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The Illinois standard. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1948-1949, January 15, 1949, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015060/1949-01-15/ed-1/seq-2/

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Stevenson takes over,
hedges on his promises
Continued from page 1
port, Stevenson declared: "Basic
differences between Democrats
and Republicans on national is
sues have little bearing upon
state and municipal problems."
Equally surprising to liberal
supporters of Stevenson was his
perfunctory handling of the
need for a state fair employ
ment practices law, dismissed in
two brief paragraphs politely
asking the Assembly's “thought
ful consideration” of such legis
Nor was there any mention of
the need for general overhaul
of Illinois civil rights laws, to
strengthen bans on discrimina
tion in public places and imple
ment free speech and assem
blage guarantees.
Although the need for much
creased state aid to local schools
had been a key Stevenson cam
paign issue, he made no specific
proposals on methods or
amounts of such aid. The joint
legislative session to which he
was speaking was referred in
stead to the forthcoming report
of the Revenue Commission, ap
pointed by the last Assembly
and chaired by Senator Merritt
J. Little.
Liberals and progressives
generally approved the Gov
ernor's plea for improved mine
safety legislation and for adop
tion of a modernized system of
personnel administration.
To assist in his reform of Illi
nois government, Stevenson
called for “substantial salary in
creases” for the “men at the
top.” However, trade union ob
servers were surprised by his
failure to mention the need for
general wage boosts for thou
sands of other workers em
ployed in state departments and
Trade unionists were also dis
turbed by his request for a re
duction in employer contribu
tions to unemployment compen
sation funds, in view of recent
indications the “b o o m” may
shortly turn in a “bust.”
The new governor coupled the
need for increasing old-age pen
sion payments to “at least $55 a
month” with the need for re- |
ducing the number of aged per- j
sons now in state mental insti- i
Those who “are merely aged j
and infirm or senile,” he said,
should be “discharged and main
tained on their own or in foster
homes with the aid of old-age :
pensions.” Health and welfare |
experts wondered how the j
senile aged would fare on the i
$55 a month he proposed.
The urgent need for radical I
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Thousands of Illinois voters who gave Adlai E. Steven
son the largest plurality (572,000) ever received by a gov
ernor in the state were startled at his bald inauguration
statement that “I know of no large number of our people
who favor a state income tax. I know a great many who
oppose it.”
Stevenson needs only to move a short distance from
the closed circle of his LaSalle Street and suburbanite
friends to find a very large number of people, indeed, who
favor such a tax as alternative to the state sales tax, which
relieves the greedy and strikes hard at the needy.
The course suggested by Stevenson amounts to some
thing like this: The assembly enacts legislation calling for
a constitutional convention. The convention, in turn, drafts
a new state charter leaving “the income tax problem pre
cisely where it stands at present.”
In other words, the people of Illinois are asked to go
through the elaborate and expensive machinery of obtain
ing a new constitution, only to find they are still saddled
with one of the worst abuses of the old—the sales tax.
increases in the present Illinois
workmen's compensation rates
he brushed off with a brief re
quest that the legislature “re
view’’ again the “compensation
awards in the light of increased
living costs of the injured work
Stevenson’s entire housing
program was summed up in a
request for legislation permit
ting “more rapid acquisition of
land for slum clearance and
housing purposes.’’
Despite the fact privately
owned utilities take a $2 billion
bite out of Illinois consumers’
pockets yearly, the new gov
ernor had no proposal to make
on utility regulation. Instead, he
asked that the five members of
the Illinois Commerce Commis
sion be chosen for six-year
terms, instead of the present
two years, and be paid $10,000
annually, instead of $7,500.
Significant American Legion
influence in the Governors
Mansion for the next four years
was indicated by an elaborate
“presentation of the colors”
ceremony. Commander Howard
West of Advertising Men’s Post,
Chicago, seized the opportunity
to emphasize that Stevenson is
a long-standing member of the
post and will “continue govern
ment of Illinois by Legion men.”
FE board says real
unity can be found
President Grant Oakes of the CIO Farm Equipment
Workers this week expressed the opinion that it is possible
to achieve genuine labor unity among all workers in the
farm equipment industry.
Oakes’ comment was based on sentiment of the FE
international executive board.
A few days earlier FE leaders
had informed a special CIO
merger committee their organi
zation rejected “any and all
Pearl Harbor ultimatums to dis
band our union.”
The executive board’s release
pointed out that because of “his
torical circumstances,” farm
equipment workers are scattered
among five different CIO unions
—Steel, Mine-Mill, Electrical.
Auto and FE. At the same time
it asserted that the majority of
CIO-organized farm implement
workers are within FE.
“If all these workers were to
have their own union,’’it con
tinued, “established by conven
tion, where they could elect
their own leadership, establish
their own rules, formulate their
own policies on wages, working
conditions and contracts within
the industry, this would be
genuine unity, of the kind that
would serve the dues-paying
members to the fullest extent.”
Meantime, the FE board as
serted that it "set its sights on
preparations for the coming
fourth-round wage increase bat
tle, the fight against punishing
speed-up and ‘phony’ escalator
clause proposals, for a pension
plan and security program.”
Chicago is model
for fur increases
Recent increases of 10 to 11
cents by Chicago leather work
ers were cited this week by CIO
Fur and Leather President Ben
Gold as the keynote for a fourth
round wage drive in the entire
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NEGRO HISTORY Week is officially set for Feb. 6 to 1 3 by Mayor
Martin Kennelly. Part of delegation witnessing signing of procla
mation by the city's chief executive includes Bishop W. J. Walls,
AME Zion Church; William Jones, executive director of Near West
side Interracial Committee; John Gray, executive director of Du
Sable Community Center; Sidney Ordower, legislative director of
the Progressive Party, and L. Bratton, Hope Bible School.
Sixty Cicagoans board
CRC 'Freedom Special'
Sixty Chicagoans will board the “Freedom Special’’
Sunday, Jan. 16, prepared to take part in a two-day Wash
ington mass lobby on civil rights.
Chicago delegotes will be
joined on a specially chartered
coach by vil rights advocates
from other Midwest cities, ac
cording to Arthur G. Price of
Civil Rights Congress, the spon
soring organization.
Among those leaving from
he£,e will be 20 union members,
fi’’e language group spokesmen
and three from community
Kickoff meetings to spark the
Washington trek are scheduled
for Chicago's west, south and
north sides for the last days of
this week. Fathei Clarence
Parker, St. Marks Episcopal
Chuch; Mrs. Louise Patterson,
DuSable Community Center,
and Sidney Ordower, Progres
sive Party Illinois legislative di
rector, will be among the speak
ers at these meetings.
On arrival in Washington, the
delegates will map out a legisla
tive program, and t en proceed
to buttonhole senators and rep
resentatives. Certain to be de
manded are: An end to Taft
Hartley, enactment of a strong
civil rights program, and drop
ping of the indictments against
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Ordower returns
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