Weibel and Harrison for County Board

The Champaign County Democratic Party has endorsed C. PIUS WEIBEL (District 7) and SHANA JO HARRISON (District 9) as our preferred candidates in their districts for Champaign County Board in the March 18 Democratic primary election. The endorsement motion from the party’s Executive Board was presented and approved unanimously at the Wednesday, February 22 regular meeting of the Central Committee. No other endorsements in any other races were recommended to the committee.

Party endorsements in primary elections, while routine in much of Illinois, are rare in Champaign County. Discussion of the motion focused on two reasons for the committee to break precedent and endorse these two candidates at this time:

First, this action supports the Champaign County voters who have elected Democratic majorities on the County Board every two years for more than a decade. The incumbents in Districts 7 and 9 engaged in a back-room leadership deal with the Republicans in 2012. Their arrangement certainly suited the individuals involved, but it betrayed the trust of the voters who elected them and their Democratic colleagues elsewhere in the county. The County Democratic Party has a duty to support all Democratic voters and to deter such self-serving maneuvers in the future. We are confident that Mr. Weibel and Ms. Harrison will work with Republican board members to support the best interests of all Champaign County residents, regardless of party affiliation. We are confident also that if the voters choose to elect a Democratic County Board majority, Mr. Weibel and Ms. Harrison will respect that choice, and will work with the Democratic caucus to organize the the board and set its agenda.

Second, we believe Mr. Weibel and Ms. Harrison are progressive Democrats who will more effectively represent their districts. Pius Weibel is an experienced board member with a solid (and bipartisan) record of leadership. Shana Harrison, former President of the UIUC Illini Democrats, works with Champaign County organized labor and understands well the largely young and diverse residents of District 9.

The Party’s by-laws have allowed us to endorse candidates in primary elections since 2006. However, local Democrats have refrained from doing so until now. Many if not most of us prefer that the Party and its Chair never get involved in any primaries, and this is a first for us. Our unanimous decision signifies that we believe the stakes are just too high for us to sit quietly on the sidelines for these two races in this election.

Alvin G. Klein
Chair, Champaign County Democrats

Fall Dinner October 20, 2013

Join us Sunday, October 20, 2013, at our Fall Dinner at the Laborers’ Local 703 Hall, 108 E Anthony Drive, Urbana IL. The cash bar opens and conversation begins at 5 pm; the dinner buffet will be available at 6 pm. Our speaking program should begin by 7 pm, and we will conclude by 9 pm.

The focus of the evening will be meeting and hearing from Democrats circulating petitions for nomination as our candidates for state and federal offices in 2014. Senator Dick Durbin and Governor Pat Quinn will be at the top of our ticket, with Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White also seeking re-election. Our own State Senator Michael Frerichs will be our nominee for State Treasurer, and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon for State Comptroller. Candidates for Representative in Congress (13th District) are George Gollin and David Green from Champaign County, and Ann Callis from Madison County. Our candidate in the 15th District is Eric Thorsland from rural Mahomet.

Retiring State Representative (103rd) Naomi Jakobsson will address us on the subject: Looking Where the Money Is Not: The Illinois Regressive Income Tax. Watch this space (and join our e-list) for the candidates seeking nomination for this seat.

Three candidates seeking to be the next representative from the 103rd District will speak to us Sunday: Mike Richards, Carol Ammons, and Sam Rosenberg.

Individual Dinner tickets at the door are $65, but PAY NOW AND SAVE $5! Use the Fall 2013 Order Form (pdf) to purchase tickets, sponsorships, or advertisements.

Questions? email: Dinner@ChampaignCountyDemocrats.org.

Annual Picnic September 15, 2013

Join us from 3pm – 6pm Sunday at our annual late summer event celebrating volunteers, candidates, and supporters of the county party. A donation of $10 is suggested. We provide the beverages, and the Lloyd Carter family will prepare the BBQ. Additional food you bring to share is welcome. Use the Race Street entrance to the Garden Pavilion at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana. Explore the gardens, prairie restoration, and much more. Bicycle friendly. Covered outside pavilion with water and power.

