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Fellow John Bouman “The Illinois Fair Tax 2020 Ballot Initiative” (Students...

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Institute of Politics

5707 South Woodlawn Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

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The Illinois Constitution requires that the state’s income tax place the same tax rate on everyone regardless of income. There will be an amendment on the ballot in November 2020 that would allow the state to adopt a graduated rate income tax, where people with higher income pay a higher rate than people with lower income. Illinois campaign finance law requires that activity in support of a ballot measure be organized into a ballot initiative committee. Bouman is chair of the ballot committee in support of what is known as the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax ballot initiative is an ongoing campaign that presents in real time all of the aspects of policy advocacy examined in this seminar. What is it exactly, and why is it vital to people in poverty? How does it address (or how can it redress) inequality in Illinois? What are the “facts” (research)? It is set for the ballot in 2020, so now getting Fair Tax into law is mostly a campaign to win the hearts and minds of voters. What is left of the inside game? What are the strategies for the outside game – organizing, message, media? What are the challenges? How can you be a player?

This seminar is part of IOP Pritzker Fellow John Bouman's series, “Striving for Equity: Lessons in Anti-Poverty Policy Advocacy."


  • This seminar is open to students only and off the record.
  • Registration is required. However, seating is limited on a first come, first serve basis; capacity in the IOP Living Room is 45.
  • Doors will open 30 minutes before the event begins. Any unclaimed seats will be released 10 minutes before the event begins. Please arrive early to claim your seat. If you can no longer attend, please cancel your ticket order on Eventbrite so others may register.
  • This venue is physically accessible and has gender-neutral restrooms. Please contact the Institute of Politics at politics@uchicago.edu or 773-834-4671 with any questions or accommodation requests.
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Institute of Politics

5707 South Woodlawn Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

View Map

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