Friday, November 29, 2013

Everything you wanted to know about Marriage Equality but were afraid to ask!


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Remember...Save tomorrow's cooking oil!!

November Recycling Event – Fryer Oil to Biodiesel Fuel


Mark your calendar - November 30th – Do Not Toss out Your Cooking Oil

Did you know that cooking oils can be converted into biodiesel fuels? The week of Thanksgiving -  GREEN GREASE ENVIRONMENTAL with SCARCE will be introducing a new program in 11 communities – including Carol Stream, Elmhurst, Glendale Heights and Wheaton. On Saturday November 30th the included communities will have a drop site for you to leave your used cooking oils for recycling.  A small locked dumpster style unit will be at the drop site with one of their employees to accept and dump the used oil for you. Upon completion of this event Green Grease will suck out the oils and the dumpster will be picked up.  This is the first year for this event. Their hopes are to educate residents on FOG (Fats-oils-grease) and then expand this into the communities.  Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel produced from any oil or fat. Here are a few facts on cooking oils and the emissions associated with diesel fuel and heating oil.

For every gallon of waste cooking oil we collect, you will be decreasing the emissions associated with diesel fuel and heating oil emissions.
  • 26% less Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • 39% less Particulate Matter (PM)
  • 100% offset in Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
There is no sulfur content in vegetable oil (A major carcinogen in diesel fuel.
Vegetable oil emissions are less harmful to the environment and less toxic to people.

For more on Green Grease Environmental:   To check for your village go to  or contact your Village Hall.

6 VITAL Holiday Tips for Maintaining Sanity

1. Realize that relationships are a mirror of where you are in your consciousness.  The higher you grow in your wisdom, the more people reflect back something beautiful.

2. Use a new tool like “expressing boundaries” or any other personal growth tools carefully. Well expressed boundaries are presented with courage, clarity, conviction and compassion.

3. Prepare yourself in advance of holiday events by going through the steps of forgiveness.  If you harbor resentment from the past for someone you'll be visiting, chances are they will get the message loud and clear...and will not hesitate to return the ‘favor.’ Randy Ferguson's on tool of the month, Releasing Resentment...perfect for the holidays.

4. Try not to be overly sensitive.  When we get upset, there’s usually an old sore spot in us getting triggered.  This tender area will be specific words that reactivate hurt from the past...words like failure, not good enough, stupid, not worth loving, disappointment, etc.  Now this sounds odd, but if you can truly allow those sore spots to be there...if you can allow yourself to be have “flaws” and laugh at them, those old sore spots lose their power in a big way.  Then when Uncle Ernie asks why you can’t keep a relationship, you can smile and say, “’s because I’m a total social misfit.  Please pass the potatoes.”   
5. Focus on what’s good about everyone and let them know.  There’s something special about every single person on the planet if you look for it.  When you can see beneath peoples’ hurt and dysfunction...when you can see that part of them that yearns to love and be loved, you move into a place of mastery in your communications.

6.  Feel gratitude when you see that you are surrounded by abundance and ridiculously blessed with opportunities.  Laugh hard from the belly and have the best holiday season of your life. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Executive Director Amy Rohrer on WCPT with Norman Goldman this Wednesday 11/27 at 530 pm

Listen to an interview this Wednesday with Amy Rohrer on the NORMAN GOLDMAN show and plan to join Norman and Amy at the Holiday Party by getting your tickets today here:

After purchasing your ticket, you can also attend a free private members-only reception 
by becoming a Gold member of 
our growing tribe of  powerful change makers in DuPage Here:

Catch WCPT here:

Replace the Flat Tax in Illinois NOW

States use two income tax models—a “flat” tax and a “fair” tax. Under a flat tax, the same tax rate applies to everyone, regardless of his or her income. Under a fair tax, taxpayers with lower incomes pay lower rates and taxpayers with higher incomes pay higher rates. The Illinois Constitution mandates that Illinois have a flat income tax.
A Better Illinois is a growing coalition of over 100 organizations that are working together to amend the Illinois Constitution to permit a fair income tax.
Illinois’s flat tax is an outlier when you look at the rest of the country. Of the 43 states with individual income taxes, 34 have a fair tax and only 9 have a flat tax. Even fewer—just 3—are mandated to have a flat tax by their state constitution. READ MORE