Spring Dinner April 28, 2013

Join us Sunday, April 28, 2013, for our Spring Dinner at the I-Hotel Convention Center, 1900 S First St., Champaign. The social hour begins at 5 pm; dinner is at 6 pm; our program begins at 7 pm.

The focus of the evening will be meeting and hearing from Democrats who are considering seeking our nomination for statewide and federal offices. Our own State Senator Mike Frerichs is considering a campaign for State Treasurer of Illinois. Candidates Mentioned for Representative in Congress (13th District) include George Gollin from Champaign County. And everyone expects U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to be at the head of our federal ticket; Bart Ellefritz will bring a message from the Senator.

These potential candidates have been invited to appear or send a representative to our dinner. Watch this space (and join our e-list) to keep up with the latest information.

Individual Dinner tickets at the door are $65, but PAY NOW AND SAVE $5! Use the Dinner Reservation Form (pdf) to purchase tickets or contribute to our GOTV effort.

Questions? email: Dinner@ChampaignCountyDemocrats.org.


Today is ELECTION DAY in Champaign County. Every voter in Champaign and Urbana has DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES who merit your support. These include:

In the CITY of CHAMPAIGN: Elect ANDY QUARNSTROM Township Supervisor, and WAYNE WILLIAMS Township Assessor.

In the CITY of URBANA: Retain Mayor LAUREL PRUSSING and Assessor DAN STEBBINS.

Also vote for all the Democratic council members and other officials you find on your ballot.

Do it now, but polls are open until 7pm.

Check your registration status, see your candidates, and find your polling place here.

Gordy Hulten, Suppressor of Votes

A policy study (pdf) from the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College defines voter suppression as “any behavior intended to deter an eligible voter from casting a ballot”. With that definition in mind, consider the plight of many eligible voters who attempted to vote recently at the office of the County Clerk, who is the Election Authority in Champaign County.

You may have heard Clerk Gordy Hulten express his feelings about inconsiderate people who interrupt his busy day by attempting to use the Illinois “grace period” for last-minute address and registration changes. He believes those people, including many long time local voters, should be more responsible and better organized, and he has little sympathy for them. So little that he sent many voters home without voting and required them to win a game of postal ping-pong with him before he would accept their ballots. He says he does this out of fairness to the rest of us. It is not voter suppression. It is not voter harassment. It is what those people deserve. Perhaps instead they can cast an abridged “federal” ballot for president. (Unfortunately, that ballot does not include Mr. Hulten’s own race for clerk.) Its their own fault if they do not win the game before time runs out. Its the fair thing to do, and it defends the rest of us from their fraudulent ballots.

In fact, this is malarkey.

Read the “grace period” law below and decide for yourself what it says, no bar exam required. Then, I encourage you to fire Gordy Hulten and elect Charlie Smyth, who will always make time to accommodate the public. Voters like to fire public servants who do not serve them well. This is a great chance to do so!

As you read the law, note three items I have emphasized with boldface.

1. This is the sentence Mr. Hulten uses to justify sending voters home instead of letting them vote on the spot. I think it permits a voter to ask for a “take-out” ballot if the clerk agrees. He thinks it permits him to force that choice on everyone. However you read it, it certainly does not require the clerk to send the voter home without voting. (Senator Frerichs and Representative Jakobsson have announced that they will work to resolve any ambiguity so as to favor the voter.) In fact, almost every other Illinois clerk already permits or requires immediate voting. But if Mr. Hulten allowed that, how could he prevent voter fraud?

2. By computer! He could use computers to detect if newly registered voters have also registered elsewhere, and telephones to resolve any issues with his fellow clerks. And of course he would immediately mail (“DO NOT FORWARD – RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED”) new or revised voter id cards and see what happens. Of course, doing that would require him to hold those ballots safely aside for several days while he checks them out. Can he legally do that?

