Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WINDPOWER 2013 - Chicago


This weekend, May 5-8, McCormick Place.

Hosted by AWEA, (American Wind Energy Association, www.awea.org ) this is the premier wind energy expo for North America.

The Hotel Rwanda Story in DuPage. May 15

Please join Representative Kathy Willis, the Women and Minorities Outreach Committee and Addison Township Democratic Organization in welcoming Paul Rusesabagina!

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Paul Rusesabagina will be here in DuPage on Wednesday May 15 for a fundraiser for his foundation. Mr. Rusesabagina is the hotelier played by Don Cheadle in the movie “Hotel Rwanda". Paul is known for his humanitarian work in hiding 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. He was the assistant manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines when he sheltered Tutsis and Hutus and prevented them from being slaughtered.

Sign up now to meet and hear Paul during his only visit to DuPage.

Wednesday, May 15
7:00 PM
King’s Hall Banquets
1000 N. Rohlwing Rd. (Rte 53)
Lombard, IL
(one light north of North Ave. on west side)

Ticket prices
$500 – Event Sponsor
$250 – Host Sponsor
$100 - Major Sponsor
$45 – Individual Ticket

Make your check out to:
Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation
P.O. Box 11001
Chicago, IL 60611-1001
Bring a check to the event after calling in your reservation – Call the DPDC office at 630-629-1125.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cullerton Town Hall 4/30 at 6:30 pm

SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak
Senator Thomas Cullerton is holding a Town Hall meeting Tuesday evening to discuss all the pressing issues we face today.   You will have the opportunity to ask him questions as well.  So, mark your calendar 4/30, answer your phone 6:30 pm and become part of Senator Cullerton Town Hall Meeting.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Congressman Foster Reflects on Busy first Quarter of 2013

It’s been a busy three months for Bill Foster.

The representative for the recently redrawn 11th U.S. Congressional District has a constituency that stretches from North Aurora to New Lenox, Shorewood to Woodridge. Its border cuts a jagged diagonal across Naperville, the southwest half of which also lies in the 11th.
Bill Foster

 Read more

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Elected Officials – Where Can I Voice My Opinion?

Elected Officials – Where Can I Voice My Opinion?
and, a tid-bit of the weeks news
SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak
Last week we started featuring the blog and info picked from websites of our Democratic Officials. Our first feature was-The Duckworth Diary. It featured Congresswoman Duckworth’s weekly message.  Although there will be a link attached, I thought It would be helpful to list an address or link to reach all Elected Officials if you have any concerns you’d like to share with them. Also, please go to our DuPage Democratic ELECTED OFFICIALS page here

Governor Quinn
        SPRINGFIELD                   CHICAGO
        Office of the Governor            Office of the Governor
        207 State House                     James R. Thompson Center
        Springfield, IL 62706               10
0 W. Randolph, 16-100
        Phone: 217-782-0244              Chicago, IL 60601
        TTY: 888-261-3336                  Phone: 312-814-2121 
State Senators and State Representatives
If you need to contact your Illinois Elected Official -The Illinois General Assembly Website link is : http://ilga.gov 
It will give you a list of both Senate and House Members.
United States Senate
Durbin, Richard J. – (D-IL)
Class II
United States House of Representatives (DuPage County)
www.house.gov/representatives   W=Washington L=Local
District         Name                Party        Phone                        
5            Quigley, Mike             D        W-202-225-4061        http://quigley.house.gov/
8            Duckworth, Tammy     D        W-202-225-3711       http://duckworth.house.gov/contact/offices
              Foster, Bill                D        W-202-225-3515        http://foster.house.gov/contact
11                                                     L-630-585-7672
Click on any of the links and open.
Let’s get caught up on some community news.
Democrats on State Pension Plan...
How suburban state Senate Democrats could sway pension argument “As the debate over the state's escalating pension costs burned hot last month, the Illinois Senate took to the floor to debate two competing plans to address the problem. Lawmakers had strong opinions on each, and a middle ground was — and is — hard to find. The stakes are high because the retirement future of thousands of teachers and retirees depends on what Illinois officials decide to do. When it came time to vote, suburban Senate Democrats largely stuck together. Their numbers in Springfield have never been bigger, and the pension plan they liked was approved and sent to the House.
They’re on the Move..
After 45 years in Bartlett, a school that serves special needs students is moving to Wheaton. The Bartlett Learning Center's Clare Woods Academy plans to complete its transition by the end of July and open in time for the next school year, said principal John Utterback. Its graduation in June will be the last in its current location at 801 W. Bartlett Road. The school will be moving into the former St. John's Lutheran School at Seminary Avenue and Main Street in Wheaton. "We're excited about the downtown (Wheaton) location, we're excited to be near Wheaton College, and we see this as an opportunity to engage the community vocationally and to become a part of Wheaton," he said.
DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioners Consider Pay Cut...
Now that state lawmakers have refused to get involved, DuPage County Forest Preserve District commissioners are taking it upon themselves to seek a pay cut. How far they go to reduce their own salaries and benefits remains to be seen. Commissioner Shannon Burns is suggesting the six commissioners cut their annual salaries from $53,500 to $50,079, which is the same amount DuPage County Board members receive. "Our salaries and benefits should be equal (to county board members) because the work we do is equal," Burns said.
Just What Is A Paul Sjordal Newsletter and How Can I Get It?
Often you read information I have picked from a weekly newsletter by Paul Sjordal. I’ll let Paul describe it to you...
started this 7-days-a-week (now 5-days-a- week, Tuesday thru Saturday as of June, 2012) News on September 22, 2008 to help candidates keep up to date on media coverage. The News emphasis is local, but I include city, state, national and international political news when it is of high quality or something you aren't likely to run across or know about. For your privacy, I send my News via blind copy so no one else will see your address. I encourage you to forward it to family and friends and I welcome new email addresses if  you know of someone who wants to receive it. I also welcome links that you want to share.  psjordal@yahoo.com   Thank you, Paul

