Chair’s Column: Kate Daniels
Fall is finally here, the leaves are starting to turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. We had a great Soup & Sandwich Supper with David Moore, a candidate for Secretary of State. We are grateful Mr. Moore came to and talked about his extensive education and experience! Thanks to Shelly Hudnut, Lisa Crocker, Mary Beth Gapinski, Bill Burns, and Leroy Rossmiller for cooking! Thanks to Tom Allensworth for taking care of the moneybox and Wendy Warren for selling the 50/50 tickets! Thanks to Steve Schutte doing the dishes and Will Schmitz for setting up the microphone! Thanks to everyone who supported the Adams County Democratic Party!
On behalf of the Adams County Democratic Party, I attended the Macoupin Democratic Party Unity Dinner, where they gave Jim Dixon, long-time union activist, an award for all he has done for unions in Illinois. I also attended the Democratic Party of Illinois’ (DPI) fundraising event in Springfield, where DPI chair and Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Senator Dick Durbin addressed the crowd.
Winter is coming! We won’t be hibernating this winter as we continue to grow the party. Please welcome Valerie Maxie as the new Precinct Committee Member for Quincy 2 Precinct and Linda Kestner for Fall Creek Precinct. This winter we are getting ready to register new voters for the 2022 election. Our Candidate Recruitment Committee is working hard to find candidates for the various offices. To win these offices, we need to register new voters now and all the way up until the day of election! Voter Registration in Illinois never closes, but it can be hard to navigate.
In order to register voters, all Precinct Committee Members need to be trained as Deputy Registrars and to take an oath of office. A Deputy Registrar can register voters and that will mean that our voters won’t have to go to the County Clerk’s office, we can go to them. We are planning to have the County Clerk attend our next meeting for a training. If you are a Precinct Committee Member and you cannot make it to the next meeting, please contact me to set up another time to take this training and oath of office.
We can make the changes in this community and stand up for what is right for all of Adams County. At our August Meeting, we asked: “Why are you a Democrat?” We would like to hear from you. Take a video of yourself, write us a note (Daniels.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), or give me a call (217-440-7608), and tell us why you are a Democrat.
Our next meeting is Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 37. We will be taking a break from our fundraising until after the Holidays. I plan to have breakfast at the Am Legion on Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. Hope to see you there!
Housing in Adams County:
Even though the Quincy City Council rejected Mayor Mike Troup’s rental registration ordinance, several groups in Quincy are working on substandard housing issues.
The Safe and Livable Housing Committee, a group made up of community volunteers, continues to meet and explore ideas to reduce dangerous rental properties. The group recently met with Aldermen Dave Bauer and Greg Fletcher to talk about options moving forward. Both voted against the ordinance. Fletcher told the group he was guarding Quincy against government overreach, but that he was willing to work to find a solution for unsafe living conditions. He is interested in a tenant workshop idea. You can find the Safe and Livable Housing Committee on Facebook @safeandlivablehousingQuincy.
The 2021 Community Needs Assessment report is out. Nora Baldner attended a day-long compression planning workshop sponsored by the United Way, Blessing Health Systems and the Adams County Health Department. The 44 people attending chose housing and poverty as the most important issues facing Adams County today. Work to develop strategies to address those issues will continue. The Assessment is the result of an R3-Restore, Reinvest, Renew, Assessment and Planning Grand from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. The Assessment is the first step in developing a plan to address community concerns and needs. You can find the Assessment Report at www.unitedwayadamsco.org.
Why am I a Democrat?
I think of things I stood for upon graduation from high school, and yes I am of the retrospective Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” generation. I considered myself a Democrat mainly for three reasons: My parents were; most of the people in my hometown were; and Harry Truman was. I thought President Truman epitomized what it took to be a good leader; guts, honesty, spiritual guidance and guidance from those more knowledgeable than himself, respect even in a tough political arena, and he never lost sight of who he was; a common man.
I was against abortion; but not for some religious or spiritual reason. No matter the hyperbole of those wagging fingers, I was against any hypocritical condemnation of a woman who was pressured into; made the difficult decision to get one; or otherwise felt no other option. I was naïve, but even I could imagine the pain, torment, and after effects of a woman going through that. I thought the solution was in the empathy, not the condemnation and the creation of extremely harsh artificial consequences.
I was for balancing a budget; just like you do in your personal life. You want to drive on nice roads, you pay to have them built. If there is a natural disaster, you buck up. Taxes are necessary, but should be fair. Even then I sometimes questioned the fairness of the collection & distribution of the resources generated by our taxes. That said, be fair in the collection and still don’t overspend.