Thanks to Ken Kuchar for alerting us to this post on his Facebook account. If you haven't yet, please become our DuPage Dems friend on Facebook today!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday's Simple Solutions for Stress-Free Living: Moving Forward part 2

Part 2 of an article from LIVEBOLDANDBLOOM.COM  by guest writer Akshay Nanavati

6. Write a journal

Every time you find yourself stuck or facing a life challenge, write down your thoughts in a journal. This allows you to get out of your head and separate yourself from the impact of the experience. It brings the conscious brain into play while reducing the effects of the unconscious, emotional brain.

7. Exercise

When Richard Branson was asked about his secret to productivity, his response was working out. For at least three days a week, do some sort of exercise. This has been shown to improve habits in all areas of your life and improve your overall self-confidence. It will also give you the energy to overcome the life challenges you might be facing.

8. Get out in nature

Psychologist Marc Berman has shown that interacting with nature improves the quality of a person’s life and their brain functioning as well. Every day, or at least once a week if you live in a big city, get out in nature and spend some time in the serenity of the great outdoors.

9. Celebrate your summits

Write down a list of all your successes you have achieved in your life. Every single one. Try to reach at least 50. Moving forward, any time you experience a win, stop and celebrate it. This will drive your brain to keep taking the actions that led to the pleasurable emotion.

10. Seek out new summits

Similar to a bucket list, write down a list of all the summits you wish to reach in the rest of your life. This gives you something to focus on. It gives you a reason to push through any struggle that might come up in your journey. Bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, Jack Canfield has found that those who set goals and write them down are far more likely to succeed than those that don’t.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Free Private Reception with National Radio Host Norman Goldman

Start celebrating the holidays in style with a free 

private happy hour with Norman Goldman national 

progressive radio host. Please follow these simple 

steps to make the reception list.

STEP ONE: Purchase a Ticket for the Holiday Party here 
STEP TWO: Become a DPDC member at $100 level or above here
STEP THREE: Show up at 6 pm at Kings Hall on the 6th of December and we will  have your name on the A-List to be our guest for a private, all expenses paid happy hour with WCPT and national radio personality Norman Goldman 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


We're keeping track!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Roskam's November 16th Women's Forum: the real agenda

         Posted by Walt Zlotow ,  November 16, 2013 at 06:13 AM
Only Patriot Tea served at this women's forum
Only Patriot Tea served at this women's forum

My Congressman Peter Roskam held his first "Women's Forum" November 16 at the Prairie Landing Golf Club in West Chicago. Checking the agenda, it does not appear Congressman Roskam is truly representing his quite dreadful record on women's issues during his four Congressional terms in his effort to connect with his female constituents. In the interests of Truth In Advertising, here was my suggested alternate agenda for this event:

Panel 1: Why I voted 43 times to prevent 20 million women from getting decent, affordable health care insurance

Panel 2: Violence against Women Act? I voted NO because it doesn't personally affect me or my Tea Party base

Panel 3: Support job creation for women? No dice: that would only help the President

Panel 4: Undocumented women: Pack your bags and get lost. No path to citizenship for you. It's a gignatic border fence and nothing more

Panel 5: Gay women subject ot job discrimination? Speaker Boehner said that doesn't exist. Fageddabout ENDA

Panel 6: Why you should have your rapist's baby

I suspect that the Congressman will turn down my alternative agenda. If he actually used it I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall when the fireworks start.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday's Simple Solutions for Stress-Free Living; Keep Moving Forward Part 1

A guest post by Akshay Nanavati
Have you ever experienced challenges in your life — those times when you felt lost and had no idea how to keep moving forward?
Perhaps it was in a relationship or a business or maybe even a life and death situation.
How would you like to develop a mindset that could help you overcome any life challenge that comes your way?
The reality is that at some point in life, we all go through struggle. But we get to choose how we respond to it. We have the power to build an unstoppable mindset. Any successful person alive today is a testament to that infinite capacity of the human potential.
Like any other muscle in our body though, the ability to overcome challenges needs to be worked out. This ability is in fact the most important muscle to build, because it gives you the confidence to face any challenge life throws your way.
These 20 methods will help you change your mindset about adversity and meet life challenges so you can push through any walls that are blocking you from living your passion.

