This announcement is adapted from the Clerk's Facebook page.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 6:00 pm, the Champaign County Clerk's office will have a Virtual Open House. Learn more about the office's services to the community. Everyone is welcome to attend. Use this Zoom link to attend.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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:
Community organizations—including League of Women Voters of Champaign County, Bend the Arc: CU, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Champaign-Urbana Alumnae Chapter, and the NAACP Champaign County—are joining together to take action in support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021.
This Act, to be introduced in Congress later this year, would restore the full protections of the original, bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965, gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.
Two opportunities to take action are coming up soon! The May 3 event focuses on learning about the Act. The May 8 event is part of a national day of action. Details for both events are below.
Learn How to Contact Congress, May 3, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This event features information about the Act and shows how to take action by contacting your Members of Congress.
To register/RSVP, click here. The Zoom link for this event will be sent to everyone who registers before 6:00 pm on May 3. We look forward to seeing you!
Join in the National Day of Action May 8
Plans for a CU-wide Votercades as part of the May 8 nationwide John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Day of Action are coming together!
The coalition of community groups is now finalizing routes for Votercades to bring our message to as many neighborhoods in CU as possible in an hour. All we’ll need are you and your car to make it a success.
Tentative May 8 Local Schedule:
Learn more about this national Day of Action at https://bit.ly/32qFi2V. To sign up to participate in our C-U Votercade, livestream our event, or donate needed supplies click here.
For more information and ways you can volunteer, contact Karen Fresco email@example.com or Ann Prisland firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Champaign County League on Thursday, April 29, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm on Zoom for a presenation by Chuck Stone, Braver Angels representative for Illinois
One thing most Americans can agree on is that political differences are a significant problem in our country today, affecting relationships at all levels. Many people are disinclined to take part in discussions with those they disagree with politically. Yet, many Americans believe we must shift and overcome our political divisions if America is to survive as a democracy.
Braver Angels is an organization that has received considerable attention since the 2016 elections. At a time when it is rare to bring Red and Blue together that is exactly what Braver Angels does, saying “Come with your convictions, your willingness to listen, and your readiness to talk with others who disagree with you.”
The League is truly fortunate to have two leaders in the Illinois Braver Angels as guest presenters at this program to talk to us about how they do this, its successes and challenges - Chuck Stone, J.D., faculty member at DePaul and Illinois coordinator for Braver Angels, and Madeline McCarren, Ph.D., volunteer for Braver Angels.
Come and hear what they have to say – and they are very interested in hearing what you have to say as well. You will leave with much to think about.
See the Braver Angels website for more about the organization.
A Report from the Legislative Hour on April 19: Find Out What's Happening with Election Bills in Illinois
The LWVIL Legislative Hour on April 19, 2021 featured Senator Julie Morrison and Representative Katie Stuart answering questions about prospects for election laws in this legislative session. Sharon Alter and Barb Laimins, LWVIL Election Law Specialists, provided this assessment of what was learned:
“[These two legislators] both anticipate an election omnibus bill to be passed this legislative session. Time for us to go to work and contact our legislators and encourage them to include provisions on the LWV election law position [sent out to all LWVIL members previously].
For those who weren't on the call today—they are open to state-wide uniformity for vote by mail ballots, preregistration for 16-year-olds, further clarification for ballot tracking, and candidates including an email when filing their petition papers for office.
Sadly, there does not seem to be enthusiasm in the Legislature for moving back the primary election dates or rank choice voting at this time according to Senator Morrison and Representative Stuart."
This Legislative Hour also included a report from Rep. Camille Lilly on the status of HB158, which addresses a variety of healthcare issues. The bill is currently with the governor for signature. Also included was a report from Senator L.G. Simms on HB3653, the criminal justice reform bill recently signed by the governor. "
Here's a direct link to the video of the session as posted by the Illinois League of Women Voters.
The Illinois League of Women Voters has a number of other videos on current issues. See their Webinar and Video Programs page to browse.
Below is an update from the Illinois League of Women Voters (LWVIL). (Source here.)
Monday, April 19, 4-5 pm
Join state legislators for a discussion of the latest developments in bills advancing through the General Assembly. This time, we'll talk equity at the ballot box and in all areas to meet basic human needs. Registration required. The access link will be sent on the day of the event.