Friday, July 29, 2011

DuPage Young Democrats attend 2011 Young Democrats of America Convention

By Zack Caroll

The DuPage Young Democrats, the newest affiliate of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, are attending the 2011 Young Democrats of America National Convention in Louisville, KY as Illinois Delegates. Generous support from outside donors helped pay for transportation and lodging costs, making the trip possible.

The annual convention is being attended by over 2,000 young Democrats from across the country and includes more than 50 training sessions and seminars, including how to fundraise, build a chapter, work with unions, connect with your base in your community, write a campaign budget, utilize social media and others.

The DuPage Young Democrats has enjoyed quite a successful debut on the DuPage political scene. We’ve connected with nearly 1,000 people on Facebook, hosted a successful kickoff BBQ, marched in parades and rocked the state Young Democrats convention. We have also inspired start-ups in surrounding suburban counties—Kane, Will and Lake—to join the Democratic youth scene.

I’ll be reporting daily from the Convention at the blog, So stay tuned! DYD has had an awesome start thus far, and we’re excited to improve after the Convention, to help mobilize young Democrats in DuPage, and to ultimately turn DuPage blue.

Zack Caroll is Co-Chair and a co-founder of DuPage Young Democrats. He graduated this year from Hinsdale Central High School and will be studying International Relations and Economics at American University in Washington D.C.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Detroit: The Long And Winding Road...To Recovery?

A fascinating look at the number 1 city in the nation for urban agriculture, and a story for the rest of us to watch.

It seems to me, and it has for a few years now, that Gary, Indiana could follow a somewhat similar model; turn to urban agriculture and local, organic produce to combat urban hunger and provide a supply for the Chicago organic food market. 

If Washington, DC can't get its act together in time, this could be a real asset to the entire region in terms of expertise. However, with our growing season, it wouldn't be much help until next year.

All the best,

Dan Stafford

Precinct Representative, York 112
Volunteer IT Support, DuPage Democrats

Celebrate getting To the Top in 2012 at our free picnic Saturday, August 20

Isn't it time for a FREE EVENT where you can bring your family, hang out with folks who share your politics and just breathe for a moment? Let’s get together and enjoy the summer that, while hot this year, will end all too soon.

Please join us for our 2nd Annual Visibility and Networking picnic on Saturday, August 20, in front of the Democratic Headquarters in Lombard, from noon until four p.m.

We already have over 65 people coming so this promises to be even bigger than last year. We'd love to see you there and we'd love it even more if you would register here: to make sure we have ordered enough food for everyone.

Watch your email blasts for updates along the way. If you don't already get our blasts sign up here

Big thanks to our neighbors at Brauerhouse (, purveyors of great food and music, who have agreed to pitch in. Sponsoring this fun event is a great way to advertise your business while doing something important for DuPage—getting out our progressive message. If you’d like to become a sponsor, just call 630-629-1125 or email us at

REGISTER today at

See you there!

Amy Rohrer

Executive Director

Democratic Party of DuPage

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One quick thing you can do in the budget fight: support MoveOn

In the last 24 hours things took a dramatic turn in the fight over whether we'll default on our debt.

Progressives organized over 800 rallies nationwide that generated a flood of pressure on Republicans. The president's speech led to so many people contacting Congress that the switchboard jammed. And Speaker Boehner is struggling to get enough votes to pass his terrible proposal through the Republican House.

Suddenly, there's a path to a deal that doesn't simply cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid to pay for tax breaks for the rich.

But the next 3 days are crucial, and we need to turn up the heat even further. We're planning an emergency rally on the Capitol steps tomorrow, recording new ads targeting swing Republicans, and keeping the pressure on Democrats so they stand strong.

But we can't do this without money. Every minute counts—which is why this email is short—and every dollar will help us do more. Can you chip in $5?

Yes, I can contribute to help keep up the fight.

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Justin, Elena, Robin, and the rest of the team

Join DuPage Democrats at the State Fair!

You're invited to a great big Democrat party—with Democrats from all over our great state! Save the date! Wednesday, August 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Governor Quinn will be throwing us a great party at the Illinois State Fair Governor's Day Democrat Rally. Let's show him our support! I have it on good authority there will be plenty of good food! If you've never been to a state fair, you'll be wowed. Click on the flyer to the left for more information.

