Chair’s Column: Kate Daniels
As we look forward to the next election cycle, we need to get out there, talk to voters, register voters, and generate some excitement for the elections in 2022! The Primary is June 28, 2022, and the election is November 8, 2022. That’s only a year away and there is a lot we can do! We need your help! We have an ambitious plan to register Democratic voters, fill precinct committee positions, and fill election judge positions. Why are these goals important?
We need to register Democratic voters. There are still too many barriers to voter registration and voting. The voter registration rolls were purged before the 2020 elections. Many people may believe they are registered and later they will find out that they are not. Many people may have moved. You need to have a state ID or driver’s license and the last 4 digits of your social security number to register online. The first time you vote after registering or re-registering, you must vote in-person and you are not eligible for mail-in ballot. The sooner we register people, the sooner we will be able to able to deal with any rejected voter registration applications or other problems.
We need to fill precinct committee positions to get information out to our voters. Precinct Committee Members do the important job of getting information out to voters, letting them know where the polling places are, and what issues are of importance to the community. With the failure of the Rental Registration Ordinance in Quincy, it is more important than ever that voters know what that ordinance would do and who voted against that ordinance. Precinct Committee Members deliver that information.
We need to fill Democratic election judge positions. This is very important because as we make headway and activate Democratic voters, the Republicans will try to challenge any wins we have. We have seen this across the nation and we saw it in Macon County where a Democratic Sheriff won. When the ballots were challenged, they lost where the ballots weren’t properly signed by the election judges. When I poll watched here in Quincy during the municipal elections, the polling place did not offer privacy shields for voters. I saw a Republican Election judge stand less than 6 inches away from the voting machine and look at the ballots as they were being submitted. I saw another Republican Election judge texting after looking through the voter rolls and when I asked what she was texting and to whom, she said “oh nothing.” Our firewall against challenges to our voters is having enough elections judges to be sure voting laws are being followed.
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, October 20, 2021, 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 37. Come to our next Adams County Fundraiser: Soup Supper, October 22, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Machinist Hall 2929 N. 5th Street, Quincy, IL.
David Moore, candidate for Secretary of State, will be attending our soup supper on October 22nd! Come meet and greet with him and other members of the Adams County Democratic Party!
Why media ownership changes affect us
by Christine Ledbetter
In the past year two hugely significant media stories have occurred that impact Quincy and Illinois residents.
Family-owned Quincy Media sold the Herald-Whig and the Hannibal Courier-Post to Arkansas-based Phillips Company. At the same time it sold its radio and television stations to Atlanta-based Gray Television.
Meanwhile in May a New-York-based hedge fund bought the The Chicago Tribune, the Midwest’s most important voice in watchdog journalism.
The loss to the state is incalculable.
In Quincy, the Oakley family ran print and broadcast media for six generations. This family lived and worked in the city, and brought a great deal of philanthropy to it. They cared about their hometown.
In Chicago, The Tribune has a long history of great journalism. It was the first newspaper to publish the entirety of the Watergate transcripts and to call on Nixon to resign. It has exposed an endless parade of crooked officials and government abuse.
It has won 27 Pulitzer Prizes.
Typically when vulture hedge funds or out-of-state buyers swoop in, the staff is depleted and costs are cut.
Chicago’s newsroom once numbered over 700, operated multiple international bureaus, and possessed a cadre of critics to cover the city’s arts scene. Now after more than 40 layoffs this year, its theater critic doubles as the editorial page editor.
What happens when local and regional journalism declines? We lose a critical way to hold public officials accountable. The fabric of our community discourse weakens. Our civic watering hole dries up.
The reader suffers. We miss out every time a story is published with only one source; every election in which candidates run without backgrounds checked; or when elected officials aren’t challenged or questioned on their actions.
Even Washington is concerned. A bipartisan effort in Congress has proposed the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, which would provide tax credits for local newspapers and digital-only publications to make them financially viable in the digital world.
What can you do? Get a digital subscription to a national newspaper and continue to support your local one. Listen to NPR; watch broadcast news.
Make sure your world view isn’t limited. Be involved. Stay vigilant.
Christine Ledbetter is a journalist living in Pike County who began her career at the Louisiana (Missouri) Press-Journal and retired from The Washington Post.
Why am I a Democrat?
The short answer is Iran-Contra. Having just left the U.S. Army and being a hard-right Republican, I was very pro-Reagan and pro-Republican. Watching the Iran-Contra hearings, and seeing the parade of scoundrels who supported lying to Congress to "protect" the President (Oliver North, most infamously) and learning that Reagan personally approved trading arms for hostages with the Ayatollah's Islamic Republic of Iran and then sending the profits to the Contras (in violation of the Boland Amendment) were the first steps in my becoming a Democrat. Everything - every single thing - the Republican party has done since then has solidified my decision.
Dean La Velle
What we are watching:
Good news for Illinois financial status can be found in Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s newsletter. She writes that the bill backlog in Illinois is the lowest it’s been in decades. Just four years ago, the backlog was $16.7 billion. This past July, the backlog was $2.6 billion. You can read more about the backlog and a credit upgrade for the state of Illinois here.
Taken from the minutes of the August 10 board meeting.
The Adams County Board is working with a consulting company called Bellweather to determine how to spend American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. At its August meeting, the board approved two projects. One, $99,000 for a new HVAC system for the Juvenile Detention Center and $80,000 for new computers for Sheriff’s deputies squad cars. The board is also looking at other ARPA projects for the courthouse.
The board passed a resolution supporting the modernization of Illinois Route 57 urging the Illinois Infrastructure Initiative to begin work on improvements as soon as possible.
Other reports from the meeting include: the jail reached holding capacity on several days in July-August causing some inmates to sleep on the floor on plastic portable beds.
The coroner, Scott Graham, said he’d been busier than usual. The emergency management director, John Simon, reported 87% of the new COVID cases in Adams County have been among those not vaccinated. He urged everyone to get a vaccine.
Board member Rebecca Weed resigned her position as District Two board member.
The minutes from the September 14 board meeting have not been posted online.
Aldermen voted to deny a rental registration ordinance on Oct 4, 2021. The city does not have a mechanism by which to contact landowners of rental properties.
Mayor Mike Troup brought an ordinance to council members changing the way the city chooses its fire and police chiefs. Now chosen by a three-member commission, the Mayor would like it to be his decision on who gets the job. This ordinance, after discussion, was tabled indefinitely.
Minutes are posted here.
Events Happening Soon!October Meeting: Wednesday, October 20th, 6:00 PM
American Legion Post, 116 N 8th St
Soup supper: Friday, October 22nd, 5-7 PM
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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