Friday, April 26, 2013

Participate in Congressman Mike Quigley's Spending Survey


Would you like to help Congressman Quigley craft legislation that cuts the RIGHT things instead of the ones you believe our country and state strong and growing? Please take the survey he is offering 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Number of Americans engaging in political discourse on social networking sites on the rise: Pew | The Raw Story


Governor Quinn's Monthly Newsletter: April 2013

Monthly Newsletter of the Office of the Governor (IL)
Please do not reply to this email. To contact us, click here.

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Governor's Monthly Newsletter: April 2013

This electronic newsletter is an opportunity for you to learn more about what we've accomplished in Illinois government, and how you can get involved. Whether it's volunteering in a Serve Illinois volunteer project, receiving state services, or learning about new laws and programs, I want to ensure that you know what's happening in your government.
If you have ideas for improving any State service, program, or this very newsletter, please click here and let us know.

Pat Quinn

Featured Articles

Governor Quinn Declares 44 Counties State Disaster Areas and Requests FEMA Assistance

Governor Pat Quinn declared 44 counties state disaster areas after surveying flood damage in several Illinois communities caused by days of severe storms and heavy rainfall. This disaster declaration will accelerate and expand access to state emergency resources as well as allow the state to formally pursue federal relief and support. On April 22, the governor asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with damage assessments in several Illinois counties devastated by flooding and severe storms. The assessments, which will begin on April 29, will provide the documentation necessary to support a request for federal assistance.
Counties included in the governor's declaration include: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.
Flood safety information and real-time updates, can be found at Ready.Illinois.gov and traffic updates at GettingAroundIllinois.com/gai.htm.
On April 23, Governor Quinn announced that Illinois businesses and individuals who file monthly, quarterly or annual returns and have been impacted by the flooding will have until Oct. 31 to file tax returns that were due on or after April 19. The extended deadline will provide much-needed relief for individuals and local businesses trying to file their returns or payments on time while recovering from the flood.
Taxpayers who opt to mail their deferred returns and payments should write Flood – April 2013 on the outside of the envelope in red ink and on the top of each page of the tax filing, so the account can be updated and handled appropriately. Filers using My Tax Illinois or WebFile will be provided instructions when they file their returns so that no late fees or penalties will be billed to their accounts. For questions, the Illinois Department of Revenue has set up a mailbox dedicated to the flood issue: REV.FloodApr2013@illinois.gov.

