We can do more to help those in need of reproductive health care

In Chicago, we can make a huge difference in providing access to critical reproductive health care. Although the overturning of Roe v. Wade makes us feel indignant and helpless, it’s not productive.

All around us, in Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Indiana, despair is real. But not here. Illinois and Minnesota have expanded women’s access to full control over their bodies.

Last week, three states – Idaho, Tennessee and Texas – allowed their activation laws to make all abortion illegal. There is a lot you can do to address attacks on women and women’s health care in response to Dobbs’ decision and laws banning women’s control over their own bodies.

Chicago and Illinois are an oasis for women’s health care, but we cannot settle for this reality.

We can support direct support services, for women already here and those coming to Illinois, by connecting them to the many local resources and organizations they need to access care. Find them. Support them. If you need to know who these organizations are, please contact me.

You can contribute to some of the most effective organizations that provide women’s health care and abortion services and help support the women who need it most.

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There are many wonderful organizations that have been carefully vetted and classified as 501c3 nonprofit by the IRS, so their support is tax deductible.

There are also wonderful national and local organizations committed to protecting and promoting voting rights and countering voter repression, so we can improve the damage that has been done to our rights and our democracy.

Find them. Support them. Get involved!

Hedy Ratner, Center for Women’s Business Development

No shortcuts in construction

We live in an age where quick wins are valued versus long-term progress. Instant gratification delays true progress. We buy cheaper products, at the expense of the environment, human rights and, in the long run, our portfolio.

The priority of short-term savings over long-term benefits also occurs in the construction sector. With the unprecedented level of education, attention to safety and access to training that electrical contractors and union electricians receive from the National Association of Electrical Contractors and registered apprenticeship programs, as well as continuing training for workers, there is real and proven value in choosing an electrical contractor union.

At Powering Chicago, a work management partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134 and the Electric Contractors’ Association of Chicago and Cook County, we are ready to lend our expertise.

As we approach the first anniversary of the $ 1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the distinction between union and non-union work is even clearer. With funding to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, transportation improvements and more, it’s critical to spend taxpayer dollars focusing on high-quality work through highly skilled workers.

One way the local union electricity industry demonstrates its commitment and long-term value is by investing in Alsip’s IBEW-NECA Technical Institute. While non-union training programs vary, I have never heard of one as innovative, comprehensive and safety-focused as ours.

Not everyone has the desire or the means to pursue higher education. Careers in the trades can provide sustainable wages, great benefits, and real opportunities. Each person who completes the apprenticeship program earns an employee salary, which can be close to or nearly double the estimated annual salary of a recent graduate of $ 55,260 during a 40-hour work week.

On this Labor Day, we remember why construction is an area where we cannot afford to sacrifice knowledge and experience for short-term savings.

Elbert Walters III, executive director, Powering Chicago

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