Chicago Union of the Homeless Human Rights Petition

Mayor of Chicago, President of the Cook County Board, Governor of Illinois

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We need your signature! Any resident of Illinois can sign! This petition is a call to action to the leaders of our City, County and State governments. The Union – a partner of the Poor People’s Campaign – was re-established on October 24th after a nearly 30 year hibernation (click here for info on the Union). It represents homeless people from encampments, shelters and abandoned buildings and their supporters. Its key slogans are “Homeless, not Helpless!” and “You will only get what you are organized to take!” The presentation of the Petition will be coupled with actions by the Union. We need you to support this call by the poorest and most dispossessed section of society, by the victims of a society that has not provided the basic necessities of life: housing and health care. We know that in the midst of this pandemic, a growing number of people are – or are about to be – thrown into poverty and homelessness.

We must act now! We know that the Preamble of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

        [T]he peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental
        human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men
        and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life ….

We know that we must stand up now and do our utmost to change the distorted moral narrative in this country and end systemic poverty, systemic racism and sexism, the militarization of society, and the environmental degradation that is destroying our planet.

We call on you to support of the work of Chicago Union of the Homeless: sign the petition! Support strengthening the struggle of poor and low-wealth people to build a society where no one is left behind and where we all have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

To: Mayor of Chicago, President of the Cook County Board, Governor of Illinois
From: [Your Name]

Chicago Union of the Homeless Petition for the Rights of the Homeless Populations of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago

Whereas, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/) was passed in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, and

Whereas the opening sentence of the Preamble is,
“[R]ecognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,” and

Whereas, Article 1 states that, 
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood,” and

Whereas Article 2 states that,
“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,” and

Whereas Article 3 states that,
“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person,” and

Whereas Article 21 states that,
“Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in [their] country,” and

Whereas Article 23 states that,
“Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of [their] interests,” and

Whereas Article 25 states that,
(1) “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) “Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection,”

Be It Therefore Resolved that,
We the Undersigned do Petition the Governments of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago to,
(1) Provide or cause to be provided immediate decent, safe, secure, permanent housing for the homeless population of their jurisdiction, including those living on the streets, in shelters and in abandoned buildings, and
(2) Provide or cause to be provided appropriate immediate mental and physical health care for that homeless population that they may be cared for and as appropriate, returned to health, and
(3) Recognize the Chicago Union of the Homeless (chicagohomelessunion@gmail.com) as a legitimate representative of the homeless population residing in their jurisdiction.