Governor Quinn's Trade Mission to Mexico

Governor Pat Quinn led a trade mission to Mexico April 3 - 6 to spur economic and tourism opportunities between Illinois and Mexico. With Illinois already leading the Midwest in exports, this mission built on the success of Governor Quinn's agenda to aggressively pursue international trade and create jobs in Illinois. He is Illinois' first governor to visit Mexico in 13 years, and only the fourth U.S. governor to visit Mexico since 2005.
The three-day mission included meetings with potential trade partners and Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, an Illinois Tourism event and the signing of a Sister Lakes pact. The Mexico trade mission is the latest by Governor Quinn as he seeks to promote Illinois to a global audience. Past missions include China and Japan in 2011, and Canada and Brazil in 2012.
Prior to his trade mission, on April 2, Governor Quinn released an inter-agency report detailing the efforts of his New Americans Initiative to welcome everyone in Illinois. In 2012, the Office of New Americans grew the number of Welcoming Centers from two to five (North Riverside, Melrose Park, Chicago's Northwest Side, Chicago's Southwest Side and Aurora), and another will open soon in Chicago's Southeast Side. Since 2010, the Office of New Americans boosted the number of service providers from 11 to 25 state agencies, and made more information available online and in multiple languages. To aid the growing numbers of immigrants who live outside of the Chicago area, the Governor's Office used a Welcoming Center "Mobile Unit."
In the upcoming year, Governor Quinn plans to open a new Illinois Welcoming Center in Chicago's Southeast Side, and implement a statewide "Language Access Policy" to ensure meaningful access to newcomers with limited English language proficiency. To read the complete report about Governor Quinn's Office of New Americans or learn about available services, visit immigrants.illinois.gov.

Six-Year, $12.62 Billion Transportation Construction Program

On April 17, Governor Quinn unveiled the six-year, $12.62 billion construction program that will improve roads and bridges throughout Illinois while making major investments in public transportation. The projects are part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward, while updating the state's transportation system. The upcoming highway, public transit, rail and airport projects will address critical infrastructure needs while making major transportation improvements throughout the state.
The multi-year transportation program builds upon the success of Governor Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. It is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation. Prior to its passage by the Illinois General Assembly in 2009, Illinois had gone nearly a decade without a major program to address its critical infrastructure needs.
More information on the construction program may be found at http://www.dot.il.gov/opp/hip1419/hwyimprov.htm.

Grundfos' New North American Headquarters in Downers Grove

On April 16, as part of his agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward, Governor Pat Quinn was joined by Grundfos officials to break ground on the global water pump manufacturer's new North American headquarters in Downers Grove, Illinois. Denmark-based Grundfos, the world's largest water pump producer, will create 40 new jobs at the headquarters over the next several years. The Illinois Clean Water Initiative – which was launched by Governor Quinn in 2012 to overhaul the state's water infrastructure – was cited by the company as a key reason why they chose Illinois.

Kankakee Clean Water Project to Create 600 Construction Jobs

On April 15, Governor Pat Quinn announced a $21.5 million investment for a major upgrade of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency (KRMA) wastewater treatment plant, which will create more than 600 construction jobs in the area. This announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to drive Illinois' economy forward, and protect the environment by modernizing Illinois' water infrastructure. Funded by a low-interest loan through Governor Quinn's $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative (ICWI), the project will help prevent pollutants from entering the Kankakee River and meet the clean water needs of 70,000 people.

Cyber Challenge

On April 1, Governor Pat Quinn was joined by the Cyber Aces Foundation to announce the Illinois Governor's Cyber Challenge, a statewide competition that will fill mission-critical jobs in the emerging cybersecurity workforce. The Cyber Challenge is designed to provide a pathway of learning and workforce training for Veterans and students.
To ensure Veterans know of this opportunity, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will use its IllinoisJobLink.com system to contact more than 20,000 Veterans. The site is our state's help-wanted job board that helps employers identify new hires, and ensures that business owners are aware of available state and federal tax incentives, as well as other programs designed to help grow our economy.

Property Tax Relief Law

On April 23, Governor Pat Quinn signed DB 1894, which will reduce property tax bills for seniors across Illinois. Sponsored by Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) and Representative John Bradley (D-Marion), SB 1894 increases the Senior Homestead Exemption – property tax breaks for Illinois residents age 65 and older – from $4,000 to $5,000. Seniors in the city of Chicago will have the increase applied to their taxable year 2012 taxes, due in 2013. All other counties will benefit from the increase beginning next year.
In addition, this bill raises the general homestead exemption for Cook County starting next year. Originally phased-in over three years, Cook County's Alternative General Homestead Exemption was designed to limit yearly increases and assessments on residential property. Cook County currently has a seven percent exemption cap, while the rest of the state maintains a flat exemption rate of $6,000. The new law moves Cook County to a flat exemption rate of $7,000 beginning taxable year 2012.

