100 Faith Leaders & Community Groups Publish Letter in Sun Times in Support of Nursing Home Workers

18.03.30 Veracare Nursing Home Strike23 Faith Leader

The following letter appeared in a full page ad in the Chicago Sun Times on 4/29. See the full text below and signatories below.

Dear Nursing Home Owners:

Nursing home workers in our communities have expressed concerns that issues they’ve raised about safety and resident care in your facility during this coronavirus pandemic are being ignored.

As faith and community leaders, we find it hard to believe that any owner of one of the most essential institutions in our neighborhoods would disregard frontline healthcare workers who express worries about resident safety and their own ability to protect themselves while working.

Nursing home workers in the Chicagoland area and around the country are reporting on the lack of adequate protective equipment and the lack of a protocol for emergencies such as this. Their desire for hazard pay and to be treated better is a demand for these essential workers also.

From a moral and just standpoint, we agree with their demands!  The fact that some of them work one or two extra part time jobs just to make ends meet and still are subjected to a work environment where they are not treated fairly, is unprincipled.

This virus is deadly, and these workers are putting their lives on the line every day! They should be afforded the utmost respect and concern about their needs.

Lastly, nursing home workers are getting sick.  They are expressing a need for paid sick time that goes beyond their allotted sick time and the need for Covid-19 testing.

These same issues are being expressed by healthcare workers every night on the news.  We have no reason to doubt what we are being told about their issues.

Our appeal to you as an owner, please hear the voices of your workforce and do the right thing!

They would not be doing the job if they didn’t love taking care of people. Their demands are just. Please listen and respond appropriately to them for the work they do for you and our community.

With respect,

Faith Leaders:

 Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

Father Michael Pfleger

Apostle Carl White, Jr.

Bishop Charles Mickens

Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks

Pastor Emma Lozano

Rev. Jamie Hawley

Rev. Dr. Waltrina Middleton

Rev. Wayne Macpherson

Minister Barbara Bolsen

Pastor Jeffrey Phillips

Rev. Kevin J. McLemore

Rev. Veronica M. Johnson

Rev. Vilius Rudra Dundzila

Rev. Brandy Simmons

Rev. Sarah Lohrbach

Rev. Elizabeth Jones

Rev. C.J. Hawking

Rev. Julian DeShazier

Rev. Michelle Hughes

Rev. Richard Lanford

Rev. Michael Eaddy

Rabbi Brant Rosen

Pastor Marvin Hunter

Minister Michelle Day

Pastor Shirley Hughes

Pastor Alvin Love

Pastor Michael Richardson

Dr. Dion McCarthy

Apostle Joseph Kyles

Pastor Donald Meeks

Pastor David Todd Whittley

Father Bill Vanecko

Pastor Walter Turner

Pastor William Hall

Rev. Dr. Aaron McLeod

Rev. Michael Brand

Rev. Dr. Janette Wilson

Pastor Ira Acree

Dr. Marshall Hatch

Rev. Christopher Griffin

Rev. James Bailey

Pastor Jason Coulter

Pastor Booker Steven Vance

Pastor William Jenkins

Apostle Steve Jones

Pastor William Fleshman

Pastor Steve Lewis

Rev. Betty E. Landis

Rabbi Andrea London 

Community Partners:

Illinois Alliance of Retired Americans

Community Assistance Program, Inc.

Lugenia Burns Hope Center

Illinois Hunger Coalition

Chicago Teacher’s Union

Rainbow PUSH

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee

Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition

DePaul University Labor Education Center

Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberat

Southland Ministerial Health Network

Jane Addams Senior Caucus

Women’s March Chicago

Midwest Academy

Healthy Illinois

Voices of Reason

Kenwood Oakland Community Organization




Indivisible IL

Kids Off the Block

Chicago Women Take Action

Coalition of Labor Union Women

Indivisible Peoria

IL Poor People’s Campaign

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Grassroots Collaborative

Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

Logan Square Neighborhood Association

Action NOW

Shriver Center

United Working Families

One Northside


Indivisible Shawnee of Southern IL

Local 881 UFCWPhillip Randolph Institute

American Postal Workers Union Chicago Loc

International Brotherhood of Electrical Wor

National Association of Letter Carriers Local

Regina McGraw for the Board of Directors o

District Council 14 Local 1332

SEIU Local 73

Worker’s United

Indivisible South Suburban Chicago

Western Front Indivisible

Indivisible Chicago

Illinois Democratic Women

Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees