On Friday, Feb. 12, I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker at Eastland High School to kick off “Cystinosis Awareness Week.” Cystinosis is a rare genetic disorder that I have. The amino acid, cysteine, accumulates in the cells and destroys vital organs and muscles. I have an intermediate form of the disease, but a majority of individuals with the disease are young children. (See accompanying story on page 5)
The students at Eastland High School found out about my battle with cystinosis through my sister and my niece. My sister, Darcie Feltmeyer, is the Eastland Middle School principal. My niece, Logan Feltmeyer, is a junior at Eastland High School.
I am so impressed and elated that the students at Eastland High chose this tiny, rare disease to be the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts. There are only 500 people in the U.S. who have this disease, so it is difficult to raise funds for research. The students will be fundraising all
next week through raffles, “hat day,” pie-in-the-face contests, and a taco dinner on Thursday before the boys’ basketball game. All the money they raise will go to the Cystinosis Research Network (www.cystinosis.org).
I am so indebted to them for their efforts. This story shows the positive side of teenagers. Eastland is a small school with a big heart.
Vice President Education & Awareness
Cystinosis Research Network
Tea Party Town Hall
The “Reason for Revolution” Tea Party Town Hall is coming to your living room, your church or civic group, your Sunday school class. Twice every week we will have a Tea Party Town Hall “where you are” for just those people you invite or who participate in whatever groupto which you belong.
RockfordTea Party Coordinator David Hale will come to you to discuss the Reason for Revolution.
The “where you are” concept is about reaching into people’s lives “where they are” to truly move them to action. The “Reason for Revolution” Town Hall dates are being set up now for you to gather your friends, family, and neighbors to come to your home or the place you choose to discuss, wrestle with, or to speak about the Reasons for Revolution during this local Tea Party Town Hall in your place “where you are.”
This is not about politics, as it’s not about politics anymore. The Tea Party has preached to the Choir for the past year, and we’ve reached many locally. We’re 10 million strong across the nation. Yet we’re a nation of 300 million, and that means we have yet to convert this nation into a Tea Party Nation of Patriots.
It’s time that the Choir brings the message into the living rooms of your circles of family, friends and fellowships. It is time for an up close and personal Tea Party. Invite the Rockford Tea Party to your circle of influence so that the message can reach beyond the walls of the choir room.
All venues are welcome. Sunday School Classes, Church Groups, Small Groups, neighborhood gatherings, family and friends gatherings, Dinner Party’s, Luncheons, Civic Groups, Political Groups, Political Candidates, High School and College groups or clubs. We’ll meet you anywhere you are.
This unique message is about Revolution and the roles we are all playing in the current revolution and the role of faith in this and other revolutions. It’s a message unlike any you have heard. And you will only hear it “where you are.”
Contact David Hale Coordinator of the Rockford Tea Party at 779-348-5427 or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your event. We look forward to this Reason for Revolution Tea Party Town Hall where you are. This is an exciting opportunity to hear what revolution is really all about, why they happen, why they succeed or fail, and whether or not we are headed in that direction.
The primary election is finally over. The Democratic and Republican parties and their candidates spent millions of dollars trying to convince you, the Illinois voters, that they are the answer to the state’s numerous problems. The millions of special interest money spent managed to generate only a 20% voter turnout for the Illinois primary election. That means that 4 out of every 5 of Illinois voters chose not to buy what either party was trying to sell.
There were plenty of candidates for each of the major senatorial, congressional, and state office races. But the vast majority of you still did not get out and vote. The famous quote: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”, seems quite relevant. Maybe Illinois voters are getting smarter. We have all seen the Democrats and the Republicans take their turns at being the majority. And we have witnessed the scandals and corruption that have continued no matter which party has been in charge.
Fortunately in November you will have the opportunity to break free of the election stranglehold the Democrats and Republicans have had for so long. Both parties tried, but could not keep the Illinois Green Party off of November’s ballot. Their restrictive election laws legislation, their frivolous objections to valid petitions, and all of their other tricks failed to keep the Green Party statewide slate, Congressional and other candidates from the ballot.
It will be up to you, the 80% of voters who did not vote in the primary, to decide in what direction Illinois will go next. You can vote Republican, you can vote Democratic, or you can stay home again, and nothing will change. Or you can vote for Green Party candidates and send the message that Illinois deserves something better than what the “good old boys” keep offering its citizens. You will be the deciding vote. You can change the direction of Illinois’s future. Volunteer for Green Party candidates now. Vote for Green Party candidates in November.