3. Yes, he can! In fact, he is not allowed to mix them with other ballots, he must keep them separate, and count them with the other absent voter ballots only after they are “determined to be valid”. That is presumably what he will do with any grace-period ballots that survive the game and are delivered or postmarked before election day.

I think Gordy Hulten’s behavior fits the Dartmouth definition of voter suppression. Champaign County needs a clerk who encourages every eligible citizen to vote, and who facilitates voting by everyone. Elect Charlie Smyth your County Clerk!

Alvin G. Klein
Chair, Champaign County Democrats


Sec. 4-50. Grace period. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code to the contrary, each election authority shall establish procedures for the registration of voters and for change of address during the period from the close of registration for a primary or election and until the 3rd day before the primary or election. During this grace period, an unregistered qualified elector may register to vote, and a registered voter may submit a change of address form, in person in the office of the election authority or at a voter registration location specifically designated for this purpose by the election authority. The election authority shall register that individual, or change a registered voter’s address, in the same manner as otherwise provided by this Article for registration and change of address.
If a voter who registers or changes address during this grace period wishes to vote at the first election or primary occurring after the grace period, he or she must do so by grace period voting, either in person in the office of the election authority or at a location specifically designated for this purpose by the election authority, or by mail, at the discretion of the election authority. Grace period voting shall be in a manner substantially similar to voting under Article 19.
Within one day after a voter casts a grace period ballot, the election authority shall transmit the voter’s name, street address, and precinct, ward, township, and district numbers, as the case may be, to the State Board of Elections, which shall maintain those names and that information in an electronic format on its website, arranged by county and accessible to State and local political committees. The name of each person issued a grace period ballot shall also be placed on the appropriate precinct list of persons to whom absentee and early ballots have been issued, for use as provided in Sections 17-9 and 18-5.
A person who casts a grace period ballot shall not be permitted to revoke that ballot and vote another ballot with respect to that primary or election. Ballots cast by persons who register or change address during the grace period must be transmitted to and counted at the election authority’s central ballot counting location and shall not be transmitted to and counted at precinct polling places. The grace period ballots determined to be valid shall be added to the vote totals for the precincts for which they were cast in the order in which the ballots were opened.
(Source: P.A. 96-441, eff. 1-1-10; 97-766, eff. 7-6-12.)

Our Candidates

Federal Candidates

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

President and Vice-President of the United States

David Gill for Representative in Congress, 13th District

I’m an ER doctor, a father, a husband and neighbor. I’ve never been elected to any office, never been paid by the taxpayers or answered to any politician. I’ll bring fresh ideas and a different perspective to Clean up Congress, change our priorities and put middle-class families first again.

I started working as a dishwasher when I was 13 and my Dad died. Later, I stocked shelves to work my way through U of I. I did laundry in the middle of the night to help pay my way through medical school.

Like you, I’m worried that the opportunities we had to work hard and do better than our parents are disappearing for our kids and grandkids.

I won’t take a penny from Wall Street or corporate interests. My campaign is powered by people like you.

I’d be honored to have your support for Congress.

Illinois General Assembly

Michael Frerichs, State Senator, 52nd District

Mike Frerichs was elected to the General Assembly in 2006. Since being elected Mike Frerichs has stood tall for the 52nd district. He championed a $30 billion capital improvement plan to fund road and infrastructure improvements in Champaign and Vermilion Counties. As Chairman of the Agricultural Committee, he has provided financial assistance to farmers and advocated for alternative fuels. As Vice-Chairman of the Education Committee, Frerichs has funded improvements at the University of Illinois, Parkland College and Danville Community College while fighting to reduce Illinois’ disparities in education funding. He currently resides in Champaign with his wife Laura and his daughter Ella.

  • campaign contact: (217) 352-MIKE
    45 E. University Av Suite 205, Champaign, IL 61820
  • campaign website: MikeForIllinois.com

Naomi Jakobsson, State Representative, 103rd District

Naomi Jakobsson chairs the Human Services Committee in the Illinois House and also serves on the Higher Education Committee, the Higher Education Appropriations Committee, the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee, and the Adoption Reform Committee.

Jakobsson’s top priorities as state representative are to increase funding for education, stand up for the University of Illinois, improve access to affordable health care, strengthen environmental standards, fuel our local economy and be an accessible representative.

Michael Langendorf for State Representative, 104th District

Champaign County Officers

George Danos for Auditor

Barbara Wysocki for Circuit Clerk

Charlie Smyth for County Clerk

D’Anne Winston for Recorder of Deeds

  • campaign contact: (217) 841-3185
    Friends for D’Anne Winston
    P. O. Box 8791
    Champaign, IL 61826-8791
  • campaign email: winston4recorder@gmail.com

Julia Rietz, State’s Attorney

Champaign County Board

Eric Thorsland for District 1 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Eric Thorsland and Eugenia Watson in District 1!

Eric Thorsland 2010A husband and father, Eric is currently serving on the County Zoning Board of Appeals, serves as a board member of the Mahomet Area Youth Club, and is a Mahomet Lions member.
He is an Organic farmer, an avid hunter, a motorcyclist of 30 years. Eric works at the Nuclear Physics Department of the University of Illinois as a Research Engineer.
Eric supports fiscal responsibility, reducing the size of the County Board, spending within revenue. He supports establishment of a better County building maintenance fund, re-evaluating the County role in new road construction with a focus on maintenance of current infrastructure. He believes fostering agriculture as a business is a top priority and a major part of Champaign County.
Eric wants to be the best representative you can have working for you.

Eugenia Lamb Watson for District 1 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Eugenia Watson and Eric Thorsland in District 1!

In 2004 I met a politician running for the Senate who altered the way I viewed my participation or at that time lack of participation in politics. I made a promise to him and to myself to become more active and not just leave it the hands of others. I first started by volunteering, getting signatures, handing out materials, and getting people registered to vote. In 2010 I ran for Precinct Committeeman for Scott-Seymour and have just recently won a second time. Now I feel it is time to step forward again and run for Champaign County Board in District One.

I was born in Bloomington, Illinois, and raised in Farmer City. In 1970, I moved to Champaign to attend Parkland and the University of Illinois. In 1981, I moved to rural Seymour. I am married with 4 daughters and 3 grandchildren. My daughters attended Mahomet-Seymour Schools spanning a time frame of 26 years.

This year starts my 39th year of Obstetric/gynecology nursing. I first worked at Burnham City Hospital then worked in a private Obstetric/ gynecology practice for 21 years. For the last 16 years I have been employed by Christie Clinic in the Obstetric/gynecology department.

Brad Diel for District 5 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Brad Diel and Tracy Luchik in District 5!

Tracy Luchik for District 5 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Tracy Luchik and Brad Diel in District 5!

Pattsi Petrie, District 6 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Pattsi Petrie and Josh Hartke in District 6!