Record $184 Million Year for Illinois Film Industry

On April 12, Governor Pat Quinn visited the Chicago set of the new blockbuster science fiction movie "Divergent" to announce that Illinois' film industry generated a record $184 million in spending in 2012, resulting in more than 2,200 full-time equivalent jobs. This announcement is part of the governor's commitment to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward. Governor Quinn signed a 10-year extension of the Illinois Film Tax Credit in 2011, which has paved the way for more productions in Illinois.

Galva National Guard Armory Renovation

On April 4, Governor Pat Quinn announced more than $1.4 million for the renovation of key infrastructure systems at the Galva National Guard Armory in Henry County. This federally-funded project is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs, drive Illinois' economy forward and maintain the National Guard's readiness.

Electronic Recycling Grants

On April 13, Governor Pat Quinn celebrated Earth Month by awarding nearly $100,000 in grants to 49 counties across Illinois to build awareness of electronics recycling programs. This announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
The counties receiving the first grants for electronic waste recycling promotion are: Adams, Alexander, Boone, Carroll, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Knox, Lake, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Madison, Massac, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Montgomery, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Rock Island, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Warren, Washington, White (shared with Saline and Gallatin), Will, Williamson and Woodford.

EPA Used Tire Program

On April 22, Governor Pat Quinn made an Earth Day announcement today that 19 Illinois Counties were selected for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Used Tire Program. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to provide and maintain a healthy environment for the benefit of current and future generations.
The 19 counties include: Carroll, Coles, Cook, Jackson, Jefferson, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, McHenry, Montgomery, Morgan, Peoria, Pike, Shelby, St. Clair, Whiteside and Winnebago.
The Illinois EPA's Used Tire Program began in 1990 and is funded by a $2.50 per tire user fee that consumers pay when purchasing tires at retail. The Used Tire Program helps properly dispose of tires at a registered, commercial used tire processing facility in Illinois. Some tires are retreaded and reused, and others are recycled into a variety of products and beneficial uses. Most are shredded into a high-energy fuel supplement known as tire-derived fuel, and are burned in power plants, industrial boilers or cement kilns for energy recovery. Illinois is recognized as a national leader in the management of used and waste tires. For more information, visit epa.state.il.us/land/tires.

Illinois Military Family Relief Fund

On April 14, Governor Pat Quinn marked the 10-year anniversary of the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund (IMFRF) by encouraging everyone in Illinois to take advantage of the voluntary tax check-off that helps military families who are struggling financially during deployment. Though the tax filing deadline has now past, donations to the fund can still be made by visiting OperationHomefront.org. Checks can be made payable to the Illinois Military Family Relief and mailed to: The Illinois Department of Military Affairs, ATTN: IMFRF, 1301 N. MacArthur Boulevard, Springfield, Illinois 62702-2399.

$115 Million Grant for Health Insurance Marketplace

On April 8, Governor Pat Quinn announced that Illinois has been awarded a $115.8 million federal grant under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to fund the development of the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. This funding is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Illinois, and ensure that all people have access to quality health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) award will be used to help enroll Illinois residents, starting on Oct. 1, in private, federally-subsidized insurance plans offered through the Marketplace.

Governor Quinn Addresses "Going Home" Rally

On April 10, Governor Quinn addressed the "Going Home" rally, hosted by several disability advocacy groups, and emphasized his commitment to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities and mental challenges in Illinois. As part of his agenda to ensure all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, Governor Quinn launched his Rebalancing Initiative in 2011 to increase community care, and reduce the number of outdated, expensive institutions.
In the last several years, the governor has closed two State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs), and increased community care options in Illinois, which are proven to provide a higher quality, more independent lifestyle, according to numerous studies. A third institution - the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center - is slated for closure later this year.

IHDA Receives $1M to Create Community-based Supportive Housing

A new $1 million grant from the Weinberg Foundation of Maryland will help the State of Illinois build on efforts to ensure that more low-income people with disabilities can live independently in deeply-affordable, community-based rental housing. Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will apply the funding and lower rents for people with special needs for up to 10 units in existing developments for up to 30 years. IHDA is reviewing its portfolio of rental properties to determine where the Weinberg Foundation grant will have the most immediate impact. Tenants will be chosen through the State Referral Network.

