Saturday, April 30, 2011

Children need both parents.....

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I had met with General Parker, a well known youth advocate here in Peoria. His website, Illinois Fathers, is promoting the passage of HB 1604, the Steven Watkins Bill, to protect the rights of children and non-custodial fathers in the state of Illinois.

Despite the awakening in our society of the equality of parents when it comes to raising children, in matters of divorce the courts almost always award custody of the children to the mother. In some cases, this means the parents of the mother, the grandparents of the mother, and even aunts and uncles are able to place pressure on the mother to make it difficult or near impossible for the father to spend time with the children. It doesn't matter if the father is a positive role model and a hard working man who just wants to let his children know he loves them. The mother's family can usually manipulate the mother to make life impossible for the father.

Does this happen in every divorce? Thankfully, no. But it shouldn't happen in any divorce. Children need to know both parents love them, even if the parents no longer love one another. Despite their differences, parents should not seek to interfere with one another when it comes to their children, and should allow the children to be exposed to the positive father figure in their life.

I am going to include two documents with this article, and invite you all to write your Illinois congressmen and Senators to support this bill. The decision is yours, but this is an important piece of legislation that will not burden our court system, and may in fact prevent other problems from occurring.

3rd Annual Fatherless Day - May 10th, 2011

Regardless of your political or religious views, occupation, race or sex, we all can agree that children need both parents NOW more than ever.

EACH and EVERY DAY in our Illinois family law courts, children in the Land of Lincoln are unjustly separated from their good parents for no good reason. BUT together we can save our children from this dark situation by standing shoulder to shoulder at our State Capitol Building in Springfield on May 10th, 2011.

Join on May 10th, for our 3rd Annual Fatherless Day in Springfield where mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters will rally to celebrate parenthood and to support House Bill 1604. HB 1604 (the Steven Watkins Memorial Bill) seeks to give children greater access to BOTH of their parents after divorce or separation. HB 1604 has strong bipartisan support in the Illinois House and is on the verge of being voted on in the Illinois Senate.

If you are someone who is suffering from little to no contact with your children or if you believe that children need both parents, join us on May 10th in Springfield.

Bikers…contact to get your patch and attend the rally with the many other bikers riding in on the Capitol. Bikers, meet at Hall's Harley Davidson at 2301 N. Dirksen Parkway in Springfield, IL at 9:00 a.m.

If you need help with transportation, or to donate transportation, please go to our website at and contact our statewide transportation coordinator, Juan Carlos.

Together we can make a difference for ALL Illinois children.

Fatherless Day – Steven Watkins Rally 2011

Bikers meet @ Hall’s Harley Davidson
2301 N. Dirksen Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62702

Bikers from around the state of Illinois will gather at Hall’s Harley Davidson at 9:00 a.m. We will then leave at 9:30 and ride together to the state Capitol Building located at 2nd and Capitol Streets.

With one biker, Steven Watkins, losing his life for visiting his daughter, it’s time for Family Law reform.

Keynote Speaker: Penny Watkins
Guest Speakers include: Rep Constance “Connie” Howard
Rep. Al Riley
Sen. John Mulroe
Sen. Mattie Hunter

For more info:
or Contact Mr. Parker @ (309) 696-7930

Sponsored by Illinois Fathers and the Justice for Steven Campaign

Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Editorial - Matt Woodmancy on the Labor Memorial Ceremony

Yesterday, Frederick Smith and I took part in the Workers memorial. It was a somber, but hopeful event, honoring those who died while working at their jobs. It was also the 40th anniversary of the founding of OHSA, which has worked diligently to reduce the deaths of American workers due to unsafe conditions in the work place.

As we continue the struggle to make the United States the Promised Land envisioned by our founders, we cannot forget those who died while working to make America what she is today, and what she is to become.

The event was about the workers in America’s work force today as much as it was about the living. It is our duty to ensure that every work place is as safe as possible and that corporate greed does not get in the way of the value of human life. As the son of a mother who worked for nearly 20 years in a Peoria and Washington plastics factory, I heard first hand stories about dangers that America’s workers face. When the workers at that plastics factory wanted to unionize the owner threatened to shut the plant down.

Unions, despite what the Republicans and Tea Party advocates would have us believe, are needed to ensure that safety comes first, and all other concerns are secondary. Fred and I stood with members of many different unions, local Democrat party officials, and other citizens to pay our respects to those that lost their lives making the country we live in today possible. The almighty dollar is worthless compared to the life of a single American worker.