Forty-one years—in Champaign County, city of Champaign district 6, same street, and same house. Pattsi, an urban planner, has worked toward creating a great place to live, raised a family, and completed two advanced degrees at the university. For details visit her web site.
During the 2010 campaign, she focused on two major issues: sustainability and listening and engaging constituents. She has had successes with both.
Sustainability has three components: the environment, economics, and social equity. By introducing one resolution, the only one introduced by a county board member this session, she covered all of the components. The resolution established the Champaign County Local Food Policy Council, which has been in place since last June. This resolution was passed by collaboration on both sides of the aisle. The emphasis on local foods, a topic that as immense visibility here and across the country, is a major means of economic development and source of local foods for residents and local businesses. The business of growing local foods stays once established and usually is not tempted to pick up and move to another community when offered an incentive to do so, yields 4-5 fold income return per acre compared to row crops, uses relatively small acreage, and can fit into odd shaped land patterns. This is an excellent example of the theory of “economic gardening.” Emphasizing once again, this resolution envelops the environment, returns economic development to the community, and supplies local foods.
The commitment to engage district 6 constituents has been accomplished several ways. First, she has held two Town Halls at the Champaign Public Library. And the third is scheduled for 14 October. This gives residents a chance to come and exchange ideas, ask questions, and challenge votes. A second mechanism used is two different “kitchen cabinets.” One mainly focusses on the environment and the other on general county issues, which right now are numerous—nursing home, jail, budget, maintenance of the 13 county buildings, comprehensive plan for the county campus, and stormwater management.
Her work on stormwater management throughout the John Street Watershed continues to this day. All of the previous many layers of collaboration between residents, Champaign city staff and council, classes at UIUC resulted in a project that has made a major difference and now used as a model of how to work with other neighborhood. Further this project has been presented 4 times within the state, twice at national conferences, and once at an international conference. The collaboration with the university continues last spring and again this fall through a LINC (Learning in Community) class in the College of Engineering.
These past experiences, urban planning knowledge, and working toward a sustainable county are the reasons Pattsi deserves your vote for the County Board.
Pattsi is open to your concerns, questions, and new ideas for the community. And as she goes door-to-door here in Champaign, she’d also appreciate your help! Please send her an email to pattsi2@gmail.com. You can also read more about Pattsi at her website: www.pattsipetrie.info.

Josh Hartke for District 6 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Josh Hartke and Pattsi Petrie in District 6!

After growing up on a farm in Effingham County and graduating from Dieterich High School as Valedictorian, Josh Hartke earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Illinois. He worked on his father’s farm most of his life, but got his first job away from the farm at age 16 working at a local grocery store. Before graduating college, he was employed full-time as a software developer with a fortune 500 company. After ten years as a programmer and database manager in both the private and public sector, he became the nominee of the Democratic Party for U.S. Congress in 2002. Josh then spent four years working as an Administrative Manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation, working in project, personnel, and contract management, as well as public and intergovernmental relations.

Recently, Josh had his first novel published, in a five book deal with a major publishing house based in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He also works part-time as a grader at Metritech, Inc. He lives with his wife, Julie, in central Champaign. An avid gardener and chef, Josh is also an Eagle Scout and has been involved with both Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross.

Josh will work hard for the people of District 6 and all of Champaign County. He hopes to bring his experience in transportation at IDOT to the Board, as well as his knowledge of budget and contract management. He wants to fight hard for progressive causes, yet still work for consensus, financial responsibility, and reasonable, accountable government.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Josh at: josh4ccb@gmail.com

Rachel Schwartz for District 7 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Rachel Schwartz and Alan Kurtz in District 7!

Alan Kurtz, District 7 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Alan Kurtz and Rachel Schwartz in District 7!

    Alan Kurtz has a record of leadership in our community and on the Champaign County Board.

    The owner of Blimpie Sub & Salads for 11 years in the heart of campustown, Al is a longtime supporter of Illini athletics and was a leader in the effort to end Green Street flooding. He’s a past president of the Champaign County Humane Society, and a current member of the Champaign Consortium, a four-county agency that prepares unemployed workers for new jobs.

    As a member of the County Board, Alan Kurtz has worked to ensure county operations run efficiently, so we get maximum value for our tax dollars. He successfully forged the bipartisan supermajority that enacted the County’s Wind Farm Ordinance, which promises to create thousands of jobs and add tens of millions in revenue for our county. As vice-chair of the County’s Environment and Land Use Committee, Al worked to develop and adopt a comprehensive Land Resource Management plan that will protect our prime farmland for future generations.

    Married to Linda Kurtz for 46 years, Al has two sons and three wonderful grandchildren.

    Alan Kurtz is working hard on the County Board and on the campaign trail! With your support, we can keep Al’s leadership on the County Board, and we can keep Champaign County moving forward!