Hope to see you there!
Brenna Conway
Associate Executive Director
Democratic Party of DuPage County

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Superman 2050 Adventure

...and an adventure it is.

The performance I attended was in Link's Hall at the corner of Sheffield and Clark in Wrigleyville. Have you ever tried parking in Wrigleyville?

Link's Hall is a classic old brick building in the middle of everything. It's was a sultry 95 degrees out, and people are walking, biking, driving, riding scooters and motorcycles, dining on sidewalk patios under party lights. It was lovely chaos in the streets, and I was extremely lucky to find side-lot parking for $5.00 per hour just two blocks away and ten minutes before show time.

Did I say Link's Hall was old? As in so old it was 85 degrees plus inside? I have to hand it to the performers, because this show is all pantomime dance!

That's right, eight people on a four-by-ten foot platform three feet up transport you right into a better world using only tights-clad bodies in motion and voice. The only prop was a single pair of glasses.

I was flatly and joyfully amazed. The energy and cleverness was superb. The contrast between stark stage setting and brilliant imagination was surreal.

The show is being done in partnership with the Midwest High-Speed Railroad Association ( MHSR Spokesperson Madelein opened and closed the performance, to great applause on both ends.

I saw the production taping of the show. It will be available on DVD through Theater Unspeakable soon. Superman 2050 is touring the Midwest exclusively via passenger rail, and has dates all over the region scheduled. There will also be a performance upcoming at Second City.

Hats off to Superman 2050 for promoting a better world through superior dance!

All the best,


Midwest High Speed Rail Association:

Link's Hall:

Theater Unspeakable:

(Theater Unspeakable on Twitter: )

Second City:

Monday, July 25, 2011

You can help DuPage Democrats protect the most vulnerable

This morning I read that Randy Ramey will head up the DuPage GOP since Dan Cronin has stepped down from that responsibility. If you know a little history of DuPage County you will remember Ramey’s stepfather, Pate Phillip, who once "ran" the County. Pate was a real "tea party" guy before that label was fashionable.

One thing I remember clearly from his tenure was senior citizens of the county complaining that increasing real estate taxes were making it difficult for them to continue to meet rising expenses on fixed incomes. Pate’s response to the seniors? He told them to move to another county. Can you imagine that? So much for listening to constituents about their issues and attempting to serve them well.

This type of mindset is prevalent now within the Republican Party. What we are fighting for is not just to win so Democrats can take over DuPage politics. The reason for winning is for the greater good of ensuring that the most vulnerable among us will be served with respect and dignity. With Republicans at the helm—nationally, statewide, or locally—our most vulnerable are at risk.

It has never been more important to energize our base and to get them mobilized in this effort. No job is too big or too small for a volunteer to take on during this time. We need you to come forward to help elect Democrats in 2012!

If you think you can help by using your talents and skills or just by doing the smallest chore, call me at Dem HQ at 630-629-1125 or drop me an email at

Best regards,

Cathy Sewell

First Vice-Chair

Democratic Party of DuPage County

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DPDC Recruits Precinct Representatives from Addison, Wayne Townships

By Catherine Sewell

We now have three new precinct representatives—two from Addison Township and one from Wayne Township--thanks to the hard work of phone banking volunteers.

The new Precinct Representatives were recruited at our July 8th meeting of phone bank volunteers and people they’ve contacted. Each week volunteers meet at headquarters to contact local Dems and talk one-to-one about electing Democrats in 2012. We then set up a monthly time to get together. These “meet and greet” sessions allow for personal interaction between the phone banking volunteers and those they’ve contacted. Each person contacted is offered the newsletter and more information about the DPDC. This connection spreads the word about our events and helps spur more much-needed volunteer involvement.

Don’t wait for the phone bank volunteers to call you! We need your help now in getting Dems elected in 2012! Remember the November elections in 2010 and realize what is at stake for our country. Call me at 630-629-1125 for details on how you can become a Precinct Representative, too.

