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  • Sacred Conversations 2016

Congressman Tim Johnson Signs CBA

Congressman Tim Johnson expresses support for local jobs and equal opportunity in Illinois

“We need jobs and we want a voice in what happens to our community” was the message to those attending a press conference held at the Springfield Amtrak Station today. Congressman Tim Johnson signed the Rail Community Benefits Agreement drafted by leaders from Faith Coalition for the Common Good. The Agreement addresses community demands for local jobs, jobs for people of color and women, funding for job training programs, economic development and a citizen led monitoring committee for construction of the Springfield Rail Project.

Congressman Johnson said: “I appreciate the Faith Coalition being able to marry all of these different factions to work for improvements in jobs and services in this area.”

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider also made a commitment to implement the Rail Community Benefits Agreement during the Gamaliel International Leadership Assembly held in Chicago in December. The Faith Coalition for the Common Good has gained support for the Agreement from the City of Springfield and Mayor J. Michael Houston, as well as the Sangamon County Board and Board Chair, Andy Van Meter.

“Our people are suffering,” said Rev. T. Ray McJunkins, Pastor of Union Baptist Church in Springfield. “The Springfield Rail Project can bring jobs to our community and help those most affected by the recent recession. We appreciate the commitment some of our elected officials have given to the Rail CBA. We wish other decision makers would also get on board!”

The press conference was organized by Faith Coalition for the Common Good, an affiliate of Gamaliel of Illinois. Similar initiatives have taken place across the state as local affiliates have worked to implement Community Benefits Agreements and Project Labor Agreements around transportation infrastructure projects. Other affiliates include Quad Cities Interfaith, Gamaliel of Metro Chicago and United Congregations of Metro East St. Louis.

About Faith Coalition for the Common Good: Faith Coalition for the Common Good is a nonprofit, faith based organization whose purpose is to: unite congregations with other faith-based and community organizations, to identify common issues of concern in Central Illinois, to educate themselves and others about these issues and work together for systemic change that will advance their shared values.

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