  • campaign contact: (217) 356-0011
    710 Ashton Lane South, Champaign, IL 61820
  • campaign email: AKurtz8@comcast.net

Michael Richards, District 8 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Michael Richards and Giraldo Rosales in District 8!

Safeguarding Student Voting Rights

Mike has been fighting Republican efforts to disenfranchise students for years, and is a nationally recognized leader in the fight to preserve voting rights. He worked with the Illinois Legislature to implement 2010’s Student Early Voting law that expanded Early Voting for students and made voting easier.

Greening County Government

As vice-chair of the County’s facilities committee, Mike pushed staff to apply for state and federal grants to make county buildings more energy efficient. This lowers the county’s carbon footprint and saves taxpayers thousands of dollars in utility bills. Next term Mike will push the county to participate in the Illinois Energy Now grant program.

Fighting Insider Contracts at the County

Mike has fought against wasteful no-bid contracts at the county and pay increases for top county management. Mike fought to set up an audit of the County nursing home business practices that led to a Federal probe of Nursing Home operations.

Making the Champaign Justice System Work Better for Everyone

As Chairman of the Community Justice Task Force, Mike is working to find solutions that lower incarceration levels and reduce recidivism. Mike also is working to expand minority representation on juries. This term, Mike fought to restore funding to the State’s Attorney and Public Defender’s offices.

Giraldo Rosales, District 8 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Giraldo Rosales and Michael Richards in District 8!

Astrid Berkson, District 9 (Vote for 2)

Elevt both Astrid Berkson and Ralph Langenheim in District 9!

Ralph Langenheim, District 9 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Ralph Langenheim and Astrid Berkson in District 9!

A Professor of Geology (retired) at the University of Illinois, Ralph Langenheim understands the bedrock principles of good government.

Ralph has served on the Champaign County Board since 1998, and chaired the county’s Environment and Land Use Committee from 2000-2006. He worked to develop and pass the County’s first-ever comprehensive Land Resource Management Plan. He supports efforts to protect the Mahomet Aquifer as our water source for future generations, and advocates for zoning policies that sustain sustainable land uses and protect prime farmland.

In difficult economic times, Ralph has worked to stretch every dollar in the County budget to make sure taxpayers get value for their money, without sacrificing important services like Mental Health programs, Juvenile Delinquency prevention, Public Health, or our County Nursing Home. He understands the long-term social costs of gutting these programs would far exceed any temporary budget benefit in the short-term.

Ralph Langenheim served on the Urbana Human Relations Commission from 2000 to 2006. He’s a member of Urbana Rotary and past president of the Illinois Geological Society. Ralph Langenheim is a D-Day veteran, and a member of the Champaign County Veterans Association.

Ralph Langenheim lives in Urbana with his wife M. Casey Diana. He has two children and two step-children.

  • campaign contact: (217) 344-5285
    401 W. Vermont, Urbana, IL 61801
  • campaign email: rlangenh@hotmail.com

Chris Alix, District 10 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Chris Alix and James Quisenberry in District 10!

I’m Chris Alix—longtime Urbana resident, longtime Democrat, University of Illinois alumnus and small business owner. I want to represent District 10 on the Champaign County Board. I’m proud of my respected history as a consensus-builder in Urbana-Champaign local government and look forward to bringing my experience and perspective to the issues facing Champaign County in these challenging times.

I’d appreciate your support in the November 2, 2010 general election!

  • campaign contact: (217) 337-6744
    301 East George Huff Drive, Urbana, IL 61801
  • campaign email: Chris@alix9.com
  • campaign website: Alix9.com

James Quisenberry, District 10 (Vote for 2)

Elect both James Quisenberry and Chris Alix in District 10!

I am not running for County Board with a single issue or a set agenda. I am running because I have a passion for public service. I am running to contribute my expertise, my organizational skills, and my commitment to listen to all parties and seek common ground to meet the challenges we face in Champaign County..

