Chair’s Column: Kate Daniels
At our August meeting, the Adams County Democratic Party will discuss and articulate our positions and rationale for those positions on August 18th, 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 37, 116 N. 8th St. This meeting will be a little longer. Please attend this meeting where we will decide where we want to take Adams County Democratic Party. If you can’t make it, please contact me at: Daniels.firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you believe are local issues that we should take a position on and what that position should be.
One of the local issues, affordable housing, has hit Quincy hard recently. On July 28th, the City of Quincy condemned the Welcome Inn citing structural and safety concerns. Apparently, in January of 2021, the City of Quincy gave the Welcome Inn time to fix the structural issues before condemnation. However, they never informed any of the residents. For 6 months, the City of Quincy allowed people to knowingly live in substandard housing. The City may have known for up to 3 years before the July 28th closure. For years, the Salvation Army continued to provide vouchers to people in need of housing despite being told that chunks of cement were falling off the building, rebar was exposed, at times there was no water, rooms were trashed, no cleaning service was provide, bed bugs and cockroaches were everywhere, raw wire were hanging out of the walls, and no smoke detectors. The City of Quincy needs an affordable housing plan that includes livable housing/rentals, transitional housing, a path to ownership, and housing education for people renting or buying.
Other local issues include the privatization of city services such as garbage and recycling services, road repair, living wage jobs, career education, and local community growth. What other issues do you see? What other issues should we work on to improve Adams County?
Hope to see you at the August meeting!
COVID-19 not a concern of survey respondents at the 2021 Adams County Fair
Out of more than 80 opinion surveys collected at the Adams County Fair this year, just one person said COVID-19 was a “pressing need” in their community. The Adams County Democratic Central Committee joined a dozen organizations and businesses in the Quonset hut east of the 4-H building at the fairgrounds. In between the Right to Life and Edward Jones tables, Democratic volunteers handed out peanuts and asked passersby to fill out a non-scientific opinion poll.
The good news is the majority of respondents felt safe in their communities, are happy with their schools, and feel good about their drinking water. The majority do think Adams County needs more and “better” workers, although “better” was not defined, so it could mean quality or they were simply answering the quantity portion of the question. Respondents said we both need good paying jobs, and we have good paying jobs in Adams County.
Fairgoers overwhelmingly didn’t know what elected officials are doing with taxpayer dollars, but they were split when asked if they felt represented by those officials. In response to the question “do you feel represented by your elected officials?” a majority of respondents circled “sometimes”.
Roads, bridges, transportation systems, and sewer systems are “average”.
Sixty-three respondents say Adams County needs more safe and livable housing in a variety of price points. A handful were not sure if housing is a local need.
Respondents were asked to circle a response on nine of the 11 questions, but two were open-ended: what is the most pressing need, and what is the biggest success in your community? Schools and roads showed up in both answers. Hog confinements are a success, U.S. 24 is dangerous, and reliable sources to inform the public are a pressing need.
For their labor of filling out a survey, respondents earned a two-dollar bill. As word about the wage spread through the fairgrounds on a Sunday afternoon, more groups visited the Democratic Party’s table. And as much informal data as the party collected from the surveys, volunteers also collected attitudinal anecdotes by observing the behavior of groups that went out of their way to avoid the table, and those who walked right up and started talking.
Results of the survey will be used to help guide the discussion of a local party platform, inform issue-based initiatives, and remind party leadership what people think about their communities in order to work for the greater good.