I believe in the freedom of speech. Be truthful but, as Jack Nicholson infers in “A Few Good Men” , you gotta be able to handle the truth. I believe in the freedom to lie, you should just label it as such. I believe in the freedom to be humorous, because, well, I just have to laugh sometimes. (ok, often). But with that right comes the huge responsibility to not injure.
I was against war but I knew it was all we had at our disposal to protect ourselves and our friends from oppressors. Even in the sometimes-sanitized history lessons we received in school, it was obvious to me that wars were generally waged for political or religious gain. It was only as I got older that I began to realize the hate in the name of religion and extreme nationalism. Thereby came the scrutiny by which I defined oppressor.
I was for helping those less fortunate than myself. I expected our government to have a role in providing equal access to education. The government should provide equal access to some basic health care and support options, but we as a community should assist those, be they the homeless, the immigrant, or simply that person in the neighborhood who needed food, clothes, utilities or healthcare. At this point I also refer to my second paragraph of this credo.
I never thought about Global Warming in 1970. My first year or two in college, it was trendy to rally in favor of saving the environment. Upon the convincing arguments of a cute frizzy haired zealot, I believed then that we have a responsibility for the health of our planet. I did my part by cleaning up roadways and handing out free yet non-compostable plastic litter bags for cars. This issue is bigger than that. We are causing it; we need to fix it.
As for guns, I enjoyed the occasional hunt I would go on with my grandfather. Not for the kill, but for the time spent with him. I grew up in a culture of responsible (mostly) gun possession and use, so I saw no purpose in government intervention. To some extent, I still do. Although I see the present fad among some fanatical hunters of possessing assault weapons as nothing more than cock-measuring. No one can deny that any weapon, especially semi to automatic weapons, in the hands of haters, sane and otherwise, cannot be tolerated. That said, rhetoric without action, I believe, is like farting.
I am for freedom of religion; all religions, including one’s decision to not be a subscriber. I, for one, was never motivated or inspired by religion. I was raised in the Catholic church, went through eight grades in a Catholic school. I felt tormented by some of those who were charged with inspiring and motivating me. Therefore, once free to think and act for myself, it became easy for me to un-subscribe. Even so, having been raised this way, I cannot escape the thoughts of the presence of God. My favorite commandment was, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” It was succinct, easily understood and, later learned, NOT a commandment. A proverb attributed to Jesus, I understand. I keep thinking how easy it is to thank God (him or her) for all the good we experience, YET, God forbid, don’t blame him or her for all the non-participatory shit that hits you. I suppose the thought should be to pray for inspiration and wisdom during all occasions. I don’t think you have to be a subscriber to do that.
In the vein of what I described in a couple of paragraphs above, I am strongly for the separation of Church and State in ALL aspects of government.
I grew up in a newly desegregated, but not really, community. Racism, though not labeled as such because that would mean we were bad people, was part of the fabric in our community. As a young, semi-privileged white male I was only inspired by a humiliating act of an 11-year-old Dan, trying to be cool. From that point in my life, I have tried to be accepting and respectful of everyone. No matter the gender, race, religious faith or political idolatries. Honestly, I have not always succeeded in this goal, but it is still a major driver for me.
Well, I still hold to these beliefs, then basic Democrat beliefs. Now, however, I would be, and have been, labeled as a Flaming Liberal. It is mystifying and a little frightening. It is mystifying to see that core beliefs about our humanity are shared by both political parties, yet ignored in favor of the sensationalized and often ignorant views that feed hate. I am frightened by the fervor being fed by politicians to ignore our shared basic beliefs. Anyone who does not follow the man, or who challenges him, is considered an enemy of the nation.
I will, and I will encourage others, to not vote for a President, Senator, Congressional Representative, alderperson, or school board member who supports a narrow self-serving agenda with lies, and ignores basic human rights in order to achieve that agenda.
What we are watching:
Illinois Statehouse Veto Session ending Oct 29, 2021
General Assembly: The General Assembly passed nearly 20 bills, including a new Congressional map, tax incentives for manufacturers of electric vehicles, a repeal of parental notice prior to abortion, clarifications to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act and an omnibus elections bill. Highlights include:
2022 Schedule: The 2022 legislative calendar was released, legislators will meet January through March and adjourn April 8th. The Governor’s State of the State/Budget address will be held on February 2, 2022. The schedule has been adjusted to give members time to prepare for the June 2022 primary.
