Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0587
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Full Text of SR0587  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The Illinois Film Production Services Tax Credit
3was established in order "to preserve and expand the existing
4human infrastructure for the motion picture industry in
5Illinois" and "to promote and encourage the training and hiring
6of Illinois residents who represent the diversity of the
7Illinois population"; the credit is calculated as a percentage
8of salaries paid to Illinois residents and payments made to
9Illinois vendors, with an additional credit available when the
10production company employs residents of high-poverty or
11high-unemployment areas; and
12    WHEREAS, Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks, owned by
13renowned filmmaker Spike Lee, who is perhaps best known for his
14honest and compelling treatments of race in America, including
15"Do the Right Thing" and "Malcolm X", has applied for a Film
16Production Services Tax Credit for eligible expenses it expects
17to incur while producing the motion picture "Chiraq"; and
18    WHEREAS, Lee's film will be set in the Southside Chicago
19neighborhood of Englewood, a predominantly African-American
20community where unemployment stands at 21.3%, significantly
21above the national, State, and city averages; the production is
22expected to employ nearly 3,000 extras, 100 crew members, and
2320 interns, most of whom will be residents of Englewood and



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1surrounding neighborhoods; contracts for services with local
2vendors will also benefit the homeowners, businesses,
3churches, and schools whose properties will make up 90% of the
4film's locations; and
5    WHEREAS, Illinois law requires companies applying for the
6Film Production Services Tax Credit to file diversity plans
7that include specific hiring goals for minority individuals and
8women and goals for contracting with vendors certified as
9disadvantaged business enterprises; the applicant must
10demonstrate a good-faith effort toward achieving those goals;
12    WHEREAS, The production of "Chiraq" not only promises to
13employ, train, and impart valuable job experience to residents
14of a community buffeted by unemployment, depressed property
15values, and a chronic lack of investment, but to shine a
16spotlight on the scourge of violent crime that helps perpetuate
17the cycle of poverty and economic neglect and claims the lives
18of hundreds of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, and
19brothers and sisters each year in Chicago; and
20    WHEREAS, Communities such as Englewood need better
21statistics, not better semantics, a commitment to people, not
22perceptions, and a focus on public safety and the public good,
23not merely public relations; the name "Chiraq" is a shocking



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1but honest acknowledgement of the fear, pain, and hopelessness
2too many Illinoisans experience daily; and
3    WHEREAS, Spike Lee seeks to depict in art the human toll of
4violence in high-poverty neighborhoods and communities of
5color and to challenge society's acceptance of the unacceptable
6in its forgotten corners, a commendable goal in and of itself;
7therefore, be it
9ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge the Department
10of Commerce and Economic Development to award an Illinois Film
11Production Services Tax Credit to Forty Acres and a Mule
12Filmworks, as long as it meets the requirements of the tax
13credit program, in the belief that the filming of "Chiraq" in
14Chicago will result in a positive economic impact on the State
15in general and on disadvantaged, high-unemployment communities
16in particular; and be it further
17    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
18delivered to the director of the Illinois Department of
19Commerce and Economic Development and the director of the
20Illinois Film Office.