Best wishes,


Catherine D. Sewell is First Vice-Chair, Democratic Party of DuPage County. She and her husband, John Sewell, have lived in Villa Park for 35 years. Their daughter, Margaret, lives in Elmhurst.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Redistricting Update!

By Brenna Conway

Guess what, DuPage Dems? It looks like Representative Franco Coladipietro won’t be running for re-election after all. He’s decided the job is too time-consuming, according to a recent Daily Herald article.
Had he decided to run, Coladipietro probably would have gotten through the primary unopposed, even though his new district ropes him right in with Rep. Randy Ramey. Representative Ramey has geared up to run against Senator Carole Pankau and doesn’t appear to be changing his plans even with news of Coladipietro dropping out.

What does this mean for DuPage Democrats? The new districts have really given us a great opportunity to elect Democrats at the state level. With Coladipietro out of the running, this is one more house seat we should work hard for! Bloomingdale Township, I hope you’re ready for a fight!

Want to know more? Here’s the Daily Herald article by Mike Riopell with the details: 

Brenna Conway is Associate Executive Director of the DPDC. She comes from a background in political organizing having worked on Governor Quinn's campaign in 2010 and on campaigns in Milwaukee.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vast Corporate Conspiracy to Mold State Legislation Unveiled

From: Move to Amend <>
Sent: July 14, 2011 12:23 PM
Subject: Vast Corporate Conspiracy to Mold State Legislation Unveiled

Move to Amend Header
"We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling
in Citizens United, and Move to Amend our Constitution."

Sign the Petition:
* * *
The Center for Media and Democracy (a Move to Amend founding partner) has obtained copies of more than
800 model bills approved by corporations through ALEC meetings, after one of the thousands of people with
access shared them, and a whistleblower provided a copy to the Center. They have analyzed and marked-up
those bills and made them available at  ALEC Exposed

About ALEC Exposed

An open letter from CMD's Executive Director, Lisa Graves
ALEC ExposedIn April 2011, some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. met behind closed doors
in Cincinnati about their wish lists for changing state laws.  This exchange was part
of a series of corporate meetings nurtured and fueled by the Koch Industries family
fortune and other corporate funding.

At an extravagant hotel gilded just before the Great Depression, corporate executives
from the tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, State Farm Insurance, and other corporations
were joined by their "task force" co-chairs -- all Republican state legislators -- to
approve “model” legislation. They jointly head task forces of what is called the “American
Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC).

There, as the Center for Media and Democracy has learned, these corporate-politician
committees secretly voted on bills to rewrite numerous state laws. According to the
documents we have posted to ALEC Exposed, corporations vote as equals with elected politicians on these bills.
These task forces target legal rules that reach into almost every area of American life: worker and consumer
rights, education, the rights of Americans injured or killed by corporations, taxes, health care, immigration, and
the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink.

The Center obtained copies of more than 800 model bills approved by companies through ALEC meetings, after
one of the thousands of people with access shared them, and a whistleblower provided a copy to the Center.
Those bills, which the Center has analyzed and marked-up, are now available at ALEC Exposed.

The bills that ALEC corporate leaders, companies and politicians voted on this spring now head to a luxury hotel
in New Orleans' French Quarter for ALEC’s national retreat on August 3rd. In New Orleans, Koch Industries --
through its chief lobbyist -- and lobbyists of other global companies are slated for a “joint board meeting” with a
rookery of Republican legislators who are on ALEC's public board. Before the bills are publicly introduced in state
legislatures by ALEC politicians or alumni in the governor’s offices, they will be cleansed of any reference to the
secret corporate voting or who really wrote them.

With CMD’s publication of the bills, the public can now pierce through some of the subterfuge about ALEC, and
see beyond the names of the bills to what the bills really do, alongside the names of corporations that lead or
have helped lead ALEC's agenda and accompanied by analysis to help decode the bills.

