Its many accomplishments include:
- Creation of Interfaith Open Communities, with the Catholic Archdiocese, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, to promote affordable housing and diverse communities.
- Passage of the first increase in Illinois’ welfare (TANF) cash grant in twelve years, following a three-year Welfare Justice Now campaign drawing upon both the faith community and secular organizations.
- Development of a twelve-point set of guidelines for police accountability in the City of Chicago.
- Formation of a Religious Leaders Network consisting of over 100 denominational heads and clergy on behalf of campaign finance reform and playing an important role in the passage of political ethics reforms in Illinois.
- Adoption of the Housing Opportunity Tax Incentive Act, which provides a property tax saving for landlords in “opportunity areas” who rent to Section 8 tenants.
- Forming a Welcoming Our Neighbor program to help public housing families move out of the housing projects and into areas of job growth.
In spring 2002, as Protestants for the Common Good approached the completion of its sixth year, the Board of Directors undertook an organizational review and strategic planning process. On January 11, 2003, the Board approved a new three-year strategic plan. In so doing, the Board adopted the following mission statement:
“Protestants for the Common Good acts for social justice and the common good as essential to the Christian faith, educating and mobilizing people of faith to become effective participants in political democracy.”
The plan also calls for PCG to work with its constituency to develop annually a “Common Good Agenda” that will serve as the focus for work in education and advocacy in Illinois and across the nation. The current priority areas are: faith and democracy, economic justice and poverty, public education, affordable housing, criminal justice, campaign finance and electoral reform, and the environment. In each of these areas PCG works ecumenically and on an interfaith basis.
Current initiatives include: passage of “expungement” legislation for persons who have completed their sentences for low-level, non-violent crimes, adoption of a city ordinance that would “set aside” a portion of new developments for affordable housing, support for legislation that would create a fair tax system to support quality public education and human services, and the creation of a interfaith religious network to address public policy challenges on a metropolitan basis.
Protestants for the Common Good
77 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602