Matthew Woodmancy

Memorials and Meetings

I had the distinct pleasure to participate in the Labor Memorial March yesterday along with Matt Woodmancy. We gathered behind the Labor Temple (that big white building on the right side of the bridge as you're coming in on 74 from the East Peoria) around 4:30, milled around and talked with a few of the folks, and took in the atmosphere.
Around 5 pm, we joined in behind the single fire truck and marched to the sound of a lone bagpipe as the procession began. The streets were mostly empty, and what traffic there was held at bay by a lone police officer who moved ahead to the next intersection each time we needed him. We proceeded down Jefferson and turned right at Fulton, arriving at the Labor Memorial adjacent to the Police and Firefighter memorial near the courthouse.
Mike Everett, the President of the Labor Council, presided, introducing the speakers. I'd give you all the names, but frankly, this event was not about them. It was about remembering the thousands of workers who have died on the job. Each speaker had something to add, and in respectful and solemn silence, the mostly blue collar crowd stood reverently as they heard the names of fallen workers and fallen soldiers from the state of Illinois over the past year read aloud. At the end of the ceremony, the lone piper played Amazing Grace as members of the crowd were invited to place red carnations at the base of the memorial.
We wandered over to the Pere Marquette and sat down with General Parker for a cup of coffee and some insight into Peoria politics. If you're never met General Parker, you've missed one of the most pleasant conversations you might have in Peoria, although I understand from the General there are several people in Peoria who might disagree. The former Mayoral candidate and youth advocate talked with Matt and I for about an hour, sharing his knowledge and experience concerning the political climate in Peoria. I walked away from that meeting with some great insights, as well as some information about the General's latest effort. On May 10th at 8:00 am in Springfield, his organization (Illinois Fathers) will sponsor Fatherless Day, and event in support of the Steven Watkins Bill (HB 1604) to protect the rights of non-custodial parents. You can find out more about this noble cause at Like his many efforts before this, the General is advocating the preservation of the family for the welfare of the children. And somehow, Kevin Lyons thought this man would be unfit to serve on the School Board for District 150.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just exactly how inclusive do we really want to be?

"The Peoria 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on Sept 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with political parties. As Americans, lets stand together and defend the values and principles of the greatest nation ever created.

Our Mission:
The Peoria 9-12 Project is an organization of conservative, non-partisan, Americans promoting the vitality of the U.S. Constitution. It is our goal to influence public officials to support legislation driven by our 9 Principles and 12 Values.

Our Vision:
Educate our members and communities on political issues.

Hold public officials accountable to the people.

Track proposed legislation and use our voice to influence our representative's vote.

Protect the U.S. Constitution.

Empower, support and encourage our members and like-minded citizens.

We have different chapters: Peoria, Pekin, Chillicothe, Morton, Germantown Hills, Metamora, and Bloomington.
All the chapters communicate and support one another on large events, petitions, and everyday issues."

Now this is the statement offered when you click on the "Read more about us" tab at the Peoria 9/12 Project. It seems innocuous enough, to be sure, until you read carefully the line that says "Empower, support, and encourage our members and like-minded citizens". Which really means, of course, we only want to involve people who think like us.

Which is very un-American. The 9/12 group is a part of the Tea Party, that group of Americans who tried to place some fairly unsavory riders on the bills that were holding up the passage of a federal budget. They certainly have some good points, among them some very dedicated people who would like to see more transparency in government at all levels, which could not possibly hurt anyone. But to begin a statement with a desire to return to a non-partisan unity for all Americans seems a bit contradictory when you read that line about "our members and like-minded citizens".

You see, they want to protect the Constitution, because they feel that we have strayed from the intent of the framers/founders of this nation. What they fail to see is that we have not only maintained the intent, but built upon their intent based on the will and the desires of the people. I can state many instances, but perhaps the most telling was the passage of the 13th Amendment. While the framers/founders first counted "slaves" as three/fifths of a person, they knew it was a ploy to get slave owners to ratify the Constitution. They knew it would become a point of contention that would have to be dealt with at some point, but knew they would not have enough votes without including that language. So they left it to us to change it, and lo and behold, we did. And that was closely followed by the 15th Amendment, and the 19th, and so on and so forth, until we have the current Constitution with the current amendments.

