“Lift Up Our Businesses” Future Energy Jobs Act Town Hall Program

Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance

Illinois People’s Action/IPA

Heart of Illinois Group Sierra Club

For Immediate Release


WHAT:     “Lift Up Our Businesses”   Future Energy Jobs Act Town Hall Program

WHEN:  Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 6:15 p.m.

WHERE:  The Carver Center, 710 W. Percy Baker Jr. Ave., Peoria

This free public event features speakers who developed a new business or are part

expanded businesses in solar energy.  Shannon Fulton, Straight Up Solar, will

discuss how she organized her company and has grown her employment.  Kirsten

Sheets, who is a solar specialist with Ruyle, Peoria, will discuss  her work has grown.

Dr. Desmoulin-Kherat, Peoria Public Schools, will comment on the importance to

our young people of education and new training opportunities for finding satisfying

work and having opportunities in our community for apprenticeships.

Six solar energy vendors will have displays regarding home and business solar and other

options for solar energy.

The program is free and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be available.

CONTACT:  Tracy Fox, Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance  309-369-5331

                  Dawn Dannenbring, Illinois People’s Action   309-531-4433

Letter of support for Martha Ross, PPS Board

This letter is in support of Martha Ross, the current president of Peoria Public School District.  We feel that Martha has earned our vote because she has been an ardent advocate for the children, parents and teachers in the district.  For the past 16 years some of her hard fought battles have been for the Parent/Teacher Advisory Committee, the Parent University, the Discipline Committee, Manuals Reconstruction Committee, in fact, Martha has served on every committee at one time or another.
Her neighborhood in the 61605, 61602, and some of 61603 should be quite aware of her community involement for the past 25 years.  She is president of her Goose Lake Neighborhood Association, she helped create the Southside Community United for Change and currently serves as their President, she assisted in writing the Hope VI Grant which is now River West, she served on a national committee in Washington, DC that developed the 211 number which anyone may call for help, and her attributes go on and on.
The fact is, Martha has not only been passionate about the Peoria Public School District, but also supportive of her neighberhood, community, and the entire City of Peoria.
Just a little trivia in closing:
Almost 70% of the children in our Peoria Public schools are minority.
Only about 8% of the teachers are minority.
Approxmately 60% of the teachers are non-residents.
Jackie & Gene Petty, Peoria

Adults Failed So Children Take Over Gun Debate

Following the massacre of 17 at a Florida high school last month, thousands of frustrated students across the country walked out of school for a 17-minute protest Wednesday morning. At Eureka High School, more than a dozen students emerged from the school to a round of applause from about 50 community members who had gathered outside to show support and advocate for gun reform.

Among those supporting the students was Junius Rodriguez, a candidate for the 18th Congressional District. Rodriquez said the second amendment to the Constitution will not be

repealed by reasonable reforms to gun regulation.

In Peoria, the Catholic Diocese issued a statement explaining why it prohibited students from participating in the nationwide student walkout. The statement read, in part: “Unfortunately, some of the sponsors of the National School Walkout advocate for positions that are contrary to the (Catholic) church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life in all of its stages.”

That statement is in reference to some in the Women’s March who support the universal right to reproductive choice including the right to abortion.

Contentious neighborhood meeting not best way to proceed with clean syringe exchange location for opioid addicts

Editor’s Note: The City of Peoria has indefinitely postponed the Saturday March 10 opening of the clean syringe exchange program at 1411 NE Adams Street. An official stated the building cannot be occupied until there is further clarification of the zoning use and the city has inspected the space for building and fire code compliance.


A textbook example of how NOT to open a clean syringe exchange program unfolded Wednesday evening at the GAR Hall on Hamilton Boulevard.

Detweiller Marina Neighborhood Association invited Jolt Foundation to a community conversation. Topic of discussion was recent publicity that Jolt was looking at a site in the neighborhood to open a syringe exchange program after having to withdraw from a location in the NAACP offices on MacArthur Highway due to neighborhood objections.

