agenda: “to bankroll candidates who are willing to cross labor unions and vote to reduce pension benefits and/or require workers to pay more for them.” Rep. Mitchell has accommodated that mission, voting four times to reduce the earned retirement income of seniors who rely on public pensions: the unconstitutional SB 1; HB1154, to cap public pensions; 1165, to reduce cost-of-living increases; and 1166, to increase retirement ages.

There is no need to distort Rep. Mitchell’s record. When it comes to undercutting the earned retirement income of seniors, working for firms that profit from payday lenders and price-gouging energy giants, or smoothing the way for pro-industry fracking ‘regulations’, his record speaks for itself.

Our youngest 42nd Ward supporter! We had a great fundraiser and 'friendraiser' in the ward last Friday. If you'd like to host your own house party or "friendraiser," call us at 773-285-9801 or email

We don't have the support of hedge funds or corporate fat cats.

We've got people power. We've got you.

We're building a truly grassroots campaign, built on grassroots support from top to bottom.

And you can help.

It takes money to print literature, mail flyers, reach out to voters -- all the elements it takes to share our message and WIN on March 15. You can help. To host your own house party or fundraiser, call us at 773-285-9801 or email You can also donate directly at this link.

Engaging voters on critical issues. 

Safe and affordable housing for our seniors and families, living wage jobs, quality education for all children in the district, preserving the pension promises made to retirees: these are some of the core issues voters in the 26th District care about -- issues that Jay will champion in Springfield.
Help us spread the word about Jay's campaign! Click the links below to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out Jay's website for news about her platform, her work and her commitment to fighting for progressive legislation and policy in Springfield.


Jay Travis is a community organizer, Bronzeville native and lifelong Chicagoan -- sister, aunt, granddaughter, neighbor. We need new representation in Springfield from the 26th district that cares about ALL of our residents -- leadership that's progressive, honest and accountable to working families, not billionaire interests.

Our residents have a right to quality public education, living wage work, and retirement with dignity and respect. Now more than ever, we need steadfast legislative champions prepared to stand with us -- on every critical vote -- to address the issues that matter most to our families and communities. Jay Travis will bring those principles to the state capital -- and stand true to a progressive platform in EVERY vote and on EVERY issue.
Copyright © 2015 Friends of Jay Travis, All rights reserved.

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