1. Seek out adversity

Struggle builds character. Often the moments in our life we are most proud of are the ones where we overcame adversity to accomplish something worthwhile. Do something that pushes you to your limits and beyond. Nothing will make you feel more unstoppable than revealing to yourself that you are capable of far more than you ever imagined.

2. Build a team

Success is a team sport. No one does it alone, so don’t try and be the first person in the world to do so. Find friends or family to work together with to drive your life forward. Get in a mastermind group or get an accountability buddy that you check in with every single day to monitor your progress.

3. Focus on the positive

We are all conditioned with what psychologists call “The Negativity Bias.” Unfortunately our brain has a natural inclination to focus on threats and dangers, even perceived ones we create. To destroy this evolutionary construct, throughout your day focus on what is positive and right about the world around you. Find reasons to appreciate everything around you.

4. Label your emotion

The neuroscientist Dr. Matthew Lieberman has shown that the simple act of labeling our emotions reduces activity in the emotional brain and increases activity in the areas of the brain associated with focus and awareness. The next time you are stuck in an emotional pattern that isn’t serving you, label the emotion to separate yourself from the experience. This will allow you to then consciously choose a new one.

5. Choose new stories

We all tell ourselves stories about who we are, how the world works and what people are like. More often than not, as a result of the negativity bias at play, those stories are dis-empowering. Even when the economy is bad, many people are still making money. So you can choose to believe the story that the economy is bad, or you can write a new story that the world is ripe for the picking. If we are going to tell stories, we might as well tell ones that empower us. 
For more life-affirming posts like this one, subscribe to

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wonderful article remembering Gene Birmingham

New Ground

November-December 2013

Remembering Gene Birmingham

by Bob Roman

Those of you who receive the email editions of New Ground know that
Gene Birmingham passed away on October 2 of 2013. We had a brief  note
about it in New Ground 150.2. When I attempted to write about Gene for
that issue, I wrote one lame paragraph then quickly realized  that
everything I knew about him was in fragments that really did not make a
narrative. The only thing for it was to bring Gene back on  stage to
speak for himself. I could do that because he wrote for New Ground now
and then. You'll find titles and links to his articles at

Now, more than a month later, I'm giving it a second try. Writing about
Gene hasn't gotten easier.

Gene was a retired minister from the United Church of Christ, having
been the pastor at West Chicago's St. Michael's Church until the end of
the 1990s. He hadn't begun his calling in that denomination; he spoke of
his education at Wheaton College as something he had recovered  from.
The only obvious personal manifestation of his profession seemed to be a
talent for listening and a knack for catching green lights in  traffic.
He also had an interest in the intersection between politics and
religion: How the values and sentiments of religion find expression  in
public policy.

Just what led him to DSA, I don't recall. He joined sometime in 1990.
In September of 1993, he became treasurer of Chicago DSA, elected at a
special election to fill an unexpected vacancy. He finished the term but
then spent the next few years concentrating on Chicago DSA's West
Suburban (DuPage, Will, and Kane counties) branch. In 1996, he was back
on the Chicago DSA Executive Committee, this time as secretary.  He
remained secretary until 2011.

His service on the Executive Committee would have been a great gift
even if Gene had only been the diligent and accurate scribe of meeting
minutes that he was. But he also served as the master of ceremonies for
some of our Debs ­ Thomas ­ Harrington Dinners. He did it well and  did
it graciously. Gene was also skilled in office administration. This may
not sound like much, but mailings seemed to magically  self-assemble
with his assistance.

