Leaders Investing for Equality (LIFE)

Leaders Investing For Equality is a coalition KOCO has played a leadership role in forming with the Albany Park Neighborhood Council to advocate for greater investment in youth development. After successfully organizing to win passage of Public Act 1225 (Community Youth Investment Act) in the State legislature in July 2010 for additional resources to fund summer jobs for youth throughout Illinois, the youth leaders set their sights on winning appropriations for the Act.

Through ardent negotiations with Governor Quinn’s office over the past two years, Dr. Toni Irving (Gov. Quinn’s Deputy Chief of Staff) authorized a pilot project in Chicago utilizing the program design of Public Act 1225 this past Summer. After finding the program to be extremely successful, LIFE was invited to participate in forming a task force to determine how this program will be implemented statewide for the Summer of 2013; and Governor Quinn allocated $14M in the budget he submitted to the Illinois State Legislature for summer youth employment. Through consistent work with our state legislators over the course of this legislative session, both houses passed a budget that kept the $14M in – despite funding cuts to nearly every state program.