About 50 residents attended the GAR Hall meeting. Speaking on behalf of Jolt was a doctor living in Dunlap, a community educator living in Delavan and a retired radiologist. They sold the concept for more than an hour, vacillating between science, morality and marketing only to drop the bombshell: a lease had already been signed and the syringe exchange was opening in three days.

The home owners had never been consulted nor informed . . . despite past experience and past warnings from several city council members that building neighborhood consensus is critical.

This was clearly not a meeting to discuss, inform and build consensus. It was ramming a fait accompli down the throat of an already fragile, struggling neighborhood. Anyone who objected was dismissed on moral grounds – in at least one case with an insulting retort.

Everyone in the room that night recognized the need and wanted a clean syringe exchange program to succeed. But the process in this case was arrogant, disrespectful, condescending and dishonest. That does not bode well.

Jolt clearly has good intentions, born from the heartbreak of a mother losing her son to a drug overdose, but perhaps Jolt is not the right driver for this program, at least not at this stage.

Portia Adams: Civility More Than Politeness

For more information: Constance Romanus, 309-264-9113, cromanus1249@yahoo.com


DRINKS & DIALOGUE, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria

The League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria will present a program on Civility, at its Drinks & Dialogue series on Wed., March 21, at 5:30 pm at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria.

Portia Adams, Social Work Program Director and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology at Bradley University will guide the discussion.

Civility has been defined as “more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.”

— The Institute for Civility in Government – info@institute for civility.org

The event is free and open to the public. Social time is 5:00 PM-5:30. Refreshments are available for purchase.

Drinks & Dialogue is offered on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, starting at 5:30 pm and ending promptly at 6:30 pm, always at a local restaurant, to discuss local, state and national topics relating to approved LWV positions, aimed at “Making Democracy Work.”

NRA Money in Congress

Are you curious about what your senator, congressman or congresswoman has accepted in political contributions from the National Rifle Association, America’s leading advocate for irrational public policy on guns?

Thank Everytown for Gun Safety for this two-page ad in The New York Times. The ad includes a list:  “These Members of Congress Take NRA Money, But Refuse to Take Action to Pass Gun Safety Legislation.”




UICOMP grad gives keynote on diversity in medicine

From a press release:
WHAT: 13th Annual Celebration of Diversity and Leadership in Medicine & Exhibit kickoff with keynote speaker Dr. Patrice Carter Frederick
WHEN: March 7, 2018: Doors open at 6:00 PM. Program begins at 6:30 PM
WHERE: U of I College of Medicine Peoria, Room A100-1, 1 Illini Drive
The University of Illinois Library of the Health Sciences Peoria will host the national traveling exhibit “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons” over a five-week period beginning Wednesday, March 7.
 The exhibit celebrates the achievements of African American pioneers in academic surgery and
those who continue the tradition today.
 Kicking off the exhibition’s opening is the Celebration of Diversity & Leadership in Medicine.
Keynote speaker is Dr. Patrice Frederick, a practicing general surgeon and UICOMP 2004
graduate. While a medical student, Dr. Frederick led the effort to create the Manual Science
Enrichment Program, a series of interactive classes designed to encourage minorities and
students of low socioeconomic background at Manual Academy to gain more interest in science.
That program is now in its 15th year of existence. The keynote presentation will be followed by a
panel discussion. The celebration is sponsored by the UICOMP Urban Health Program.
The traveling exhibit is free for the public to view. Visitor parking at the College is $1.
WHAT: Opening Doors National Traveling Exhibit
WHEN: March 7 to April 11 (M-F from 9-5)
WHERE: U of I College of Medicine Peoria, 1 Illini Drive
Opening Doors was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine and the
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. Display of the
exhibit is coordinated by the UIC Library of the Health Sciences Peoria.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) educates nearly 240 medical
students and nearly 300 physician residents. The College of Medicine is home to the Cancer
Research Center, the Center for Outcomes Research, and a collaborator in Jump Simulation.

Raoul blasts prevailing anti-worker agenda in Springfield


State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, speaking at the Peoria Labor Temple on a recent campaign stop during his race for Illinois attorney general.



