By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
With the average property tax bill going up 10 percent this year, humanitarian Dr. Willie Wilson late Tuesday night announced he is holding a major fundraiser involving 100 diverse churches to help pay the property taxes of people whose backs are up against the wall.
It was only last March that Wilson donated thousands of dollars to help pay the taxes of homeowners whose homes were on the Cook County tax scavenger list due to unpaid property taxes.
He’s back again, just in time to help more homeowners whose tax bills are due in August.
Wilson will hold a fundraiser at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at the New Covenant M.B.C., 754 E. 77th Street, Chicago, IL, headed by Dr. Stephen J. Thurston. The event falls on the 28th anniversary of Thurston hosting the Singsation gospel show that airs Sundays on WGN-TV.
Wilson will be joined by a coalition of 100 different churches including African American, Hispanic and Asian churches, their choirs and their pastors. “The event is free but we are taking donations. All proceeds will go to help people pay their property taxes,” Wilson said.
“We don’t know how much we will raise, but I am hoping to raise more than $200,000. “We won’t pay100 percent, but will give what we can. It may be $500 or $1,000 towards their taxes. “This will be free money. You won’t have to pay it back,” Dr. Wilson explained.
“Some seniors have lost their homes for as little as $300. This 10 percent property tax raise will have a devastating effect on the homeowners.” Wilson vowed to once again make a personal donation towards the fundraising goal.
The only requirement for homeowners is to send their information to Wilson’s special e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilson said payouts will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. He urged homeowners to register early. “We will make the selection and allocate the funds until they run out,” he said.
Wilson also asks others interested in joining his fundraising efforts to visit his website, www.drwilliewilsonfoundation.org, and donate $5 towards his latest project.
The humanitarian and philanthropist has spent thousands of dollars of his own money to bail out Cook County Jail detainees charged with low-level misdemeanor charges. He said he is officially kicking off his national bail bond campaign in hopes of helping more people unable to meet their bail bonds.
This comes on the heels of the Illinois General Assembly passing his SB 2034 bill that created the Bail Reform Act of 2017 that included three major components.
The Bail Reform Act establishes five rights for defendants with regard to bail: a right to a presumption against monetary bail, a right to counsel at a bail hearing, a right to a new bail hearing, a right to conditions of release considerate of the defendant’s economic and social circumstances and a right to bail credits for time served.
Wilson’s bill also encourages the administrative office of Illinois courts to adopt a data-driven, validated, state- wide risk assessment tool to determine if a defendant is a danger to the community or a flight risk.
It also extends the sunset date of the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization law by five years. The bill also adds wraparound services including social workers, caseworkers, attorneys and investigators from the Department of Public Guardians to the definition of ‘public official’ for the offense of threatening a public official.
For his national campaign, Dr. Wilson has chosen Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) to help get his bill passed in Congress.