"National Work Zone Awareness Week" Kick-off

On April 16, in preparation for the 2013 construction season, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP), the Illinois Tollway and key highway safety partners kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week, an awareness campaign to get people to slow down and pay close attention to safety while driving in work zones. This is part of an ongoing effort to reduce traffic related fatalities and serious injuries on Illinois roadways.

Copyright © 2013 State of Illinois

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Story 2...And a Little Bit of News
SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak
April 25, 2013
Racial Profiling has become a very hot topic across our country.  I read this story of the next woman, Kadiatou Diallo, a West African immigrant, a hard working mother of four children who moved to the United States to fight for justice for her 23 year old son, Amadou, whom she believed was killed due to Racial Profiling.
In September 1996, her oldest son, Amadou came to the United States in hopes to find work and attend college. Kadiatou did not know that this would be the last time she would she her son alive. In February 1999, in the hallway of his New York City apartment, an unarmed Amadou was killed by 4 police officers who mistook his wallet for a gun. The four officers were acquitted of their purported "mistake". When asked about the outcome of the trial, Kadiatou responded “As a mother, I believe that life is precious. It is so precious that I find it difficult to understand that word “mistake.”
Kadiatou stayed in New York City and established the Amadou Diallo Foundation (click on and open link to find out more information on this foundation) to help college students from Africa to attain higher education. This Foundation helps students of African decent in both the United States and Africa.
Kadiatou joined by two other mothers whose sons were killed by the police. Iris Baez, a Puerto Rican Mother, her son Anthony was killed in-an-illegal choke hold and Gidon Busch, a Hasidic Jew, whose son, Gary was shot and killed outside his Brooklyn home. (to read more click on and open link- a Puerto Rican woman named Iris Baez and Gidon Busch, a Hasidic Jew  -) These three powerful woman who came together under the worst of situations formed a diverse grassroots coalition. 
In 2002, Women In Islam, honoring the legacy of Dr. Betty Shabazz, presented Kadiatou Diallo, with the first Dr. Betty Shabazz Recognition Award. This award recognizes women, of all backgrounds and faiths, who show unwavering and courageous dedication to helping others.
I obtained some facts from Moyers & Co., at   http://womeninislam.org/shabazz/shabazzawards.html
Little Bit of News.
Unfortunately many Chicago area residents have been affected and still are by the recent flooding. This may be another format of information to use...

Chicago Flooding: Live blog updates: All rivers in the Chicago area are near or at flood stage. The worst flooding appears to be in Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Naperville, Lemont and Algonquin.
Downtown Naperville getting back to business after flood
Lisle mayor: 'Mother Nature can show her mean side'
Thank you to Paul Sjordal for allowing me to pick items from his newsletter. You can contact Paul at psjordal@yahoo.com 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pledge to support striking Chicago workers! | SumOfUs


CEO pay: Cash, stock awards, perks add up to big pay packages - Network World


Mothers that turned into activists Part 1

Part 1
SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak
I am the mother of one son. Although, he is a grown adult, I would do anything for him. Also, I helped raise my nephew. He, too, is a grown adult, and serves in the Army, deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and now in South Korea. I would do anything for him as well. A mother's love is indescribable.
I will be featuring the mothers fighting a cause. They are fighting for many different types of causes. Each of these mothers has experienced issues of many varieties that had an impact on their life.
There are many woman who become true activists for this cause. A good friend of mine brought this topic to light for me. Thank you, Karen. Upon researching this, I was amazed at how many mothers have fought for a cause that became a success story. I hope you find this as interesting and amazing as I did. Who knows maybe you may see a little of yourself in one of these women or, men, a little bit of your wife, sister or mother.
I think the Newtown Shooting was for me, as a mother, one of the darkest days, in US history.  By no means am I taking away from the loss mothers of other slain victims have experienced. But, we send our children to school, feeling they are in a safe haven, then in a split second they are in danger and these mothers had no ability to protect their babies.
The mothers in Newtown Connecticut have formed an activist group on gun control. If  you would like to read about them you can link on to  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America can be found online here or www.momsdemandaction.org.
Their statement that - If this Congress will not protect our children and families, we will find one that will.  For the mothers of America, this is not the end. It is just the beginning: learn more

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day: 6 More Green Facts for a Healthier DuPage;


Quick tips on how to make a Green Difference

We hope you have tried to adopt at least one or two of the tips we offered over the last month to make our county and nation a little greener. If you have, we would LOVE to hear about your successes in the comments below!

