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Champaign County Dems Write a New Party Platform

Democrats“The Champaign County Democratic Central Committee believes that in order to fulfill our democracy’s greatest promise, our government must work for the social and economic equity of all people. As the elected leaders of the Champaign County Democratic Party, we endorse the following platform and will urge our representatives in government to work to advance these goals.”

This opening statement introduces the new party platform which has been under consideration for the past few months. After several hours of discussion, the Champaign County Democratic Central Committee achieved concensus on the party platform document at the last committee meeting, held on January 23rd. After making several amendments to the document, they recommended that the platform be presented for passage by the newly elected Central Committee at the Democratic County Convention scheduled for March 5th, 2008.

Historically, the Champaign County Democratic Party adopted a platform every two years at the convention until the 1990′s. With the decision to resurrect the process, Central Committee members were invited to serve on the Platform Committee responsible for drafting a new platform. The Platform Committee held several meetings in October and November and began their work with a review of our own platforms from the 1980′s, along with other county and state Democratic Party platforms. In that process, the committee identified key issue statement in health care and human services, education, economic opportunity, criminal justice and public safety, environment and land use, participatory government, Democratic Party principles and national priorities. The first draft of the document was presented at the November Central Committee meeting and those in attendance provided written input. The document was also sent to all current Central Committee members and incoming new Central Committee members via email to invite their feedback. The Platform Committee reviewed all input and presented an amended document at the January 23rd Central Committee meeting.

There was broad agreement on nearly all of the issues put forth on the final three-page document, which can be obtained as a PDF document, here. Thanks to everyone who participated in this process!

Senator Durbin Will Celebrate His Birthday in Urbana

Senator Dick DurbinUrbana Democrats Hiram and Jean Paley have a tradition of hosting a birthday party for their good friend, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, to celebrate his campaign for re-election. Local Democrats may remember singing Happy Birthday to the Senator at his November 2001 birthday party in Champaign.

The public is invited to help Senator Durbin celebrate his birthday at a fundraiser reception in his honor on Tuesday, November 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy’s Stone Creek banquet facility in Urbana. Senator Durbin will be there to meet supporters, and he will speak and answer questions starting at 6:15 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served, and of course, birthday cake!

For more information, contact Hiram Paley at 384-8165 or by email at

Senator Durbin will be on the ballot for the February 5, 2008 Democratic Primary election and on the general election ballot in November 2008.

October 10 Democratic Forum Training for 2008 Election Volunteers

“Election Volunteers 2008: Making Friends While You Make A Difference”

Come meet like-minded people with a passion for politics. Enthusiastic, experienced volunteers will give brief presentations on important volunteer jobs available now and through the campaign season. There’s a volunteer opportunity to fit every interest. Find out all the ways that you can get involved, using your time and talents to make a difference in the 2008 elections.

Where: October 10, 2007, 7 P.M. at Champaign County Democrats Headquarters, 14 E. Washington St., Champaign

Program: Former State Representative Helen Satterthwaite will speak about running for office and being an election judge; Dorothy Neumann will explain the process of voter registration; and other volunteers will cover working for the Democratic Party, working for a candidate, poll-watching, getting out the vote, becoming a precinct committee person, door-to-door and telephone canvassing, making and delivering yard signs, public relations work, office duties, and outreach activities such as staffing booths at fairs and local events, walking in parades, and participating in community activities.

Admission is free, refreshments will be served, and the public is welcome. Sponsored by the Champaign County Democrats.

September 12 Issues Forum on Election Reform

The public is invited to attend the next Issues Forum, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 pm at Democratic Headquarters, 14 East Washington Street in Champaign. The forum will focus on “Election Reform.” Democratic State Representative Mike Boland (71st District) will speak on the system of public funding for elections already in place in Arizona and elsewhere, that permits candidates to run with no special interest funding. There will also be a discussion of Instant Run Off Voting for elections. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Champaign County Dems thank the Meet-Up Committee leadership group: Peggy Kovacic, Dorothy Neumann, Astrid Berkson, Debra Schrishuhn, Helen Satterthwaite, Laura Wetzel and the entire committee for their work in organizing the issues forum events.

2007 Democratic Picnic Sunday Sept. 9 Barbecue and Bluegrass

Democrats are invited to picnic in the park this Sunday, September 9, at Eisner Park in Champaign (across the street from Huber’s, between Church & University streets)from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. But the real fun starts at noon, when the Champaign County Democrats will play the UI College Democrats in a rematch, 16″ slow-pitch softball game. Two years ago, the Champaign County Democrats challenged the U. of I. College Democrats to a game of softball, and the unthinkable happened — the older Dems won!
Whether it was their years of experience that gave them the edge, their power hitting, or dumb luck, they will tempt fate again this Sunday. Come out and play or cheer them on.

The Democratic Picnic will begin immediately after the game, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Even if you can’t join us for softball, make sure to join us for great food, fun, and music. Barbecue legends, Democrats Lloyd Carter & Lee Roberts are cooking the BBQ.
Lee will take off his chef’s hat and put on his country hat to play live bluegrass music with his friends in the band, The Corn Desert Ramblers. Barbecue fare, and beer, wine and soda will be provided, potluck picnic. Bring a dish to share if you can.
Suggested donation is $10 for adults, children are free. Hope to see you Sunday!

August 8 Meet-Up: An Evening with WILL Radio

The public is invited to attend the August forum on Public Radio sponsored by the Champaign County Democratic Meet-Up Committee, on Wednesday, August 8. The event begins with a tour of the WILL Radio facility–participants should assemble at Campbell Hall on campus, 300 N. Goodwin Avenue, at 7:00 pm. After the tour, the meeting will continue at Champaign County Democrats headquarters office at 14 E. Washington Street in Champaign, with a presentation and question/answer session with WILL Radio Station Manager Jay Pearce.

