Advocacy Opportunities

There are times when we will ask for our supporters to help us advocate for items that align with the needs of those we are serving.  When those opportunities arise, we will ask for your support in adding volume to our voice.

The timing of participating in these important advocacy opportunities – such as filing a witness slip –  are sometimes made available with as little notice as less than a day prior to a hearing.

Sign up to receive our advocacy emails so you are the first to know and can spread the word to others.  We also will post opportunities to our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn so be sure you are following us so you don’t miss a chance to make an impact.

There are not advocacy opportunities at this time.

Witness Slips

What is a witness slip?*

Witness slips are part of the legislative process in Illinois, and today, they are often used as tools for anyone to engage and advocate in the legislative process. They come into play as bills are debated and voted upon in substantive committees.

Should people fill out all of these slips? Do they matter?*

As with most things in Springfield, the answer is, “it depends.” Context means a great deal. Think of it this way: some bills are like a thumb-tack going into a cork board. You don’t need a ton of force to make them secure; you can do it with your hand. Other bills are like a nail going into wood. You need a hammer, for sure, but not much else. And then there are those bills that are like a screw going into masonry. For those, you need specially sized screws, a power tool, and a hand tool to make sure you get the screw secure (not to mention someone with strong arms who knows how to use all those tools). 

  • They matter when you have a steep uphill climb on a bill, and you are trying to put an issue on the map or reinforce to the bill’s sponsor that you have the ability to do effective organizing of supporters.
  • They matter when you have strong opposition also using witness slips.
  • They matter as a way to engage everyone in the democratic process, and this is important in preservation of our democracy.

*Source: https://restorejusticeillinois.org/what-are-witness-slips-do-they-matter/

How to file a witness slip

Pro tip: Create your own personal profile to quickly fill out and submit future Witness Slips.

  1. Click on the  “File a witness slip” button above.
  2. Fill in your information.  Type in ‘N/A’ in the “Firm/Business or Agency” field in Section I.

3. Fill out each section as follows: 

  • II. Representation: Please list “N/A”
  • III. Position: Pull down the arrow and select the Bill in question or Original Bill.  Select either “Proponent” or “Opponent”.  Ascend Justice will mention the selection that will support the needs of those we serve.
  • IV. Testimony: Click “Record of Appearance Only”
  • Agree to the Terms of Agreement
  1. Click “Create(Slip)”

Thank you for being an advocate!

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