Here's Quick Review that includes some we have mentioned before and a few new ones! IF you look through the list and find you do most of these already, go back to the ones we offered on March 3rd and 17 and uplevel your repertoire or challenge a child or parent to add one to their routine!

According to the WORLD WILDLIFE FUND

1) An average tree absorbs one TON of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. PLANT A TREE!

2) In North America, fruits and vegetables travel an average of 1,500 miles before they reach your plate. TRY TO BUY LOCAL AND FRESH!

3) In the US, paper bills alone generate almost 2 million tons of CO(2). SWITCH TO EBILLS

4) The average US office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year. PRINT ON BOTH SIDES.

5) You can make effective, non-toxic cleaning products from baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice or soap. CLEAN NATURALLY.

6) Screensavers DO NOT use less energy. USE SLEEP MODE AND POWER DOWN AT THE END OF THE DAY!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Women voting? What next-dogs running for Congress?


SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak

“In 2012, 9 of the 17 Democratic officials we elected in DuPage County were women."
Us (Yep, we did that!)


We have several claimants to being the first woman to vote under the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

South St. Paul, MN August 27: When word came on August 26, 1920, that the 19th Amendment had been signed into law, South St. Paul quickly scheduled a special election the next morning on a water bond bill, and at 5:30 a.m., eighty women voted.

Hannibal, Missouri, August 31:On August 31, 1920, five days after the 19th amendment was signed into law. At 7 a.m., despite pouring rain, Mrs. Marie Ruoff Byrum, wife of Morris Byrum and daughter-in-law of Democratic committeeman Lacy Byrum, cast her ballot in the first ward. She thus became the first woman to vote in the state of Missouri and the first woman to vote in the United States under the 19th, or Suffrage, Amendment. At 7:01 a.m. in the second ward of Hannibal, Mrs. Walker Harrison cast the second known vote by a woman under the 19th amendment.

About.com Women’s History...(Tab) Women’s Rights

Record Number of Women in Congress in 2013 in Both House, Senate

With 20% of Senate Female, 113th Congress Shatters Previous Totals for Women:
updated November 30, 2012
The 113th Congress is one for the record books with more women than ever holding seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, the nation's preeminent institution for the study of women's participation at all levels of government, compiled the following figures.
In terms of sheer numbers alone, women will have a significant impact on Congress in 2013 with a total of 98 women holding seats in the House and Senate. Both legislative bodies are seeing more women than in previous years with record high numbers: 78 women in the House (58 Democrats, 20 Republicans) and 20 in the Senate (16D, 4R). The 2012 election, which proved the power of the women's vote, not only returned female incumbents but also brought a record number of female newcomers to Congress -- 24 of them (20D, 4 R), making it the largest class of female newcomers since 1992. Nearly a quarter of the women serving in the 113th Congress are freshmen.

From Linda Lowen, former About.com Guide

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women - Forbes
FORBES named their top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. 

7 of the Most Powerful Women are Democrats presently or previously serving our government:
Hillary Clinton, Former Secretary of State, #2;
Michelle Obama, First Lady, #7;
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, #9;
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of House of Representative, #28;
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary Dept. of Health & Human Services, #31;
Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner-Food & Drug Administration, #61;
and, Mary Schapiro, Chair-Securities & Exchange Commission, #65.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Duckworth Diary but first, the weather...

Every now and then we will be featuring blogs and info picked from the websites of our Democratic officials who now proudly represent DuPage county.

Our first installment is from Congresswoman Duckworth's weekly message:

The Duckworth Diary is a weekly note from Congresswoman Duckworth that updates constituents on her work in Congress. It will include recent meetings, important votes, and other information designed to make our office more transparent and accessible to the people of the 8th district. Check back each Friday for the latest news! http://duckworth.house.gov/media-center/duckworth-diary
Dear Neighbors of the 8th District,

Our district has been hit hard by severe flooding over the past couple days. Storms may be continuing today in some areas. Please visit the Ready Illinois website for the latest flood updates and additional severe weather warnings.

