Aurora-based Painters District Council 30 celebrates the holidays with its members

Fox Valley Labor News
Jennifer Rice/staff photographer
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017

The inside of Painters District Council 30 was transformed into a winter wonderland by its apprentices. In the weeks leading up to its annual Breakfast with Santa event, apprentices paint the structures inside the school to look like the North Pole.

The Plascencia family took a photo with Santa Claus. Parents Juan and Danae brought their sons Max, Elias and daughter Leamsi.

Children were in for a real treat when they saw real, live reindeer at the Christmas event. With the help of Santa’s helpers, children got to touch and take a picture with the reindeer.

The day wouldn’t be complete without making reindeer food! Children could make their own bags by scooping oats with glitter into bags. On Christmas Eve, all they have to do is sprinkle the reindeer food on their lawn. The shiny glitter will sparkle in the moonlight and the smell of the oats will guide Rodolph to their home.

A mother helps her daughter, 4-year-old Nicole, write a Christmas letter to Santa Claus. When asked if she’s been naughty or nice, she stressed to her mother she’s been good! After the letters were written, they were dropped in a special mail box that goes directly to the North Pole.

Along with meeting Santa Claus and getting a picture taken with reindeer, children could also make several holiday crafts to take home. Several tables were set up as crafting stations. Here, two boys make necklaces to take home.

A mother helps her daughter put the finishing touches on her reindeer ornament.

Summit of Hope helps ex-offenders start over

Summit of Hope

The Summit of Hope event at PDC 30 in Aurora Sept. 15 was attended by more than 445 ex-inmates from the Chicagoland area. It offered parolees assistance with such tasks as obtaining a driver’s license, applying for jobs, mock interviews and education/training services. Photo courtesy of Painters District Council 30

Fox Valley Labor News
staff reports
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

AURORA — PDC 30 hosted the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Summit of Hope event Sept. 15, a “one-stop” fair to help ex-offenders land on their feet after serving time in prison. More than 445 people came to the event. During the event, volunteers guided ex-offenders through a variety community services and resources to help facilitate their reintegration into the community.

Services offered included state identification, counseling, transportation, food, clothing, shelter, child support services, primary health care referrals, health screenings, veterans’ information, Social Security Administration, employment services, mock inter views and education/training services.

Summit of Hope

State prison system’s outreach administrator Marcus King, second from left, greeted participants during the event. Photo courtesy of Painters District Council 30

PDC 30

PDC 30 had a booth at the the Summit of Hope event, educating participants on the benefits of becoming a union painter. Manning the booth was PDC 30 Organizer Lionel Espinoza, PDC 30 Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Guethle and JATF Director of Apprenticeship & Training Stephen Lefaver. Photo courtesy of Painters District Council 30

Fighting like hell against Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Aurora community leaders came together to discuss the effects Gov. Bruce Rauner’s cuts is having on area communities. Not only did lawmakers participate in the event, but also union leaders and church representatives. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Jennifer Rice Managing Editor

By Jennifer Rice
Managing Editor
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015
Email Jennifer Rice at: jen@foxvalley

AURORA — Looking for answers to tough questions on how to help less fortunate individuals in her community, Lake in the Hills resident Paula Yensen traveled to Aurora’s Painters District Council 30 Sept. 3 to listen in on a candid discussion regarding the effects of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s cuts to Illinois’ communities.

Yensen, who wears many hats, including executive director of the United Way of Central Kane County, asked a panel of politicians, community and labor leaders the $64,000 question: “What can we do?”

The response seemed unanimous: You get educated and fight like hell.

Sen. Linda Holmes said the Democratic Party needs to get back to its values and what is important to Illinois. “Our social services are in dire straits. We’re hurting our veterans, our seniors and children with developmental disabilities,” she explained.

Bruce Rauner

More than 50 union leaders, community members and elected officials turned out to be part of an event that looked at the effects of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s cuts to Illinois’ communities. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Without the passing of a state budget since July 1, an impasse has affected vital human service agencies that receive state funding.

Even though Gov. Rauner’s actions and policies have attacked organized labor again, and again, the true entity walking the line of extinction is the middle class — the people who pay the bills in Illinois.

“When the 1 percent makes a little bit more money, I don’t think that money is coming back to Illinois. But when you and I are making money, we spend that money on our kids, on computers, on clothes, and that money comes back into Illinois’ economy. That’s what we need right now for our state to grow — not people being unable to work,” Holmes explained.

Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers President Ken Christy, above, said his members see first hand the effects of poverty when his members deliver mail to homes that contain welfare checks and WIC documents. United Way of Central Kane County Executive Director Paula Yensen, below, came to the recent press conference with questions on how to help less fortunate individuals in her community. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers President Ken Christy, above, said his members see first hand the effects of poverty when his members deliver mail to homes that contain welfare checks and WIC documents. Jennifer Rice/staff photographer

There is no argument the middle class is made up of union members — an organization Gov. Rauner is trying to destroy. Instead of focusing on moving Illinois’ budget forward, he is more concerned with pushing his Turnaround Agenda, which consists of anti-worker tactics, the elimination of prevailing wage and the implementation of right to work zones.

Ironworker Local 393 member Dirk Enger said the median income of Kane County was $69,000, which comes from, “hard-working, middle-class families. If we do what the governor wants, and get rid of prevailing wage, how many people do you think would remain within that median income?” He questioned.

Organized labor is here to help, Enger stressed. “When organized labor works on a project, it comes in on budget, under budget and on time.”

Mediator Mark Guethle, the Kane County Democratic Party chairman said there has never been a study done that shows that by repealing prevailing wage, a project will be less expensive.

What you do see in municipalities that don’t have prevail wage policy is out-of-state workers taking projects away from local workers. “What we see is our tax base going out-of-state,” Guethle said.

In the last election cycle, Illinois Federation of Teachers Vice President Dick Manley said his union told its members to vote their pocketbook and to vote the bread and butter issues.

“Unfortunately, we found that some of our members did indeed vote for Rauner. We can only hope they see the error of their ways now,” Manley said.

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia asked those in attendance to be the goodwill ambassadors for the middle class people in the state. “There are people that can’t even get out of the class they are in. We’ve shut the doors, and slammed the doors in their face, and on their fingers. It is an all out assault on Democratic values of our state.”