C.J. Hawking

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Rev. C.J. Hawking

Committees of Correspondence Connection

In 1994 C.J. Hawking, Chicago was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA.[1]

2009 Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner

Chicago DSA held its 51st annual Eugene V. Debs- Norman Thomas-Michael Harrington Dinner on May 1st, honoring historian, activist, and DSA member Timuel Black and the executive director of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Jane Ramsey. The featured speaker was the Reverend C.J. Hawking.[2]

2013 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner

The 2013 55th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner was held on May 3 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza's Wolf Point ballroom.

"A sincere gramercy to Rev. C.J. Hawking, who endured weather and traffic all the way from DC to be our Master of Ceremonies that evening". [3]

Raise the Floor Alliance

From 2013 through 2016, the Chicago City Council enacted three new employment laws. In 2013, the Wage Theft Ordinance was passed. The Minimum Wage Ordinance was passed in 2015 and in 2016, the Council enacted the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

Who is minding the store on this legislation? In Chicago, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) is supposed to protect workers’ rights. The Department’s web site states: “The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection licenses, regulates and empowers Chicago businesses to grow and succeed as well as, receives and processes consumer complaints.”

Faith – Labor – Action is the motto of ARISE Chicago. The group’s mission is to end workplace abuse. ARISE Chicago announced their campaign to have the City of Chicago create a Chicago Office of Labor Standards (COoLS) at a press conference at Roosevelt University on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017. It appears that ARISE is calling for the COoLS to be under the Dept. of BACP and take responsibility for enforcing Chicago’s employment laws.

In her opening remarks, Reverend C.J. Hawking (Executive Director of ARISE Chicago) welcomed us as a “congregation of believers.”

Janice Fine, PhD, Professor of Labor Studies at Rutgers University took to the podium and said that municipalities, large and small, have established Offices of Labor Standards with enforcement capabilities.

Four members of the Chicago City Council took part in the press conference. Council member Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) said he is in fear of the current federal administration.

Council member George Cardenas (12th Ward) was introduced as Chair of the Latino caucus. He said he is product of his

Council member Carlos Rosa (35th Ward) was introduced as a member of the Latino and the Progressive caucuses. He added “and a proud member of the Gay and Lesbian caucus.” He spoke of being approached by ARISE Chicago to help a worker facing wage theft in his ward. “We need stronger citywide enforcement, connected to community groups on the ground . . . Chicago won’t have the first Office of Labor Standards, but working with experts, groups on the ground and workers, we can have the best Office of Labor Standards.”

The final speaker was Sophia Zaman, the Executive Director of Raise the Floor Alliance, a collaborative effort to amplify the voice of workers. Raise the Floor Alliance was launched in December, 2015. The founding members are ARISE Chicago, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Chicago Community & Worker Rights, Chicago Workers Collaborative, Latino Union of Chicago, Restaurant Opportunities Center, Warehouse Workers for Justice and Workers Center for Racial Justice. Ms. Zaman indicated Raise The Floor Alliance would be in a strong position to bridge the gap between workers and the Chicago Office of Labor Standards.[4]


  1. Chicago CoC "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" 10.14.94
  2. Democratic Left, Summer 2009
  3. [http://www.chicagodsa.org/d2013/index.html, 55th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner, New Ground 148
  4. New Ground, Wage Theft Must End by Tom Broderick