Funding for our local and national parks is in jeopardy. People who love the outdoors and enjoy our parks must speak out against a possible disastrous decision to eliminate funding and protection for parks. At least 60 percent of Illinois residents participate in outdoor recreation every year. It is a great place for families to go for an inexpensive vacation. This issue regarding funding and protection has been a problem for several years. If federal, state and local funding is not available, public land could be up for grabs for private development and less accessible for the public to use. Contact Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Darin LaHood to urge them to vote in favor of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Antiquities Act when they come under attack in Congress.
(volunteer with Protect Our Parks)
Tax on Landlords AND Tenants
Recently, Peoria city leaders have raised many of our taxes; several of these actions occurred in secret behind closed doors with no input from the affected people. One of these sneaky taxes is the triple (or at least double) taxation on landlords AND tenants.
In 2009, the city assessed landlords a $50 tax per year per rental property. If the landlord attended the annual landlord seminar sponsored by the city, this tax was cut in half. This was a minor annoyance, but not all that bad – YET!
Now, in 2016, the capricious powers that be have arbitrarily tripled the rental property tax to $150 (if you go to the seminar, it is halved to $75) PLUS an additional annual tax of $20 on each and every rental apartment located on that property. There is no reduction of the individual apartment tax whether one attends the seminar or not. These taxes are in addition to regular property taxes everyone pays on their property.
Many landlords will pass these egregious taxes on to the people who are most likely to be least able to afford any more expenses; namely the tenants! With several large prominent businesses in the region either cutting back, closing or just simply moving out of the area (Caterpillar, Macy’s, Kirlin’s, Mitsubishi, Hagel Steel) this is a very poor time to saddle the community with more punitive taxation.
Historically when something like this is enacted, it begins small and goes relatively unnoticed. Over time it grows and metastasizes like a cancer, eventually overwhelming the system it is parasitizing. An ideal example would be the 16th Amendment passed in 1913. At the time of enactment it only affected 1 percent of the people. Now the income tax virtually affects everyone! If enough people stand up and resist this governmentally sanctioned theft it is possible to get these things repealed; otherwise we should rename our country the USSSA (United Soviet Socialist States of America).
Dennis M. Kallvy, retired U.A.W. Local 974
What’s the process behind electing the President
There is a lot more involved in electing the President of the United States besides voting in the primary in March and the November election!
In the primary or caucus we are selecting the delegates to go to the National Political Party Convention partly by choosing our preferred candidates for President — at least in Illinois. Each state and political party determines its rules for the preferential primary/caucus and delegate selection. In Illinois, the presidential candidates and delegates file petitions and other paperwork with the State Board of Elections to be on the ballot.
These chosen delegates to National Political Party Conventions are supposed to select their party’s nominee and their party’s platform including goals and party principles. Nominee selection at the convention is done by a rolling vote of delegates by state. The outcome is usually known before the vote. (Most states adopted the primary election system after the 1968 Democratic Convention where Hubert Humphrey became the nominee after not participating in primaries.) Losing candidates sometimes “release” their delegates prior to the convention making the outcome more certain.
The November general election selects the most popular presidential candidate. After the winner in a state is determined, each governor makes a Certificate of Ascertainment that identifies the winner and the winner’s chosen electors for the Electoral College. Most states are “winner take all.”
The Electoral College is a process that elects the President and the Vice President of the United States. The candidate getting 270 votes in the Electoral College becomes our president. Electors (who are NOT members of Congress) are apportioned the same as the number of representatives + 2 senators — so Illinois gets 20 electors. The Electoral College does not meet as a body. Each state goes through a process including “Certificate of Vote” in mid December where the ballots are cast and results sent to Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, each State’s Secretary of State, etc. On Jan. 6, a joint session of Congress counts the votes with the president of the Senate presiding and announcing the results.
Presidential Inauguration (swearing in) happens in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20 or 21 and the new president’s family moves into the White House that day.
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the direct-popular-vote method for electing the President and Vice-President is essential to representative government.
League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria
The League of Women Voters upcoming general meeting on this topic is open to the public.
Topic: Electing the President – Delegate Petitions to Electoral College
Speaker: Allen Mayer
6 p.m. March 3, Advanced Medical Transport, 1718 Sterling Ave., Peoria