Archive for March, 2007

Early Voting

Early voting starts at the County Clerk’s office tommorow, Monday March 26th. You can vote early on weekdays from 8:00am to 4:30pm until April 12th. You can also vote on Saturday March 31st or Saturday April 7th from 9:00am to Noon. Click here to view your sample ballot. For information about those on the ballot, see our candidates page.

Obama Community Kickoff Event

Obama Community Kickoff Event
Hosted by Sen. Mike Frerichs & Rep. Naomi Jakobsson

The Obama campaign is promoting this event to kickoff its efforts to build a network of grassroots supporters one community at a time. Thousands of these community kickoff events will be held simultaneously all across the country.

After brief remarks from Sen. Frerichs & Rep. Jakobsson, we will watch a live broadcast from a home in Iowa were Barack Obama will be conducting a discussion on the campaign’s grassroots community organizing efforts.

Following the broadcast, we will discuss what you can do right now to help the Obama campaign in Champaign County!

Drinks and refreshments will be served!

  • Time: Saturday, March 31 at 2:30 PM
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Host: Justin Cajindos
  • Contact Phone: 708.296.8138
  • Location: Democratic HQ, 14 E. Washington, Champaign, IL 61820

View Map:

Associated Groups:

Directions: Located near corner of Washington & Neil in downtown Champaign, close to The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum

Hope. Action. Change.: On March 31, people across America open their homes to friends, family, and neighbors to kick off a week of support for a movement Barack Obama and the movement to change America.

Frerichs Education Funding Summit

State Senator Mike Frerichs is hosting an Education Funding Reform Summit on March 26th (tommorow) to gather community members and constituents to discuss the various education funding proposals that have been introduced in the General Assembly, including Senator Frerichs’ SB508. All concerned citizens are invited.

Where: Room 404 Illinois Terminal Building, 45 E. University, Champaign

When: Monday March 26th, refreshments served at 5:30pm, event starts at 6:00pm

Why: Education funding reform is an issue vitally important to the future of East Central Illinois.

For more info, please contact Zach at or 355-5252

New Candidates Page and Candidate Websites

I have posted a new candidates page with summaries about those who are running in this spring’s general municipal election on April 17, 2007. This includes candidates for Champaign City Council, Champaign School Board, and Urbana School Board. While all three of these races are non-partisan, several of the candidates running self-identify as Democrats, so I thought it made sense to post a page on our website so that Democrats in Champaign County know who’s running. From the dismal primary turnout of 6%, it’s clear that the most important task for the general is to turn out more voters. Please read the summaries, follow the links to their websites, and help out on those campaigns you care about. Most importantly, get out and vote on April 17th!

Tracy Heilman WebsiteThere are also some new websites amongst this group that have gone up in the last week. These include websites for Tracy Heilman (Urbana School Board), and Annette Williams (Champaign City Council). I have met and talked with both of these candidates, and came away very impressed and enthusiastic about their campaigns. These new websites join those that were already up for Giraldo Rosales, Patricia Avery (both Champaign City Council), and Melodye Benson Rosales (Champaign School Board).

Democrats looking to elect like-minded individuals for these races have excellent candidates to choose from this year!

Jim Duffett on Health Care in Illinois, tonight, March 14

health careWell-known health care advocate Jim Duffett will be speaking on THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE IN ILLINOIS, at a Meet Up hosted by Champaign County Democrats, Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00 pm at the Party office on 14 E. Washington St., Champaign.

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Newsletter: March/April, 2007

Here’s our print newsletter for March/April, 2007. This issue includes articles on the following:

  • Champaign City Council Candidates
  • School Board Candidates
  • County Board 6 Appointment
  • and more…

Download a copy in PDF.

Illinois Covered Plan Emerges

Illinois Covered LogoGovernor Blagojevich’s budget address provided more details of the Illinois Covered Universal Health Care plan to cover all uninsured in the state.

Are you pleased with what you’ve heard about the plan?

The Democrats have taken a state-by-state approach to health care during the Bush Administration because it was clear the Republican powers in Washington would not take action on this pressing issue. Do you believe the plans in California, New Jersey, or the approach in Massachusetts, where everyone is required to purchase insurance, are a success?

Or is it time for a nation-wide solution now that the Democrats have gained a voice in Congress and have a chance to win the Presidency in 2008? Barack Obama has boldly included Universal Health Care in his presidential platform.

We have a unique opportunity to learn much more about Illinois Covered next Wednesday at the March 14 Democratic MeetUp: one of the grassroots activists behind the Governor’s plan will speak about Universal Health Care in Illinois at Champaign Democratic Headquarters (click for details).

Watch the Governor’s Budget Address

I already mentioned this in comments on an earlier post, but if you are free around lunch time, you should head over to the new Alice Campbell Alumni Center (it’s a beautiful building near Lincoln & Oregon) for a televised viewing of Governor Blagojevich’s budget address. The speech is supposed to start at 11:30am. The Governor is expected to go into more detail about his new comprehensive health care plan and education spending (including higher ed). After the speech members of the Governor’s staff will be on hand to answer questions from the audience.

Libby Guilty as Charged

Scooter Libby

Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney was found guilty today on four of five counts, including perjury and obstruction of justice in relation to his role in the leak of classified information regarding covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Read about it here. Libby’s attorney said he will appeal the conviction or ask for a new trial, but if the conviction is upheld Libby faces 1.5 to 3 years in the slammer.

After the verdict was announced, one of the jurors spoke to reporters and said that many of the jurors felt that Libby, although guilty, was just the scapegoat and was thrown under the bus by Karl Rove and Cheney. While it’s certainly satisfying to see a high ranking White House official held accountable for this mess, I’m not so sure it was worth all this time and money just to get Libby on obstruction of justice and perjury. What do you think?

Premature Pasture?

The County Facilities Committee meets tonight, and one of the main topics of discussion will be the future of the old county nursing home:

A reuse study by Isaksen Glerum Wachter dated Jan. 31 details the extensive work required to mothball the facility.

An earlier report from the same consultants valued the building and property at $1.9 million. If the building were removed, the report said, the 13 acres of land might sell for $18,000 an acre, or $234,000 less expenses.

Another option would be to demolish the original structure but retain the 1971 addition, its 32,000 square feet providing enough room for county clerk, coroner and Children’s Advocacy Center, as well as future needs.

Other options include demolishing all the buildings and rebuilding a smaller space for the three agencies or keeping all the structures except the boiler building and garage.

Something that dismays me a little in modern society is how we often discard older structures. We’re often told that ‘it’s cheaper to build new,’ and while that may be the case in certain instances, it still seems frustrating that we don’t do more with our old buildings. I would really like to see the old county nursing home put to good use, providing it’s economically feasible to do so. Hopefully this will be given due consideration at Facilities. The committee meets tonight, first at 6:30pm to tour the old nursing home, and then at 7:00pm in its dining room.

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