Many of the bills have obvious financial benefits for corporations but little or no direct benefit to the constituents
that a particular legislator was elected to represent. Still, it may be tempting to dismiss ALEC as merely
institutionalizing business as usual for lobbyists, except that ALEC’s tax-free donations are linked to it not spending
a substantial amount of time on lobbying to change the law. ALEC has publicly claimed its “unparalleled” success
in terms of the number of model bills introduced and enacted. But seeing the text of the bills helps reveal the
actual language of legal changes ALEC corporations desire, beyond what can be known by the PR in their titles.
ALEC says it has created a “unique” partnership between corporations and politicians. And it has.

It is a worrisome marriage of corporations and politicians, which seems to normalize a kind of corruption of the
legislative process -- of the democratic process--in a nation of free people where the government is supposed
to be of, by, and for the people, not the corporations.

The full sweep of the bills and their implications for America’s future, the corporate voting, and the extent of the
corporate subsidy of ALEC's legislation laundering all raise substantial questions. These questions should
concern all Americans. They go to the heart of the health of our democracy and the direction of our country.
When politicians -- no matter their party -- put corporate profits above the real needs of the people who elected
them, something has gone very awry.
As President Teddy Roosevelt observed in response to corporate money corrupting the democratic process a
century ago, "The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the
servant and not the master of the commonwealth . . . . The citizens of the United States must effectively control
the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being."
ALEC anointed the billionaire Koch Brothers as two of the first few recipients of its “Adam Smith Free Enterprise
Award.” Smith argued that self-interest promoted more good in society than those who intend to do good.
"Greed is good!" is how Oliver Stone translated this concept to fiction on screen.

On that score, perhaps, the award was apt, except that ALEC apparently ignores Smith’s caution that bills and
regulations from business must be viewed with the deepest skepticism. In his book, ''Wealth of Nations'', Smith
urged that any law proposed by businessmen “ought always to be listened to with great precaution . . . It comes
from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an
interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both
deceived and oppressed it."

One need not look far in the ALEC bills to find reasons to be deeply concerned and skeptical.Take a look for yourself.
--Lisa Graves, Director, Center for Media and Democracy
(and Move to Amend Executive Committee Member)

P.S. This weekend, on July 16 and 17, Americans in more than 1,500 cities, towns and neighborhoods will
host house meetings to share stories, shape a new Contract for the AmericanDream, and set our priorities
for how we can work together as a movement to fix our economy and rebuild the American Dream.

Move to Amend asks you to attend a meeting in your community, and invite others there to join our coalition.
Bring Move to Amend petitions with you
, and make the case for why Move to Amend's proposal to amend the
Constitution to abolish corporate personhood and make real the promise of American democracy needs to be
part of the "Contract for the American Dream." You can submit ideas for the new Contract here.

Move to Amend
P.O. Box 260217
Madison, WI 53726-0217
United States
End Corporate Rule. Legalize Democracy. Move to Amend.
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Are You Ready To Make A Difference In DuPage?

by Bob Peickert

What a time for Democrats in DuPage! The officers of the DPDC, members of the Central Committee, our township organizations and our many volunteers are engaged as never before. Here are just a few highlights:

• Our "Wake Up DuPage" mobilization effort is underway. Check out the website at

• DuPage Young Democrats are energized, active and on Facebook

• Our recent golf outing was our most successful ever thanks to the many individuals, labor unions and businesses that participated. Click here for photos of the event

• Candidate recruitment is in high gear after a great kick off event July 15.

Now is a great time to join us in turning DuPage Blue. Together, we can make the changes our county, state and country need. Become a precinct representative, run for elected office, volunteer for one of our committees, attend Camp Wellstone. And, of course, help fund our projects with a generous contribution. Opportunities exist to add more Democratic districts in DuPage. Buyers' remorse has set in now that the Washington Republicans have demonstrated their real objective - win in 2012 even at the expense of destroying our economy.

Click here and become a paid member of the Democratic Party of DuPage County. Your paid membership allows us to have a highly-functioning office, employ paid staff, develop materials for candidates and voters, recruit and train precinct representatives and candidates, and much more. Help us TODAY.

Bob Peickert is the Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County and originator of Operation Turn DuPage Blue, which he initiated after losing a state rep campaign by just 299.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Look to these sources for current opinion on the issues important to Democrats

by Brenna Conway

I was talking to a friend of mine this week-a good democrat, and she said to me, "Republican elected officials are tending towards anti-intellectualism. They are purposefully disregarding the facts.” Her comment was flattering to Democrats but I won't pretend it wasn't biased.