I’m working closely with other local and federal officials to ensure that 8th District residents have the resources they need to recover from the floods and repair any damage. If you have any flood-related questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are ready to help in any way we can.

In other news, each year, Congress sponsors an art competition to showcase talented high school artists from around our nation. The deadline for this year’s competition is NEXT WEEK, Friday, April 26. If you know any 8th District high school students with a talent for art, please encourage them to apply! More information about the art competition is available here.

I spent the weekend in the district, and held a Congress at Your Corner event at the Gail Borden Public Library. While at the library, I also stopped by Elgin’s Center for Economic Progress tax help site to learn about the tax resources they provide for Elgin families.

Back in Washington, I had two important hearings for the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform this week. The first was on reforms to put the Post Office on sounder financial footing. At the second, I questioned a defense contractor about improper billing practices. I’m very concerned about waste in defense contracting and on Monday, I voted yes on the Contracting and Tax Accountability Act, which would prevent companies with seriously delinquent tax debt from winning government contracts.

Finally, a few highlights from my meetings this week: I spoke with Holly Petraeus, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs, about protecting our service members from harmful or illegal financial practices. I had a meeting about Illinois Small Business Development Centers, which provide advice and resources for small businesses. Finally, I had two great meetings about ways to improve commuting options for 8th district residents, with the Association for Commuter Transportation and with Illinois township officials.


Congresswoman Duckworth

Friday, April 19, 2013


..Part One

SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak

“The future is not a gift, it's an achievement.” ~Robert Kennedy

I thought I would research facts about Women in Politics and Government. These facts I found to be interesting – I thought you might too. The quote by Robert Kennedy is a perfect fit for today’s subject.

Votes for women were first seriously proposed in the United States in July, 1848, at the Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. One woman who attended that convention was Charlotte Woodward. She was nineteen at the time. In 1920, when women finally won the vote throughout the nation, Charlotte Woodward was the only participant in the 1848 Convention who was still alive to be able to vote, though she was apparently too ill to actually cast a ballot.

According to the 1928 article, Women Must Learn to Play the Game as Men Do, by Eleanor Roosevelt, women need more voice in public life to achieve real political equality with men.

In December 1935 the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) was organized, with Mary McLeod Bethune as the first president. Bethune was a leading member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Black Cabinet," a group of African American leaders who lobbied for political reforms."National Council of Negro Women . http://www.encyclopedia.com/article-1G2-3444700915/national-council-negro-women.html

In 1924, Wells-Barnett failed in a bid to win election as president of the National Association of Colored Women, defeated by Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1930, she failed in a bid to be elected to the Illinois State Senate as an independent.

In a special election on 12 January 1932 Hattie Caraway of Arkansas became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, when voters chose her to fill out the remaining year of her late husband's term. Having first filled the seat by appointment of the Arkansas governor after her husband's death in 1931, Caraway was elected to a full term in the Senate in November 1932 and continued to serve there through 1945./first woman elected to the United States Senate; first woman elected to a full 6-year term in the United States Senate; first woman to preside over the Senate (May 9, 1932); first woman to chair a Senate Committee (Committee on Enrolled Bills, 1933); first woman in Congress to co-sponsor the Equal Rights Amendment (1943)By Jone Johnson Lewis, About.com Guide

On 13 April 1933 Ruth B. Owen became the first female foreign minister from the United States when President Roosevelt appointed her minister to Denmark. Ruth Bryan Owen Rohde born (public official, diplomat, writer; first ... to represent the United States to a foreign country - minister to Denmark, 1933;)

Florence Ellinwood Allen was a pioneer woman judge, even being considered for the US Supreme Court in the 1930s.

Today my Quote to remember is from the newsletter by Paul Sjordal. If you want to contact Paul you can do so at psjordal@yahoo.com, Thank you, Paul.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sandy's Lighthouse

