POWER-PAC IL is a cross-cultural, statewide membership organization of COFI-trained parents whose mission is to build the voice and power of low-income, immigrant, and working families by uniting parents across race and community around issues of importance to children and families.
Established in 2003 by COFI-trained parents, POWER-PAC (Parents Organized to Win, Educate, and Renew – Policy Action Council) was born out of the vision of a formal coalition of COFI-trained leaders. The name was formally changed to POWER-PAC, Illinois (POWER-PAC IL) in 2017 to reflect the organization’s growth statewide.
Hailing from Chicago (including the neighborhoods of Austin, Englewood, Garfield Park, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Little Village, North Lawndale, Pilsen, Washington Park, West Lawn, West Town, Woodlawn, and others), Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, and Evanston, parent leaders work side-by-side to influence, advocate for, and enact powerful change.
POWER-PAC IL is The COFI Way in action.
Parents take charge on issues that matter
POWER-PAC IL leaders work on four issue campaigns that impact families in Chicago and across the state.
Early Learning Campaign
Ensuring universal and equitable access for all of Illinois’ youngest generations to high-quality early childhood programs, enabling them to succeed and thrive later in life. Learn more.
Elementary Justice Campaign
Breaking the cycle of criminalization of low-income youth of color by eliminating unnecessarily punitive discipline policies and practices in schools. Learn more.
Health, Food, and Recess Campaign
Addressing health disparities for children and families of color such as vastly improving access to nutritious food in schools, winning the return of recess to elementary schools, and mental health/trauma resources for children and families. Learn more.
Stepping Out of Poverty Campaign
Decreasing the racial wealth gap by reducing or eliminating harmful fees and fines that mire low-income families in debt and winning asset building resources such as Children’s Savings Accounts and Guaranteed Basic Income. Learn more.
But first, parents tackle change on a local level
Before starting with POWER-PAC IL, new participants work with experienced leaders at the neighborhood level, and in the process begin to utilize what they’ve learned in COFI training. Working together in parent teams, with ongoing training and support, they put The COFI Way into practice and see firsthand the difference they can make, together, in their communities.
Banner photo by Melissa Fox