There is a broader question here: where do we get our information? No one should shy away from arguments of fact and reason, least of all our elected officials. So how do we prevent debate based in a disregard of facts? 

The only defense is a well-informed electorate. Here are a few places I go to for information that informs my Democratic opinion.

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog, hosted by the New York Times. He looks at politics from a statistical perspective, predicting who might win elections and how votes on specific bills will play out. You don't learn as much about the issues from him so much as what is going on and the major players. It's about the big picture of politics.

Capitol Fax blog has a similar effect at the local level. This blog by Rich Miller offers plenty of information about the issues facing our state government, but the real triumph of the site is how it keeps you informed about the process and motives behind the decisions our state officials are making.

There are also many great resources for keeping up with the progressive point of view. My favorite is Chicago's Progressive Talk Radio:

But never forget, keeping up with the news is the most important tool we have. As Democrats we care about our community. We always want to know what's going on in our backyard.

Brenna Conway is Associate Executive Director of the DPDC. She comes from a background in political organizing having worked on Governor Quinn's campaign in 2010 and on campaigns in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HELP TURN A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU BLUE; Become a Precinct Representative Now

By Catherine Sewell

There is a simple, but powerful way for you to help elect Democrats in 2012. Join us by becoming a Precinct Representative.

Thanks to redistricting, DuPage Democrats have an unprecedented opportunity to win seats in places we have never won before. Our work is more critical now than ever and volunteers are stepping up and making it happen in DuPage County by helping to recruit Precinct Representatives, also known as Precinct Committeemen.

Precinct representatives talk to their neighbors about the issues and why we need to elect Democrats in 2012. You’re probably already the go-to source in your neighborhood for info on the issues. Make it official by becoming a PR. The need is great, especially in some districts.

In just two months, we’ll be busy collecting petition signatures needed to elect PRs so your commitment now is critical. Democrats now have more of a chance than ever to shape the future of DuPage County! Become someone who can make a difference in 2012 by becoming a PR in DuPage County.

Call me at 630-629-1125 to learn more about how you can help by becoming a PR.

Catherine D. Sewell is First Vice-Chair, Democratic Party of DuPage County. She and her husband, John Sewell, have lived in Villa Park for 35 years. Their daughter, Margaret, lives in Elmhurst.

Monday, July 11, 2011

NOW’S THE TIME TO RUN FOR OFFICE IN DUPAGE: Potential Candidate Event, Friday July 15th

By Amy Rohrer

There’s never been a better time for Democrats to run for office in DuPage than right now. Democratic gains in the county, building for years, have lead to a climate that makes winning in DuPage very realistic for Democratic candidates. The support is there and if you’re considering a run for office in 2012, you’ll want to plan on attending our Potential Candidate Wine and Cheese event this Friday, July 15 at 7 p.m. at the DuPage County Democrats headquarters at 1000 Rohlwing Rd (unit 7 facing North Ave), Lombard. Contact us at for more information.

DuPage was once one of the most reliably red counties in the country. Since 2006, though, changes in demographics, migration from the city, and reaction to deceitful and destructive Republican leadership have combined with improved technology, enthusiasm and Democratic leadership have seen the county evolve.

In the 2008 primary, 24,000 more Democrats than Republicans turned out to vote. In 2008, DuPage voters elected the first Democratic members of the county board since Watergate while also helping put Barack Obama in office. Recent redistricting created a new Illinois house district, carved right into the middle of DuPage, in an area that is deeply Democratic in its leaning. We also have Congressional districts that come into DuPage and are likely to be or stay blue.

For the first time, we are positioned to change DuPage for years to come. Be a part of this historic time by running for office in 2012.

Amy Rohrer, Executive Director of the DPDC, has been involved in DuPage politics for the last 10 years and was named one of the 100 people to watch in DuPage in 2003. A founder of Operation Turn DuPage Blue in 2007, she also appeared on PBS "NOW" in 2008 and has been a major contributor to the blue-ing of DuPage county.