Please contact me or visit my website for details on my background and positions.

Lorraine Cowart, District 11 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Lorraine Cowart and Lloyd Carter in District 11!

Lloyd Carter, District 11 (Vote for 2)

Elect both Lloyd Carter and Lorraine Cowart in District 11!

Note To Candidates

If you would like your biography and photo included on this page, please send them to the webmaster.

Amy Kummerow (1919 – 2012)

The Kummerow family invites you to a Memorial Reception to honor Amy’s life. It will be held Thursday August 16, 2012 at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, 309 W. Green Street, Urbana IL. Renner-Wikoff Chapel & Crematory is assisting the family

Amy Louise Hildebrand Kummerow was born January 5, 1919, the daughter of Sena C. Loesch and Henry H. Hildebrand, the fifth of eight children. She died July 3, 2012 and is survived by her husband of 70 years, Professor Fred A. Kummerow and her children Max in Christchurch, New Zealand; Jean in St. Paul, MN; and Kay (Ron Mengarelli) in Gilberts, IL. Her three grandchildren are Elizabeth Loban in Sydney, Australia; Robert Loban in Hong Kong; and Patrick Watson (Michael Parrish) in Urbana. Her great-grandson is Asher Watson. Her surviving sisters are Ruth Schmidt (Hutchinson, KS) and Wilma Christine Michener (Ann Arbor, MI). She has numerous nieces and nephews.

She was born on a farm in Greensburg, Kansas and grew up near the southwestern Kansas town of Fowler during the Dust Bowl and Depression days. As a child she disliked her curly red hair and her freckles, especially when she wanted to wear red, but instead was clothed in brown and green. She longed to wear pants instead of skirts and when her aunt gave her a pair of rompers, she wore them out. Her sisters remembered how much she loved to read and that she was often up in a tree with a book whenever she finished her chores on the farm. At the June 2012 Hildebrand cousin reunion Max, Jean and Kay saw, for the first time, their great grandparent’s 1894 farm house near Raymond, Kansas. It was in the Loesch family’s front parlor that their mother Amy hid as a child reading books. Her mother Sena would find her there and send her outside to play with her cousins.

Amy was educated at Ft. Hays Kansas State University where she obtained a BS in English and Speech in 1940, and was a champion debater. She attended the University of Wisconsin where she obtained a Master’s degree in Sociology in 1944. She taught two years at Plains High School in Kansas. She married Fred A. Kummerow on June 24, 1942. They lived in Clemson South Carolina, Manhattan Kansas, and since 1950 in Urbana, Illinois where her husband was Professor of Food Science and is currently an adjunct Professor in the Department of Comparative Biosciences. Amy taught sociology at Parkland College for several years. She was an active volunteer in community organizations, such as the League of Women Voters, the Urbana Human Relations Commission, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of University Women and in her church, the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign.

She enjoyed writing and often wrote travelogues of her many trips. One story, published in the local newspaper, was of being in the March 4, 1977 Romanian earthquake. She was the compiler of family history to share at family reunions. Traveling was always enjoyable to her, and her passport doesn’t expire until 2016. She loved attending Krannert Theater events with long time friends, Bernadine & Bob Stake and Jenny & Dick Harvey.

Amy had a strong interest in government and politics and was active in the local Democratic party serving continuously as a precinct committeeman from 1970-2009. When walking with her in the neighborhood, she could easily name which houses held “good Democrats”. She also very much valued listening to other points of view (even from Republicans) to come up with the best solutions. She was elected to the Champaign County Board of Supervisors in 1972, as one of the first three women ever elected to that Board (along with now Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing and the late Jeanne Marie Wyld) with the newspaper headline of the election, “Three Faculty Wives Elected”. She served on the County Board until 1992, and was glad headline writers began to acknowledge women candidates for their own contributions, not those of their husbands. She ran unsuccessfully for the US House of Representatives and the Illinois State Senate in the 1970s.

Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, and a stroke slowed her last years. In true Amy fashion, she wanted her body donated to science so others can continue to learn from her.

Amy had many causes including peace & justice, equity, human rights and population issues. To honor her memory, in lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Urbana Free Library (210 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801), Planned Parenthood of Illinois (Champaign Health Center, 302 E. Stoughton, Champaign, IL 61820) and the Parkland College Foundation’s Amy L. Kummerow scholarship (Parkland College Fd. Attn: Susan Goldenstein, 2400 W. Bradley, Champaign, IL 61821). The local group of the American Association of University Women established a scholarship at Parkland College in Amy’s name. She was very pleased to be able to help other women further their education as did her Aunt Elizabeth for her. This was the same Aunt that recognized a little red-headed farm girl just really needed those rompers to fully experience life.

Independence Day Parades 2012

Friends of Mike Frerichs (52nd Senate), Mike Langendorf (104th State Rep), and all county-wide candidates should participate, but this year an excessive heat index (100+) warning will be in effect, so exercise your own good judgement. Meet shortly after 9:15 am at spot #20 on Maplewood Drive north of its intersection with Route 136 (map). Dress for the heat and be prepared to walk; seating on our vehicles is very limited. We will have cold water. Bring your favorite shirts & signs or borrow them from your choice of candidates. Parade starts at 10 am and typically disbands on Wabash St.

All Democratic candidates and their supporters should participate, but this year an excessive heat index (100+) warning will be in effect, so exercise your own good judgement. Meet shortly after noon at spot #41 in the parking lot west of Assembly Hall (map). Dress for the heat and be prepared to walk; seating on our vehicles is very limited. We will have cold water. Bring your favorite shirts & signs or borrow them from your choice of candidates. Parade starts at 1:05 pm and disbands at Illinois & Goodwin in Urbana.

All county-wide candidates and their supporters should participate, but this year an excessive heat index (100+) warning will be in effect, so exercise your own good judgement. Meet shortly after 4:30 at The Village Hall, 500 E. 2nd St (map). Dress for the heat and be prepared to walk; seating on our vehicles is very limited. We will have cold water. Bring your favorite shirts & signs or borrow them from your choice of candidates. Parade starts at 5:30pm and typically returns to the starting point.

Unity Breakfast with David Gill

To all Democrats in the 13th Congressional District of Illinois:

Last Thursday morning the State Board of Elections certified my victory in the Democratic Primary. That afternoon I received a gracious phone call from my former opponent Matt Goetten conceding the race in the 13th Congressional District. I salute Matt Goetten for his service in our military — especially his tour of duty in Afghanistan. I thank him for his work in law enforcement standing up for crime victims. And I commend him for the tough primary campaign he waged.

Now, I want to reach out my hand in friendship to Matt’s supporters, and to personally thank all of you who supported me in the campaign. I am honored to be your Democratic nominee. I am ready to represent citizens from every corner of this 14 county district — from every town, every city, every township, every neighborhood, every street and every farm. We will surely win this fall if we stand together as Democrats united for victory.

This week, we have a Democratic Unity Breakfast in Springfield on Thursday morning, April 26. My friends former Congressman Phil Hare, State Representative Naomi Jakobsson, Champaign County Democrats Chair Al Klein, and many other Democratic county chairs from around the district are hosting this event.

There is no charge; this is not a fundraiser. It’s a celebration of our unity as Democrats and our commitment to move forward together in this new congressional district.

I hope you can join us on Thursday April 26th, 7:30 – 9:00 AM, at the
IBEW Local 193 Hall, 3150 Wide Track Drive, Springfield IL
(1 block south of South Grand at Dirksen/1-55 exit 96) (map)

RSVP here or write my campaign manager Michael Richards if you can attend, so we can plan for the right number of folks.

David Gill, M.D.
Democratic Candidate for Congress, 13th District of Illinois

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