On a recent campaign stop at the Peoria Labor Temple, Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul, a candidate in the crowded race for Illinois Attorney General, said an anti-worker agenda prevails in the governor’s office and much of the state Legislature.

Raoul, D-Chicago, was flanked by labor union leaders and Sen. Dave Koehler who announced his support for Raoul in the race for attorney general, filling the spot after Lisa Madigan leaves the post. Koehler said he and others in the Legislature look to Raoul for sound analysis on labor issues.

Raoul introduced a bill to establish a “Workplace Protection Unit” in the attorney general’s office that would pursue businesses that break labor law.

Matt Bartolo, with Laborers Local 165, said his union took up the cause of about 20 nonunion workers on a recent hotel renovation project in Peoria who were victims of wage theft. In some cases, the workers had not been paid for months.

Raoul said the new unit would focus on prevailing minimum wage, employment classification and wage theft. He characterized opposition to the new unit as support of wage theft.

“We have a governor and legislators who turn a blind eye to this,” he said. “In some cases, these (labor law) violations are slow walked (through the review process). We need to make sure the attorney general can go after these rogue contractors.”

Raoul said Gov. Bruce Rauner campaigned on undermining worker rights, and his “Turnaround Agenda” was anti-labor.

In response to a question about a ban on military assault weapons, Raoul expressed support for a ban but said it must be in conjunction with more, tighter gun regulations. Most of the crime in Chicago and other cities is committed with handguns, he said. He also proposes more assistance for trauma recovery services, a ban on bump stocks and more mental health behavioral interventions.

He was once a juvenile prosecutor, and saw firsthand the need for help in dealing with mental disability.

“I am the only candidate talking about the attorney general’s ability to direct resources” to targeted areas where the need is most critical, he said.

Raoul has a strong record on environmental protection. He is proposing legislation that would assist people living near sites that pollute air and water quality, such as the silica sand mining operations in LaSalle County.

See Community Word, January 2018, “Silica sand – in the air, water, lungs and frac drills: http://thecommunityword.com/online/blog/2018/01/01/silica-sand-in-the-air-water-lungs-and-frac-drills/

In a report on WTTW Chicago Tonight, Raoul said his proposed bill would amend the state’s Administrative Review Law to ensure residents are able to challenge permits issued by state regulators, including the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Pollution Control Board. His legislation would give residents legal standing to sue over environmental concerns such as air pollution, contaminated groundwater, offensive odors and more.

Currently, only “affected parties” have standing in such cases meaning that permits can be challenged only by the agencies that issue them or the companies that receive them.

The report on WTTW Chicago Tonight quoted Raoul at an environmental forum for attorney general candidates hosted by the Sierra Club saying, “Polluters unfortunately sometimes take advantage of the most vulnerable, and those individuals don’t have a right to action to hold those polluters accountable.”

In response to a question at the Peoria press conference, Raoul said he is a strong supporter of the Freedom of Information Act and as attorney general would enforce it rigorously.

For more information on Raoul’s positions, go to his website at:





League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria Candidate Forum on Feb. 17, 2018

League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria Candidate Forum on Feb. 17, 2018

For more information: IRENE PRITZKER, 309-692-3550, ipritzker@comcast.net

The League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria is sponsoring a candidate forum for the local contested races in Tazewell County on March 20 Primary Election ballots.

The event takes place from 10 am to noon on Saturday, February 17, at Washington High School in the multipurpose room, 115 Bondurant Street, Washington.

Candidates expected to attend with the offices they seek include:

Tazewell County Clerk: John Ackerman, Brett Grimm and Shelly Hranka. Tazewell County Sheriff: Jeffery Lower and Michael Eeten. Tazewell County Coroner: Scott Price, Steve Bresnahan and Charles Hanley. All will be on the Republican ballot.

The event is free, and the public is invited to attend, to meet the candidates and submit questions to the moderator.

The League is a non-partisan, issues oriented, volunteer, member-directed organization committed to open, responsive and effective government brought about by informed, involved citizens with membership open to both men and women in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties. For more information, go to www.lwvgp.org.