Eric Thorsland is running for one of two seats on the Champaign County Board representing District one. He is funding his campaign with donated scrap metals from many of his supporters, making Eric a recycled candidate who is not the incumbent. Eric is having a big fund drive kick off Monday June 2nd at 7:30am at his farm located at 480 County Road 2500 N. Mahomet Il. You are welcome to come meet Eric and some of his supporters then, as we pile the scrap as high as we can to start of Eric’s fund drive.
Sunday, April 6th
5:00 – Social Hour
6:00 – Dinner Program
108 E. Anthony Dr., Urbana
$35 with advance Reservation/$40 at the Door
To reserve your seat now, e-mail Matthew Gladney at email@example.com and tell us how many tickets you’d like reserved. Then either mail your check to Dinner Committee, Champaign County Democrats, P.O. Box 1455, Champaign, IL 61824; or use your credit card on-line at:
WHAT: Primary Results-Watching Party
WHEN: Tomorrow, Tues. March 4th, starting at 6:30pm
WHERE: Rock’s in Champaign
Voters in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island are going to the polls tomorrow, and could determine our party’s presidential nominee in November. Will Obama consolidate his lead, and secure the nomination? Will Hillary stop his momentum and fight on to the convention? We’ll find out tomorrow night when the results come in from these four key states.
Gather with local Democrats at Rock’s to watch the results as they come in tomorrow, Tuesday March 4th, starting at 6:30pm. Rock’s is located in Champaign on Springfield Ave., near the railroad tracks, between First and Neil Street. Join us for good company, food & drink, and MSNBC as we watch the results come in from Dayton to Dallas!
“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!
Regardless of the election results, Democrats are going to have a lot to celebrate on Super Tuesday! Join fellow Dems after the polls close for the Democratic Victory Party at Rock’s in Champaign. Gather with friends, enjoy food & drink, and watch the results come in from Illinois and around the country (Yes, I asked — they do have MSNBC at Rock’s!).
WHAT: Democratic Victory Party WHERE: Rock’s (between campus and downtown Champaign, on Springfield Ave., between First Street and the railroad tracks) WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 8:00pm – ?
If you have any questions, e-mail Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 355-1693. Hope to see you there!
The Champaign County Democrats have moved to a new Party Headquarters, and you’re invited to check out our new home! An Open House for the public, the media, and all interested Democrats will be held this Saturday, Feb. 2, from 11:00am to 1:00pm.
The new Dem HQ is located at 110 S. Neil Street in the heart of downtown Champaign. It’s just south of the intersection of University Ave. & Neil St., across the street from Christie Clinic.
Volunteers put in countless hours of work to make this move possible, and now we want to show off our new digs! Stop by for a few minutes on Saturday to see the new HQ, enjoy a snack, meet with other local Dems, and maybe pick up a yardsign or two in time for the Feb. 5th primary.
There will be a candidate’s forum for the office of Champaign County State’s Attorney this Wednesday, January 30, 2008. The forum will be held at 6:00pm in the University of Illinois Law School Auditorum, which is located at 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in Champaign.
All three candidates currently running in the February 5th primary are scheduled to attend. These include:
Ivy & Rietz are running against each other in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican Miller-Jones in the November 4th general election. Julia Rietz currently holds the office of State’s Attorney for Champaign County.
This candidate’s forum is sponsored by the University of Illinois Law School Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Welcome to the new web site and blog home for the Champaign County Democrats.
While our illustrious webmaster, Ben Grosser, has already crafted an excellent welcoming post, I wanted to take a moment to 1) thank him for the great job he did creating this site, and 2) say how excited I am to see the local Democratic party embracing the internet in such an interactive way. People are welcome to comment here, regardless of political affiliation (or lack thereof), and lively, respectful discussion is encouraged.
Please, feel free to explore the site, learn more about the local Democratic party, check-out upcoming political events, read the blog posts, and leave comments and/or suggestions. The site will only be as strong as the people who read and contribute to it. Thanks for stopping by.
Welcome to the new web home of the Champaign County Democratic Party! I must say that I’m happy to be here. As many of you are probably aware, we’ve been in need of an overhaul for a long time. Last summer Tony Fabri asked me to take this project on, and, after working quite a few nights and weekends in my spare time, we finally have a site.
My intention throughout the site design has been to establish a base infrastructure that can be used to power grassroots politics. For those of you who have worked on campaigns, you know that computer resources play a large role in their success. I hope this site will make a substantive addition to the various resources that people like Al Klein and Kevin Sandefur have built for the party over the years. I know the party also appreciates the web-based efforts of Brendan McGinty over the last several years.
Why Include a Blog?
One of the first things you’ve probably noticed is that our front page is a blog. After introducing the site at a recent Central Committee meeting, I found that this aspect was the most controversial. Some think it makes sense, while others think blog comments in particular will open up the party website to defacement and slander. I understand these concerns, and cannot honestly suggest that they have no merit. Anytime you open up a space to public discussion, you’re bound to hear things you don’t like. And in a space that allows unverified anonymous commenting, you’re practically guaranteed to attract some words you’d prefer not be here at all.
So given this potential, why have a blog? Quite simply, blogs are the new media of the 21st century. Gone are the days when the establishment media hold sole control over the information landscape. Blog posts, and web publishing in general, have rapidly become primary source material on a number of important issues of the day. Many in my generation and older are regularly using blogs as essential news sources. For those who are younger than myself, I doubt they bother to make a distinction between blogs and establishment media anymore.
Most importantly, I believe that the Champaign County Democrats should have a voice within this new media landscape, and a blog right here on the front page is a medium for it. Could we disallow comments and avoid the potential problems altogether? Sure. But one of the most important tools for creating new ideas is rigorous debate. This is an element that is sadly too often missing from our legislative processes these days, and look at how well they work. If there’s anything that I think Democrats stand for it’s a diversity of opinion and thought, and I think this core value should be embodied here.
As such, the blog will provide a forum for a large group of authors to share their thought-provoking opinions about local, state, and national issues. This group will include both elected officials and party activists. I’m still trying to round up interested individuals for this, so if you want to talk about it, let me know.
Joining the Discussion
Other Site Features
As for other site features, I’ve made a point of tying into a number of “Web 2.0″ services in the hopes of improving usability. The site is built on WordPress, a great blogging and overall content management platform. It supports a number of features, including RSS feeds, comments, etc. Calendaring is run through Google Calendar, enabling anyone to subscribe to our events with any iCal-compatible calendar. Photos are handled with Flickr, which means volunteers can upload albums from events, and every photo used on the blog can be commented on. Secure monetary donations are supported via PayPal (w/o registration) and spreadsheets are automatically generated for our treasurer.
But even more than these gee-whiz features, I’ve put the bulk of my effort into crafting the site so that it can be managed and updated by people with a variety of technical backgrounds. Any page on the site can be edited without HTML experience, and new pages can be just as easily created. My hope is that the site will be an enabling resource for the Democrats, and that it will outlast my own direct participation.
Despite all of these great things, however, there is still a lot to do. I’ll be continuing to add new content over the next few months, and will be training others to do the same. I also know that there will be a number of bumps along the way, as I figure out how things work under load and tune the site accordingly. I ask you to be patient in the first few months while these kinks are worked out.
Finally, while the overall look and feel is largely worked out for now (until it’s time for a fresh look), I am very interested in hearing about the features and content you’d like to see here. There are number of different constituencies for this site, and your needs are all unique. As I hear and learn more, I’ll be discussing various site features in detail in future posts. Feel free to comment on this post, wait for those, or you can send me mail directly anytime.