The Constitution was meant to be a fluid and living document that allowed the people to govern themselves as needed. It was never intended to be static. This can be seen in the document that precedes it, the founding statement of this nation that is also called the Universal Franchise, or more commonly known at the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..."

All Men, meaning of course all mankind. Black Men, Brown Men, Yellow Men, Red Men, White Men, Straight Men, Gay Men, etc. etc. etc. et. al.

Now I have lately been taking some flack for supporting the rights of a certain Gay Felon in his bid for a shot at the nomination for the next Congressional election as a Democratic candidate. Matthew Woodmancy is a 27 year old man who has definitely screwed up on more than one occasion, to be sure. The revelation in the press came as no surprise to me, since I had known this since the day I first met Matthew, auspiciously on the day of the "State of the Union" speech this year. I have spoken with Matthew many times since, and have even aided him in his endeavors by providing him with editing assistance on speeches, helping him to properly format his platform, and generally standing by him in his endeavors. Why? Because he is a man who has genuinely learned from his mistakes.

Were they serious mistakes? Yes. Were they stupid mistakes? Yes. Is he likely to make them again? No. Is he genuinely interested in serving the people of this Congressional District for the right reasons? Yes. Does he realize what a difficult task it will be to find even a few people who are willing to support him? Yes. Knowing that, does he still have the courage to try? Yes.

You see, it is pretty easy to make that decision when you are squeaky clean, when your life has come up roses, when you have all the positive attention in the world and are viewed as the "boy wonder" of the elite. It is even easier when you are finally elected to become corrupted by the system due to your naivety and lack of real world experience, to become another cog in the machine. Like a representative who teeter totters on important issues like, oh, TIGER II funding, while introducing meaningless legislation for the standardization of lighting on farm equipment that uses public highways instead of taking a firm stand on real problems that face the district.

However, when you have to try climbing up to overcome tremendous disadvantages from the onset, including a mother and grandmother who are both facing serious medical conditions, a dysfunctional family that is constantly divided, and personal poverty, the decision to place yourself in the public eye is far from easy. It is almost an impossible task. Yet Matt believes he will be able to overcome these tremendous odds to serve the people of this district. I personally believe that in this nation, he has the right to try.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lots of interesting things at the Redistricting Meeting and the 9/12 Project

A plethora of public servants were on hand today at the Peoria County Board chambers for the Illinois State Redistricting Meeting, along with a sizable crowd of concerned public members. Among the public servants, Jehan Gordon, David Leitch, Michael Unes, as well as several others. An Illinois House employee, Mr. John Maxin (sp) was on hand to give an excellent overview of the process facing the Illinois house, and the legal requirements and process was explained in a straightforward and forthright manner. The floor was then given over to those who had registered to speak.
Mr. Allen Mayer of the Peoria County Board spoke first, with an admonition that he was addressing the board as a private citizen. His main emphasis was the protection of African American voting rights, which was all well and good, but when asked his feelings about the other minority communities, such as the asian and hispanic communities that are becoming prevalent minorities, he had little to say. Guess they aren't a voting block he was concerned about.
Mr. Stephen Morris, also on the Peoria County Board, spoke to caution the committee on the dangers of making changes on a strictly partisan agenda, saying they should be cautious to take the "pulse of the public" and work in the best interests of the community.
Next was Mr. Lonnie Whisker on behalf of the Tri-County Urban League who spoke to the needs and wants of the African American and "disadvantaged" communities. His concern, speaking for the Urban League, was that effective redistricting should consider the needs and wants of the "minority" communities in the area.
Donald R. Jackson, President of the Illinois Conference of the NAACP and the Peoria Chapter of the NAACP, spoke to the necessity of considering an area of influence where it was not possible to create a minority district. His comments were well founded and based on the last redistricting in 2001, which led to the election of Senator Barrack Obama, and ultimately produced the first African American President. He stated he was in favor of counting inmates (there are a proportionately larger number of African Americans and Hispanics in prison in Illinois) as residents of the area they would ultimately be returned to when considering redistricting.
Bernie Miller, a private citizen, was next. Mr. Miller spoke to considering the same type of distribution as is in practice in the state of Iowa. He is against districts that are based on minority considerations and other factors, and thinks they isolate some members from effective representation.
Charles Gabbert from the Lindhurst Home Owners Association was also against the Illinois system of redistricting, claiming that our long history of "jerrymandering" has led to the current problems of the state. He feels that districts should be community based, not spread out so broadly that some people never have access to the issues or the representatives.
Doug Crew, Vice President of Government Relations for the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, said that we are in a current "Fiscal Abyss" and that Illinois leaders are looking for a change in the way we do business in Illinois. He spoke about the companies who have been approached by other states to relocate, and stated that the current trends require an "Open Process".
Next was Irene Brown, the President of the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce. Her admonition to the committee: "You are messing with people's lives." She spoke about her experiences in different zip codes, both poor and rich, and urged the committee to consider Diversity in Redistricting. She pointed out that the current map does not allow for redevelopment or opportunities for people in those poorer areas, and that the district lines need to be drawn to be inclusive, not segregated. Her words were eloquent and passionate.
General Parker, the youth advocate and unsuccessful candidate for the latest School Board election, spoke as a private citizen and voiced his objections to the Iowa model discussed by Mr. Miller. He stated that a system that would not provide for minority representation would be unfair and violate the Illinois Voting Rights Act.

