This New Bill Will Provide Civics Education for Re-Entering Citizens

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The Voting Rights Project of Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights is teaming up with Chicago Votes and the entire Just Democracy Illinois coalition to help pass HB 2541: The  “Re-entering Citizens Civics Education Act.”

Our work inside jails and prisons with Chicago Votes and other partners has made it clear that most people with a past criminal record don’t realize they have the right to vote due to decades of misinformation. That is why we helped write House Bill 2541, which will provide re-entering citizens with a non-partisan, civics peer education program. The civics classes will cover the voting process, government systems, and current affairs. 

The best part? This program will be taught by incarcerated citizens who are specially trained by established non-partisan civic organizations.


Here’s what you can do to help.

Let your legislator know you support HB 2541 by filling out a witness slip. The bill is going to a committee vote soon, and these slips are an important measure of the bill’s support!

Please fill out the witness slip with your basic information, then hit “proponent” and “record of appearance” to inform your state representative that you support the “Re-entering Citizens Civics Education Act.”

Amplify HB 2541 using social media. Follow the action using #HB2541 #UnlockCivics #CivicsInPrison and follow @ChicagoVotes and @ChgoCivilRights.

Organizations can also help by signing our support form below! As a supporting organization, you will receive email updates with call-to-action requests as the legislation picks up momentum. For additional information, please email Timna Axel or call 312-888-4194.