This special event is a collaborative activity of the League of Women Voters of Champaign County, Bend the Arc: CU and Mt Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. See the image below for how to attend.
Current efforts to restrict voting rights are part of a long history. In the United States between 1877 and the mid-1950s, Jim Crow era laws enforced racial segregation in the South and caused voting rates by black Americans to plummet.
In Germany in the 1930s, the Nuremberg laws excluded Jewish citizens and others from participation in many areas of civic and professional life—including voting.
Learning from these parts of our past will help us better understand efforts to suppress the vote today.
This event is one in a series focused on understanding election laws and voting issues, cosponsored by the League and other community organizations.
Join us June 9, 7:00 pm -8:30 pm for this special Zoom event.
Partner Profile: Congratulations on 4 Years of Get-Out-The-Vote: Champaign County Voters Alliance (CCVA)
James Manrique is a nonpartisan, local-voting, get-out-the-vote enthusiast. For 4 years, he's led volunteer projects to increase voter turnout through CCVA, a local, nonpartisan voting organization he started on May 23, 2017.
CCVA is the home of an online Candidate Information Guide. James developed the site to provide nonpartisan information about candidates in contested races in Champaign County. It includes candidates' answers to questions, links to candidate websites, contact information, videos and information on candidate forums. The goal is to make it a simple, one-stop for voting information.
The Candidate Guide, and other useful links for voting, are found on the CCVA website at VoteChampaign.org.
Since 2018, James has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Champaign County (LWVCC) as a League member and a Board Director. As a League member and partner, he has continued development of the Candidate Guide and worked with League volunteers and teams on multiple get-out-the-vote projects.
A feature story in last February's News-Gazette describes more about James, CCVA and the LWVCC partnership. This photo from the story shows how James and other League volunteers distributed get-out-the-vote door hangers directly to homes prior to the February 2021 primary election, even in the dead of winter.
With the onset of Covid-19 last spring, the get-out-the-vote volunteers observed safe practices but still managed to distribute information to 1500 homes in low-turnout areas and asked local businesses to put flyers in their windows. This summer, they are making plans for the 2022 election season, hoping to expand efforts event further.
IJames and CCVA were just featured in a "I Have To Ask" podcast by Elizabeth Hess. Listen to the interview here. It's about 12 minutes long.
Thanks to James Manrique and the other get-out-the-vote volunteers for their work in expanding voter participation in Champaign County.
At the May 20, 2021 meeting of the Champaign County Board, there will be a public hearing on the proposed 2021 maps for reapportionment of the County for election of the County Board. Every 10 years, following the census, Champaign County redraws the political boundaries for the County Board districts in order to re-balance representation from each district based on any population shifts that have occurred since the last census count.
More details on this page. Some options for learning more:
1. See the Agenda for the County Board meeting on May 20.
2. View the instructions for participating in the public hearing via Zoom.
3. See the recommendation of the Champaign County Executive Darlene Koeppel to the Champaign County Board for the county redistricting map.
4. Download details of the recommendation in the pdf (19 pages).
Below is text taken from an official memo distributed at the May 11, 2021 meeting of the Champaign County board. For the full document, click here.
As we think about these recommendations, it might help to review the County Goals. See this link for the Strategic Plan and Goals. Scroll down to see the goals.
(Thanks to Ann Prisland for help in getting these links/ideas to us.)
May 11, 2021
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC INPUT ON AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDS
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has allocated $40+ million for Champaign County.
These funds can be used to help our county recover from the effects of the pandemic over the next 4 years by offsetting government revenue declines, investing in critical infrastructure, and mitigating other community needs related to COVID-19.
The Finance Committee has scheduled a zoom study session on Tuesday, May 25, 6 pm, for the purpose of hearing thoughts from the public about the use of these funds.
As usual for board meetings, members of the public wishing to speak will have up to 5 minutes during public participation on a first-come basis. [The agenda for this meeting and Zoom link will be available on the County Board website about a week before the meeting.]
The board members will then discuss county needs put forward by members or groups of the public in writing. To be included in the study session packet, written comments of 250 words or less may be sent to Megan Robison at email@example.com by end of day Sunday, May 16th.
Please keep in mind: This is NOT a request for specific project funding proposals—this is an initial step to gain public input as the Board begins to think through potential priorities.
The detailed rules for use of the funds have not been made known yet by the federal government. This is one-time funding.
To repeat: submit your written suggestions, ideas, and input of 250 words or less to Megan Robison at firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day Sunday, May 16 to be included in the study session and provided to all county board members in advance of their May 25 meeting.
On Wednesday, May 12, 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm, LWVCC will discuss demystifying county government. Presenters will be League officers Trisha Crowley and Deb Busey.
This Zoom event is a part of LWVCC's Wednesday Discussion series. Register in advance for this meeting. For other questions, contact Theresa Michelson <email@example.com> After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
We know what cities do: public safety - police and fire services - public works, libraries. And we know how cities work: citizens elect a city council and mayor, and the city council, with the mayor, run the city. But what does Champaign County government do and how does it work?
We elect many county level officials - judges, state’s attorney, circuit clerk, county clerk and more. Do they work together and, if so, how? Where do the funds to run their offices
come from? What is the County Executive’s role?
Join us for this discussion to get the answers to these questions and more, the answers you need to understand Champaign County government and how it affects our lives.
Every year, the LWVIL Issues and Advocacy Committee encourages local Leagues to solidify their relationships with their state senators and representatives by holding Legislative Interviews. The primary purpose of the interviews are for Leagues to strengthen the lines of communication with legislators and build goodwill. Four interviews were held this April with Senator Scott Bennett, Senator Chapin Rose, Representative Carol Ammons, and Representative Mike Marron. Brief summaries of the interviews can be found on the Members Corner part of this website (password required).
Local media and community groups are providing a lot of publicity about the upcoming May 8 CU VoterCade to join the nationwide John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Day of Action. Take a look at the links below for more details.
News-Gazette, May 1, "Votercade, speakers, music planned for voting-rights action day". Read the article online.
City of Urbana post, May 1 "VoterCade and Celebration Village for Voting Rights". Read the post online.
Graphic from the community planning team:
Press release from Bend the Arc:
News & Announcements