So there were a lot of opinions voiced and a lot of feedback to the committee, which was what this meeting was to provide. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the remainder of the meeting, but the diversity of comments makes it a sure bet this will not be an easy task for the committee. I have to say I was impressed by the openness of the meeting and the willingness of the participants and committee members to discuss opinions.

As my intermission, and the reason for my early departure, the press conference by Matthew Woodmancy, the young man who has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congressional seat in 2012, was a non-event. I know Matt was fully prepared to answer questions about his past and to state reasons for his decision to run. However, Karen McDonald of the Journal Star did run an interesting and informative article resulting from a phone interview. Here is the story.

And now we come to the 9/12 Project and their guest speaker, Mr. Brian Costin of the Illinois Policy Institute. His topic was a local Transparency in Government project that is currently being undertaken by several members of the Tea Party affiliate. Mr. Costin was very specific in his talk, letting the members in attendance from Peoria and other 9/12 groups that the purpose of the Transparency in Government project was not to target local politicos or public servants, but to ensure local governments were in compliance with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements. He discussed how to "audit" local government websites and demonstrated some "grading" information used in determining the level of compliance. He took several questions and spoke until approximately 7:30. At that time, Jody Pitcher, founder and leader of the Peoria 9/12 Project, cleared the room of the observers and convened a local meeting.

The Transparency in Government project, if handled correctly, should be a "wake up call" for the Peoria City Council, one that might turn this city around. I believe there are several members of the 9/12 Project who will pursue this project with a passion, and I do believe that Mr. Costin's organization will be instrumental in revealing some very "interesting" workings in the last few years in Peoria and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not the same old thing.....Woodmancy for Congress

Matthew A. Woodmancy is running for congress. A Democrat running in a classically Republican district. That'll happen when pigs fly, right?

Well, might want to keep an eye out for those little porkers.

Check this out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The greatest show in Peoria continues....

I'm talking about the City Council meeting, of course. Tonight was no exception, and there are always high points and low points to consider, so I'll try to cover the ones I can.

The High points were the Proclamations and Presentations by Mayor Ardis to the Great American Clean Up/ Keep Peoria Beautiful event (April 16th), the Hult Health Education Center 20th Year Celebration, the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month (Opening event will be the Hands Around the Courthouse event at noon on April 15th, wear blue to support that day...there are currently 1022 pending child abuse cases in Peoria), and the recognition of National Undergraduate Research Week (April 11-15th). All worthy causes and notable proclamations.

Down to business. Pat Landis, Ross Black, and a gentleman whose name escaped me, all spoke to the adoption of the new Comprehensive Plan for the City of Peoria. One of their main talking points was how inclusive their approach to this plan was. They came up with statistics that included 104 meetings, and over 7000 comments on the website, equaling more than 117 hours of public testimony from a Global community. (Global? I thought this was a local issue.) They included all sorts of people, including High School Students (5 Meetings), the African-American Community, various Public Partners (School board, Park district, etc.), and of course, Developers.

