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Looking forward

June 27, 2021

Paul Lange


Every seat on the Adams County Board is up for grabs in 2022.


There are 21 positions open and we need your help to get Democrats a bigger seat at the table. Currently, there are 17 Republicans and three Democrats on the board, which doesn’t reflect the demographic make-up of our community. We should have at least five seats on the board if we look at results of the past two presidential elections. In 2018 and 2020, J.B. Pritzker and Joe Biden both received approximately 25% of the Adams County vote. That means we need Democrats to run, and get elected, to the Adams County Board to help make decisions about taxes and spending.


The Adams County website describes the purpose of the board this way:


“The Adams County Board is the legislative body responsible for decisions related to the operation of the county that are not assigned to an elected official. Along with numerous regulatory powers, the county board implements county-wide policies and programs by way of levying taxes and appropriating funds.”


Every 10 years the county districts in Illinois are redrawn according to the latest census figures. It is unknown what the new districts will look like, but it does mean that all 21 seats will be open. The Illinois primary election is June 28, 2022. To get on that ballot, a candidate needs to collect signatures and file paperwork with the county clerk. The general election will be November 8, 2022.


The Adams County Board meets once a month and members serve on a variety of committees that include transportation, legislative, health, and finance issues. The board oversees the county jail, the county health department, ambulance and emergency services, and zoning and ordinance issues. Board members serve three successive terms with varying lengths from two to four years. Candidates must live in the district they hope to represent.


There is a lot of money coming to Adams County through the American Rescue Plan Act. We need representation on the Adams County Board to decide how to spend more than 12 million dollars by 2024. The money is restricted, but there will be the need for robust conversation on what eligible projects can be funded.


If Adams County is to be a viable entity in the 21st century and beyond, it will be through the dedication of its citizens and elected officials.


The United States is a federal constitutional representative democracy (also called a federal constitutional republic). In a representative democracy, “we the people” are represented by elected officials who serve on our behalf. The system doesn't always follow the original blueprint. We live in the state of Illinois which takes its governmental structure from the federal layout. The State of Illinois is divided into 102 counties. Adams County is named for the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams. Adams county is divided into seven districts. Each district elects three representatives who compose the County Board.


If you are interested in running for a board seat, please contact: ACDP Chair Kate Daniels at 217-209-2514 or Daniels.melrose1@gmail.com


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