Youth activists from across the city are planning a 24-hour sit-in at the Thompson Center tomorrow to demand that Governor Quinn sign a bill funding summer jobs.
The LIFE Campaign (it stands for Leaders Investing For Equality), led by young people from community groups in Albany Park, Little Village, Woodlawn and other neighborhoods, announced the sit-in will start at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 29.
LIFE is calling on Quinn to sign HB 3631, which provides funding for 5000 summer jobs for young people.
Federal and state programs are providing jobs for older youth, but support for community organizations and faith institutions to hire 14- and 15-year-olds is not available this year due to Quinn’s inaction, said Shannon Bennett of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.
Summer jobs provide structured activities, teach critical life skills, and prepare kids to enter the work force while providing a small stipend, Bennett said.
The youth unemployment rate is at historically unprecedented levels, as noted here  earlier this year. In the black community the official unemployment rate for youth is over 50 percent, not counting millions who have stopped looking for work.