According to several people who spoke, they seem to have missed a few people: Bob Sparks spoke first from his wheelchair stating that the physically disabled were not included, and their needs are being neglected. Savino Sierra (normally an outspoken advocate for the Ardis council), complained that the Hispanic community had not been included. Peggy Kendall spoke on behalf of persons with mental and developmental disabilities. Seems they forgot to check with at least a few people in their "all inclusive plan"

Mayor Ardis asked how this inclusiveness was achieved, and Pat Landis answered that they had, indeed, met with the Americans with Disabilities, or at  least contacted them, and had held meetings at Friendship House, and had advertised the plan on Billboards, via direct mail, and even with television ads. Now you would think with all that effort we would all know about those meetings, but I can seem to recall any of that going on. But that could be me. After all, I don't watch a lot of television, don't open the mail, and billboards are not my style. Ross Black added that it is difficult to define the African American community, since they are not a definitive group, but made up of several groups (ever hear of the NAACP or the Urban League, Ross?) and there was no way to identify them as a group to be consulted. Yada Yada Yada. The long and short of it? It passed with Sandberg as the only Nay vote. Big Surprise.

Business as usual until a rather rousing discussion between Ardis and several other members concerning Item L on the consent agenda, the passing of an request from the new City Manager to have the members of the council attend a Leadership and Strategic Planning Workshop planned by a firm from Palm Coast, Florida at a cost of $11,000 to $19,000. Sandberg pointed out that this same firm had conducted a similar session with the council before the Vision 2020 program with negative results, and objected to the contract being awarded to an out of state firm when there are similar firms locally. Riggenbach claimed that this would be a very necessary step in the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan. Spears agreed with the training, but also joined with Sandberg in his objection to hiring an out of state consultant, as did Gulley. After hearing all these objections, Spain had to chime in that, in a meeting with the incoming City Manager, he was concerned that they board's commitment to changing the culture of the board was in jeopardy. Poor kid thinks everyone is supposed to play nice on the board and "go along to get along". Someone hand the kid a towel to dry behind his ears. The motion passed with Sandberg, Spears, and Gully voting NO!

And now we come to the implementation of the now infamous reinstatement of a "BLUE LAW". I'm talking about the ordinance specifically designed to shut down "Club 307". Gary Sandberg once again stood as the only voice of reason, trying to get the council to understand that the wording of the ordinance was much too broad in its scope and could be used to regulate individual consensual behavior. I should say "try", since that is never going to happen, but now that the law will revoke the license of Club 307, the activities will no longer be regulated by the cost of a membership card behind closed doors. Let's face it folks, the people who are members of Club 307 are adults who want to participate in a swinging lifestyle. That is a consensual act, not rape, not enticement, not some form of public debauchery. Sandberg and City Counsel Randall Ray went back and forth on the subject, and Ardis had to interject that it was the most "interesting" conversation he had heard in some time. The motion passed, Sandberg voting no, and we now have a law that prevents consenting adults from having a membership only club for the purpose of having sex. And I am betting a law that will be overturned at the State Supreme Court level, if anyone cares to fight it.

Not much more after that, some old business that had to be concluded before the new council persons are sworn in, apparently. Incidentally, kudos to Beth Akeson and Chuck Weaver, both in attendance and taking notes throughout the entire proceedings. Nice to see they are taking their new appointments seriously.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sometimes you get to write nice things....

I had the privilege tonight of attending the Benefit for Tracy Shortridge and her daughter and granddaughter tonight at Stone Country in Bartonville. It was quite an event, hosted by Dan Stone and his crew, and sponsored to provide help for the Tracy Shortridge assistance fund at CEFCU. Donations are still being accepted, by the way.

In case you missed it, the fire was in West Peoria on December 17th and started about 6 p.m..  Although units were dispatched from West Peoria, Limestone, and Peoria Heights to assist in battling the flames, they were unable to save the house and most of the possessions of the family. Luckily, Tracy, her daughter, and Tracy's granddaughter were all able to escape without injury.

The family is trying to recover from the devastation of having almost every possession in their lives removed in a puff of smoke.

The nice thing? You should have seen the smile on Tracy's face and on her daughter and granddaughter as people came in tonight at Stone Country. Talk about members of the community coming together. These are the moments that let you know we still care.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Labor Rally at the Courthouse

I had the privilege of attending the Labor Rally at the Peoria County Courthouse yesterday afternoon with Matthew Woodmancy, a local man who is running for the U. S. Congress in 2012. Randy Stevens was the organizer of the event, and I have to say the man is a very accomplished speaker who knows how to rally a crowd. Between 200 and 300 union brothers and sisters were there, braving the elements and standing shoulder to shoulder to support the cause of fighting against the movements lately to diminish the rights of labor to collective bargaining and fair wages.