SANDY’S LIGHTHOUSE Edition | by Sandy Gresak
 "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." ~Martin Luther King Jr
The perfect piece after an awesome quote
Is there anyone who doesn't love to hate Joe Walsh, the Ex Eighth District Congressman and next Chairman of the Illinois GOP? Count in the Illinois Review -- where Walsh recently posted an Internet Top Ten List. Walsh listed eight simple steps that will save Illinois: (A week ago, I had his eight simpleton steps, but this blogger has added two very prescient ones.)
One of our own...A Hero From Bolingbrook
Doctor from Bolingbrook was on front line of Boston bombing “At times amid the screams and the crying and the blood at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Dr. Jocelyn Hirschman said she felt sick at seeing the horror unfolding before her eyes, but she continued to bandage and give fluids to the wounded and tried to comfort them and their families. “I felt that it was a such a tragedy to see what was happening to people,” she said Tuesday.
WOW...what do you think?
Plainfield School District 202 will pay Naperville-based Edward Hospital about $750,000 over the next three years rather than in one lump sum through an agreement negotiated in response to a change in state tax law. The District 202 Board of Education approved the agreement at its regular meeting on Monday. Last summer, the Illinois General Assembly approved a new law that allows non-profit hospitals to be exempt from local property taxes if they can show that they have done charitable work equal to or more than the property taxes they would otherwise owe. Further, the law allowed hospitals to claim property tax refunds for the three years prior to the law’s passage.
Websites of Interest
This past Monday we had a gentleman come into our office looking for direction on a personal matter he believed was being effected by decisions made at the county level. Unsure what we could do, I decided to search for information that can be on hand for the future. Unsure if this fit his situation, I thought I’d pass on to you. Maybe it may be helpful to you.
Citizen Action/Illinois
Citizen Action/Illinois & The Progressive Action Project
  • Advocating for progressive values and a progressive agenda in Springfield and Washington, DC
  • Organizing and building coalitions that are committed to social justice and economic fairness
  • Reaching out into communities and educating the public about issues and candidates
  • Registering people to vote and encouraging them to participate in the political process
Citizen Action/Illinois is not only the largest consumer watchdog group in Illinois, but also one of the most effective vehicles for progressive political involvement in our state. Citizen Action/Illinois: leading the way in the fight for our civil rights, progressive values and our future.
Citizens Utility Board (CUB)
In 1983, The Illinois General Assembly created CUB. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents the interests of residential utility customers in Illinois.
CUB carry's out their mission by intervening in ratemaking procedures before the ICC. Illinois Commerce Commission. For more information on CUB, go to their website www.citizensutilityboard.org or Contact Information; 309 W. Washington St., Ste. 800, Chicago, IL 60606 / P: (312) 263-4282 (800) 669-5556
As always, Thank you to Paul Sjordal for allowing me to use articles from his newsletter. if you would like to contact Paul you can do so at: psjordal@yahoo.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hump Day Action : One way to rein in Wall Street.

CREDO action
Tell Rep. Foster: Tax Wall Street
The petition to Representative Bill Foster reads:
"I urge you to co-sponsor the Inclusive Prosperity Act, which would impose a small sales tax on financial transactions. It would raise hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax revenue to fund vital government services, and help to rein in reckless Wall Street speculation."
Automatically add your name:

Sign the petition ►
"…a financial transactions tax is an idea whose time has come." –Paul Krugman
Dear Democratic Party,
When Wall Street greed crashed our economy, it blew a hole in the budget. Government revenue plummeted just as demand for services increased.
And today, even as most of us continue to deal with the fallout of the economic collapse, Wall Street firms continue to be ultra profitable thanks in part to sophisticated systems they use to buy and sell huge volumes of financial securities very rapidly.
While these systems can make Wall Street gamblers rich, the excess financial speculation also distorts the market and can cause more severe fluctuations in the price of securities.
Enough is enough. We can rein in the reckless Wall Street speculation and raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year in government revenue by imposing a small tax on financial transactions.
And this week, Congressman Keith Ellison will introduce a bill called the Inclusive Prosperity Act that would do just that.
Tell your member of Congress, Bill Foster: Co-sponsor the Inclusive Prosperity Act to tax Wall Street.
We are joining our friends at National Nurses United and Progressive Democrats of America in supporting Congressman Ellison's bill, which would impose a 0.5 percent sales tax on stocks and smaller amounts on the trades of bonds, derivatives and other financial instruments.
Brokers carrying out the trades would be charged the tax, unless carried out directly by investors. Households with adjusted gross incomes under $75,000 would be exempted.
The result would be hundreds of billions of dollars annually in government revenue to pay for things like education, health care and economic stimulus to get more Americans back to work.
Not only that, the financial transaction tax would help rein in Wall Street's risky behavior by discouraging speculative, high-frequency trading.

Tell your member of Congress, Bill Foster: Tax Wall Street. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
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