Gene had other political affiliations besides DSA. He was for many
years a Democratic precinct captain in Addison Township. Outside of
Cook County, fyi, precinct captain is an elected position. He was active
in the West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition. As retired  clergy, he
remained active with his denomination, substituting at services during
vacations, presiding over an occasional wedding, and  helping with other
tasks. Just a few months ago, he was proud to have presided at a "gay"
wedding. They asked for him specifically.

As a former Southsider, he was a big White Sox fan. He was also a big
fan of Bruce Springsteen. In fact, I don't believe I'll ever hear a
Springsteen cut again without thinking of Gene Birmingham. Pardon me
while I go and spin some vinyl.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

We're going public with this list: New DPDC Latino/a Caucus

DID YOU KNOW....That DuPage is forming several important caucuses of the Women and Minority Outreach Committee and that one is the Latino Caucus headed by a vibrant DPDC Newcomer, Elizabeth Gonzales. If you'd like to get involved, please send an email to with "Latino/a Caucus" in the subject line.  READ ON!

Organizing for ActionIt's really not complicated: The House could pass comprehensive immigration reform today if it simply held a vote.

That's why, starting today, OFA is going public with a list of the lawmakers we believe are the key to getting comprehensive immigration reform passed.

It starts with House leadership, who -- even though the votes are there -- are still standing in the way. One leader, Rep. Paul Ryan, is on the record saying there will be a vote soon. Now, it's up to OFA volunteers to keep the pressure on in every way we know how.

Even if you aren't represented by one of these key lawmakers, we all have a role to play in making sure we pass this historic legislation.

Add your name to call on Speaker John Boehner and House leaders to hold a vote on immigration reform.

With every day that goes by without fixing our broken immigration system, we're missing the opportunity to create thousands of jobs, reduce the deficit by an estimated $800 billion, and strengthen the middle class.

The Senate passed a comprehensive reform bill this summer. All signs indicate that reform could pass the House if John Boehner would just hold a vote.

OFA's role is to put pressure on the lawmakers who hold the key to making sure a vote is held. That's why we're naming names -- and it starts today with House leadership.

You can help today by calling on House leaders to hold a vote:



Pedro Morillas
Immigration Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

The other side will spend millions to maintain the status quo. We're fighting for change -- chip in $5 or more to support OFA today.

Paid for by Organizing for Action
Contributions or gifts to Organizing for Action are not tax deductible.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Affordable College Idea Catches Fire

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "RootsAction Team" <>
Date: Nov 13, 2013 12:02 PM
Subject: Affordable College Idea Catches Fire
To: <>

GRAPHIC: Roots Action logo header

Make huge student debt a thing of the past.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button

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A new way to "pay it forward" and make higher education much more affordable is beginning to catch on.

When we first asked you to contact your state legislators, this plan was being developed only in Oregon. Now legislators have introduced or announced bills in MD, MA, NJ, OH, PA, VT, WA, and the U.S. Congress.

Click here to see how "pay it forward" works and to tell your state legislators about it.

Long-term declines in state higher education funding and more recent severe budget cuts are pushing college out of reach for middle class and low-income students. Students and their families are forced to choose to either take on massive debt or shelve plans to attend college. 

A new plan called "Pay It Forward" recently passed in Oregon. Under Pay It Forward students would attend college with no upfront tuition. Instead, students would contribute a small, fixed-percentage of their income -- about 3 or 4 percent -- for a set number of years after college -- between 10 and 25 depending on where they attend school. Contributions would be placed back into the state's education fund and enable the next class of students to receive the same education free from massive, life-crippling student loans.

Click here to propose this model to your state legislature.

Leaders from across the country are considering action on Pay It Forward -- but they need to know there's a movement of support behind it.

Email your state legislators and let them know you support Pay It Forward and expanded funding for public higher education.

And please forward this email widely to like-minded friends, students, teachers, parents, and neighbors.

-- The team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

P.P.S. This work is only possible with your financial support. Please donate.

Economic Opportunity Institute
One-Page PDF on How it Works
Katrina vanden Heuvel: An Oregon Trail to End Student Debt

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