Jay will discuss the important role of public radio in today’s media stream, and current issues in public radio legislation and funding. Historically, public media have been funded in two year blocks in advance, then on time. The money for the fiscal year starting Oct 1, 2006, did not start to arrive until Feb of 2007. Congress keeps up a stealth warfare of amendments to cut their funding and to destroy their independence. A proposal has been offered to end all funding for high tech equipment, which, of course, they must have to operate effectively.

Public Radio supporters will want to attend this informative event and find out how to im. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Call 359-3760 or email at for more details.

July 11 Issues Forum: Thoughts on the Iraq War

The July 11 issues forum sponsored by the Democratic Meet-Up Committee will focus on the Iraq War. The public is invited to attend this free event held on Wednesday, July 11 at 7:00 pm at Champaign County Democratic Headquarters, 14 E. Washington Street in Champaign. The program details:

Visit with some “Unsung Heroes”–

Meet members from organizations who support local military and their families:the Champaign County Veterans Association, Marine Comfort Quilts, the Champaign-Urbana Military Moms Prayer and Support Group, and the Danville VA Hospital. These groups do so much to benefit our military and their families – and we wanted more people to have the chance to learn about the good they are doing here in central Illinois.

View the documentary film, “Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers”
Robert Greenwald’s 2006 Brave New Films documentary, tells how corporate power has affected our national defense and our soldiers, and how it has created problems for the United States in Iraq. This important film wasn’t widely promoted locally when it came out in 2006. Still timely, the information presented is vital to every American, regardless of political persuasion. If you haven’t seen “Iraq for Sale,” see it with us!

Support our troops by donating needed items to send to deployed service men and women and for the Danville VA Hospital
We are collecting new DVDs (G and R rated only) for the Champaign County Veterans to send to our active duty deployed military and also personal and recreational items for patients at the Danville VA Hospital. Also, the Danville VA Hospital needs items for their patients. Here is the most recent wish list.
Personal Comfort Items: spray deodorant, mouthwash, hair brushes, combs, hand liquid soap, bath powder, disposable razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, pre-shave, after shave lotion, individual bags of snacks.
Volunteer Clothing room Needs: Mesh or canvas drawstring duffel bags, Briefs or boxers (NEW) – small sizes only, LIKE NEW or NEW tennis shoes – men’s sizes 8 1/2 to 10 1/2.
Individual Gift Items: Paperback puzzle books (word search, sudoku, etc. – LARGE print is nice…), Poster art with markers (Dollar Store – $1 – $2), Gas cards, Phone cards

Bring your donations to the July 11 event. You can also donate items at the Champaign County Democrats’ booth at the Urbana Market in the Square, in Lincoln Square’s parking lot every Saturday morning (May – November).

Celebrate the 4th, Join the Democrats on Parade

C’mon, haven’t you always wanted to be in a parade? Now’s your chance to walk the talk with Champaign County Democrats in the Champaign Urbana (or is it the Urbana-Champaign?) Fourth of July Parade. Hey, the parade starts in Urbana, anyway. The Democrats are entry #66–meet at about noon in the line up at California & Busey streets in Urbana.

June 13 Issue Forum: Alternative Energy in Central Illinois–Biofuels, Wind, and Solar

The public is invited to attend a forum on Alternative Energy sponsored by the Champaign County Democrats Meet Up Committee.

Where: Champaign County Democrats Headquarters, 14 E. Washington St., Champaign

When: Wednesday, June 13, 2007, 7 P.M.

Frank Dohleman, Ph.D. student in the Department of Plant Biology at UIUC and Coordinator of the C-FAR Special Research Initiative for Biomass Energy in Illinois
Matt Malten, University of Illinois Sustainability Coordinator and Co-Project Manager of the South Campus Wind Turbine Project
Angus Rockett, Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC and former Senior Program Administrator at U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, with over twenty years experience working with solar energy.

The recent focus on the issue of global warming, news of the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, the rising costs of fuel at the pump and increasing utility bills have prompted major concern from consumers. Citizens want reliable and unbiased scientific information about alternative energy sources that are being promoted as possible solutions to future consumer needs. Frank Dohleman, Matt Malten, and Angus Rockett will give presentations on current research and/or practical application as well as the pros and cons of biofuels, wind power, and solar power – three energy sources now being studied at the University of Illinois as viable alternatives to fossil fuels.


Where: Meet at Champaign County Democrats Headquarters, 14 E. Washington St., Champaign.

When: Thursday, June 14, 2007, 5:30 – 7:30 P.M.

Program: Matt Malten and Frank Dohleman will lead a tour through the South Farms research sites of the South Campus Wind Turbine Project and the ongoing biofuel research studies. Participants will meet at Champaign County Democratic Headquarters and carpool to the UIUC South Farms sites. Drivers appreciated.

Both events are sponsored by: Champaign County Democrats Meet-Up

Admission to both events is free and the public is welcome to attend. For more information please call Champaign County Democrats at (217) 359-3760.

Senator Frerichs joins Dem Meet Up to plant Arbor Day trees this Saturday April 14

Proving again that Democrats are good stewards of the earth, the Champaign County Democratic Meet Up group invites you and your family to join Senator Mike Frerichs from 10:00 am to noon this Saturday morning at Homer Lake Preserve to help plant two native Kentucky Coffee trees. The event is an early celebration of Arbor day, Read more »

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