There were representatives of AFSCME, Teamsters, AFL-CIO, Boilermakers, and several others who spoke to several incidents for Mine Workers and truckers who are undergoing attacks by management, and our Peoria NAACP was also there to pledge their support for the cause. One of the main themes was the Rally in Chicago this weekend. It seems there are still several seats on the bus if you want to attend. Contact Randy Stevens through his Facebook page and let him know.

The most impressive part of the rally for me was the powerful message from several of the local speakers: VOTE! I guess it is the poor turnout from the April 5th election that has this topic on everyone's lips, but it should be there all the time.

We always have suggestions about how to improve our society and our schools. How about this one? How about we start teaching our children (by example) that it is their right and their responsibility to VOTE! How about we start teaching our children that they matter, that they have a voice in our society, in our community, no matter who they are, no matter what they do, no matter what name they call God, no matter who they love. How about we Take Back Peoria with our VOTE!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Okay, first of all a minor point. I noticed yesterday morning (April 6th), C. J. Summers had removed his sign from my yard. This morning I removed George Azouri's. Hint, hint to all you candidates. Beth, I notice a lot of your signs are still out there. Might want to get this taken care of.

On to bigger fish to fry. Aaron Schock and his recent flip flop on the TIGER II funding reeks of classic doublespeak. I mean, hey Aaron, pick a side and stand by your decision, regardless of the outcome. You told us we were wrong in planning to spend money we may not receive (which I agree with, by the way), then tell us how wrong it is for Congress not to give us the money. Please, bubba, get your story straight, and while you are at it, start thinking for your self instead of being led around by the LaHood regime. Introducing a bill to have all farm equipment meet particular vehicle codes when the incidence of accidents is around 200 a year? In a year when we are facing massive budget cuts and a national debt so large that most people cannot fathom it? Aaron, let's work on the real problems and leave the minor stuff for later.

EBNHS, Inc. is on hold for the moment, but not forgotten. Still waiting on some information from my sources (former board members) and the 2010 audit from the EBNHS, Inc.

Seems my work with the Transparency in Government project being sponsored by Bill Lopotko and the Peoria 9/12 group is going to take up a bit of my time, along with my role as speech writer and media representative for Matthew Woodmancy for Congress 2012. By the way, if you haven't seen his Facebook page, you might want to take a look. With the redistricting in the state of Illinois, the Democrats are going to have a real shot at getting a candidate in to replace either Aaron Schock or Representative Schilling, depending on how the change is made. Since the Democrats are in charge of making the changes, and the incumbents will be forced to run against each other for the nominations in the primaries, a sold Democrat could make a real run at it.

Just got my copy of the agenda for next Tuesday's Council meeting, so I haven't had the opportunity to go over it in detail, but something must be up if the City Council is going to consider passing an ordinance to shut down Club 307. I'm not aware of any other "swing" clubs in the area, but if they are the only one, it seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors to cover up another move. Wonder what I will find when I go through it.

I'll be down at the Solidarity Rally at the courthouse at 5 pm today to support the fine men and women who represent our local unions. I'll be the guy in the leather "Highlander" jacket, so if you are there and see me, say Hi.

More to follow.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Take Back Peoria: Election results show poor turnout!

Take Back Peoria: Election results show poor turnout!: "'Only 11,962 of 68,429 registered voters, or 17.5 percent, cast a ballot.' - Peoria Journal Star, 4/5/11. Chuck Weaver and Beth Akeson will..."

Election results show poor turnout!

"Only 11,962 of 68,429 registered voters, or 17.5 percent, cast a ballot." - Peoria Journal Star, 4/5/11.

Chuck Weaver and Beth Akeson will join the City Council with Gary Sandberg, W. Eric Turner, and Ryan Span returning.  Now how many people could have made the difference if they had voted? I guess I have to wonder what the rest of the 64,011 voters were doing this evening. 52,049 voters decided that their vote didn't matter. And by failing to vote, they in fact did vote. They voted to make this an uphill battle for a return to basic services. To the soldiers who will fight on our behalf, I salute you. To those who ran and were not elected, I salute you as well for the courage you displayed in offering to serve our community. While I did not agree with every platform, I respect the willingness of the citizens who were willing to stand up and be counted.

Now we look to the future, and charge the incumbents to take note. While the turnout was small, the voice was loud and very clear. We, the citizens who do pay attention, demand change. We will not longer sit idly by while you continue to make back room deals and flaunt your arrogance at the demands of the people. And there are a few of us who understand what it will require to campaign for the next election in two years.

Some of us are preparing now.