Congressional Redistricting: Legislation redistricting Illinois’ congressional districts passed along partisan lines, although one House Democrat voted no. The new maps gives Democrats an advantage in 14 of the 17 districts, creates a new Latino influence district, and pairs numerous incumbents. Six sitting Congresspersons are grouped into three districts under the new maps: Republicans Mike Bost and Mary Miller (will run in a different district), Republicans Adam Kinzinger (not seeking re-election) and Darin LaHood, and Democrats Marie Newman and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
Health Care Right of Conscience Act: After incredibly contentious debates in both chambers, the General Assembly approved changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. The Health Care Right of Conscience Act protects those in the health care profession from having to perform procedures or provide information that conflicts with their religious beliefs; however, persons not in the health care field have used the Act to sue employers and units of government attempting to impose COVID-19 measures, including masking, testing, and vaccine mandates. SB 1169 was intended to clarify existing law and prevent individuals from using religious exemptions permitted under the Act to object to COVID-19 masking and testing mandates. The bill states it is not a violation of the Act to impose requirements related to healthcare services intended to prevent contraction or transmission of COVID-19 or any of its subsequent iterations, and that it is not a violation for employers to impose such requirements.
Parental Notice of Abortion: The General Assembly also narrowly approved legislation to repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act (Senate vote: 32-22-0; House vote 62-51-3). Under current law, a doctor or facility cannot perform an abortion on a person under 18 until they have verified a parent has been notified, although there is a judicial bypass process. The bill repealed this requirement and created the Youth Health and Safety Act, which creates the Youth Health and Safety Advisory Working Group for the purpose of identifying and reviewing laws and regulations that impact pregnant and parenting youth.
Sick Pay for Educators: House Bill 2778 addresses COVID pay for schools, public universities and community colleges including paid administrative leave for COVID related time-off. In order to access the provisions of paid administrative leave, employees must have received the COVID-19 vaccination or actively participate in COVID testing.
COVID-19 Updates: The Governor’s Office has announced a plan to rollout vaccines after full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5-11.
From Heather Wier Vaught, of Heather Wier Vaught, PC providing Legal Services, Consulting, Government Relations.
Elections: All county board members will be up for election in 2022. Candidates can start collecting petition signatures on January 13. Filing of those petitions will be March 7-14. The primary election will be June 28th.
Health and Safety: Two corrections officers submitted letters of resignation in September. And the Sheriff’s office has had one or two employees off work for two weeks in September due to positive COVID tests. The coroner reports a slight increase in the number of autopsies this year. Staffing is a main concern for county ambulances. The department needs 22 paramedics to make the schedule work, and at this time they are short EMTs. This is the first year since 1986 they have not been able to hold a paramedic class due to low numbers.
44% of the population of Adams County is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Ambulance repsonse to COVID calls increased in September.
The board voted to use $50,000 of ARPA funds for the ACE Program. It is a six-month pilot program that reduces hurdles for people on probation to find jobs.
The Executive Committee is working with county non-profits to see what income loss they had by not being able to hold fundraisers as a potential use for more ARPA funds.
Megan Howell was appointed to County Board District Two vacant seat.
Accepted a resolution accepting a state grant agreement for Quincy Transit Linesto request grant funding for fiscal year 2022 and to provide required matching funds.
Eliminated the 30 minute total time limit on public comments at council meetings.
Tabled indefinitely a motion to provide for mayoral appointment of fire and police chiefs.
Failed to pass a residential rental property registration ordinance on a 9-5 vote.
Heard a report from the Township Supervisor reports spending $4,604 on general assistance for the month of September. Cindy Brink processed 13 cases serving a total of 23 individuals, with an average grant per case of $354.15.
Voted to demolish structures at 1233 N 11th St and 610 S. 7th street at the cost of $30,900.
Waived normal bidding requirements and hired Klingner and Associates to provide engineering services to move city departments from the Annex to the City Hall building. Cost: $60,000.
Increased firefighter salaries, call-in pay, overtime and supplies by $215,000
Granted a 2.75% pay increase to all non-union city employees making less than $100,000 per year. (similar to negotiated raise for Machinist Union employees)
Spent $12,110 to buy 50 ornamental trees for planting on city right-of-way. City residents can purchase the trees for planting in the fall 2021 City Tree Program.
Voted to use money from the city’s Motor Fuel Tax funds to construct a multi-use train, parking lot and related items for a Riverfront Connector Trail from Jersey to Hampshire.
Approved spending over a million dollars on concrete patching, fire hydrant replacement and new sewer manholes in Quincy.
Events Happening Soon!November Meeting: Wednesday, November 17th, 6:00 PM
Martin Luther King Day of Service: Monday, January 17th. Details coming soon!
Election 2022 Schedule
January 13: Candidates start petitions
March 7th through 14th: Petitions must be handed in to the Board of Elections(state races) or County election officials(county elections).
March 30th to June 23rd : People can seek a vote by mail application. An application sent after May 14th should be fulfilled within 2 days.
May 19th : Early voting for the primary begins.
June 28th : Primary voting day.
November 8th : General election voting day. This day is now a state holiday.
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