On March 31, the Transit Table coalition will present a new report detailing significant progress towards ending debt-based driver’s license suspension in Illinois, and illustrate the major racial equity implications of reform.
WHEN: March 31 at 1:30pm Central
WHERE: Register to join: zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIkd-ioqD0iG9wb37WFuMr1Ug2aJCXXJUFT
The event will also be streamed live on the Chicago Jobs Council’s Facebook page: facebook.com/ChicagoJobsCouncil/
WHO: State Senators Kimberly Lightford and Celina Villanueva, community members, and the Transit Table coalition.
WHAT: Press conference and public release of Shifting Suspensions in Illinois. This report illustrates the significant progress made in Illinois’ recent criminal justice package, which ends driver’s license suspensions and holds due to traffic ticket debt and automated camera ticket debt. Using detailed data from the Secretary of State, the report shows the racist impact of these suspensions to underscore the racial equity impact of this significant reform. Additionally, it identifies remaining debt-based suspensions that Illinois lawmakers have yet to address.
BACKGROUND: Members of the Transit Table coalition are preparing to release the most detailed report ever on driver’s license suspensions across Illinois. Based on zip-code level data from the Secretary of State, the report finds that Illinoisans who live in zip codes with majority Black residents are 5 times more likely to have a suspended license than residents living in zip codes with majority white residents. Drivers living in zip codes with majority Latinx residents are 3 times more likely.
The report follows significant reductions in license suspensions thanks to the Illinois Black Caucus’ ambitious criminal justice reform bill, signed into law in February. The package included significant expansions of the reforms in the License to Work Act, ending future suspensions and holds, and clearing current ones, for over 100,000 Illinoisans with outstanding traffic, automated speed, and red light camera ticket debt.
Shifting Suspensions in Illinois will illustrate just what a victory the bill is for racial equity and the state’s economy. The online report includes interactive maps of each suspension type, side-by-side with socio-economic data to visualize the disproportionate impact.
According to data from the Illinois Secretary of state, among the 10 zip codes with the greatest number of license suspensions for unpaid automated camera tickets, 9 out of 10 are majority Black and 1 is majority Latinx.
Reducing these inequitable suspensions will provide much needed relief to the same communities most devastated by the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new legislation will not immediately restore driving privileges for affected drivers. Anyone uncertain about the status of their driver’s license should call the Secretary of State at 217-782-3720 to verify their driving privileges.
The Transit Table is a coalition of Illinois social service providers, advocates, and other stakeholders working to eliminate transportation barriers that keep people out of work and in poverty. Among the Transit Table members are:
ACLU of Illinois
Chicago Jobs Council
Chicago Urban League
Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts
Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) / POWER-PAC Illinois
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Shriver Center on Poverty Law
Williette Nyanue at Chicago Jobs Council firstname.lastname@example.org
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