I am writing to thank friends and family who helped me in the 71st District State Rep primary campaign. I am proud of the positive campaign of ideas and ideals on which we ran, and I am grateful to so many who helped me.
Campaigns are measured not just by winning and losing but by friendships strengthened, and new ones made, and by those measures our campaign was a winner.
From Labor Day to Groundhog Day, I traveled the district and knocked on doors to introduce myself. That experience, re-connecting with old and new friends, was the highlight of my campaign. Thanks to so many of you who remembered my parents, Dr. Don and Nancy McNeil, and my aunt, Janet (McNeil) Bracke, and a special thanks to my dad’s UTHS Class of 1947 for sharing high school memories of my dad with me. I am richer for all of you.
I ran to take the values from our house and your house to the Illinois House -- to promote ideas that will create a stronger economy and reform a state government in Springfield that needs new leadership. I want my kids – all kids – to succeed and thrive here. That’s why I introduced a five-point jobs plan during the campaign; and why I promoted government reform including performance auditing of every state agency to help rebuild our state’s fiscal foundation. Again, I congratulate Dennis Ahern on his victory and Jerry Lack on a race well run.
Campaigns -- good ones -- are about the future. When the late US Senator Ted Kennedy ended his 1980 campaign, he said: “There were hard hours on our journey, and often we sailed against the wind. But always we kept our rudder true, and there were so many of you who stayed the course and shared our hopes. You gave your help, but even more you gave your hearts. For those, whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.”
On behalf of my family, including Mary, James, Jack and Ellie, thanks, many thanks, for your friendship and support.
In the February 10, 2010 issue of The Prairie Advocate, on page 1 of Section 2, a photo feature appeared announcing the Chadwick Jr. High play, “Fairy Tale Courtroom.” Actually, the play already took place - last year!
With all the benefits of computers, email and other hi-tech inventions, the “gremlins” have managed to hole-up inside some of our systems. The photo truly was a fairy tale.
The Prairie Advocate apologizes for the error, with special consideration to Linda Kness at the Chadwick School, who fielded many phone calls and questions about the photo.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative 89th District
I write often about being the eternal optimist. I guess part of that comes from a wonderful mother who always told me that no matter how much it hurts, “It will be okay”. After seven years of serving as your State Representative and telling you often of the dark clouds of financial calamity hovering over our state, I can’t tell you, “It will be okay”.
On February 3rd, the day after the primary election, members of my own party agreed that we can no longer say that we are nearly bankrupt. We are way beyond that and it must be addressed. Let me share with you a few very telling numbers: When I first took office (the same time Governor Blagojevich was elected to his first term), our state budget totaled $52 billion. Today it’s $59 billion. Back then the budget was between $3 and $5 billion out of balance. Today it’s $11 to $13 billion out of balance. Back then our long term capital obligation was $7 billion. Today it’s $22 billion. This is not sustainable – its craziness and we continue to muddle on our merry way.
Many organized groups are calling and e-mailing demanding that we support House Bill 174, which is Governor Quinn’s proposed 50% income tax increase. Folks, don’t you see that passage of that tax increase would generate about $3.5 billion per year? Remember, our budget is $11 to $13 billion in the red with the state owing providers $6 billion and many of those bills are as much as six months overdue. This is nuts! When there’s no question that even a big increase in the state income tax won’t fix the problem, why is it not clear to everyone that spending absolutely must be cut? Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “To hope that someday, someone will fix the problem is to go on feeding the crocodile hoping he eats you last. But eat you he will.”
I tell you folks, it’s harder to do away with a state program that has already been instituted (like the free rides for seniors), than it is to kill off one of the mascots when two school districts consolidate…and I’ve seen both firsthand.
Speaking of school issues, if they involve you (and they do if you have kids or pay taxes), you better grab something solid and hang on. Last Thursday as I walked into our caucus meeting, I was handed a document titled “Current Status of Education Funding”. One of the bullet points states: “It is important that school districts plan for a lean budget in FY ‘11 and conserve as much of reserve funds as possible to weather the state’s budget crisis.” I would have to characterize that “as a tremendous grasp of the obvious”.
School districts always struggle for adequate funding. I had the privilege of serving for eight years on the Winnebago School Board from the mid ‘80’s to the mid ‘90’s. Those were better economic times and we still struggled. School boards and administrators please heed this: we are facing a crisis of epic proportions. As you look to your state payments to keep the busses rolling, mandated categorical reimbursement and general state aid, know it may be lean at best. Here is another quote from the document mentioned above: “The outlook for the FY ’11 education budget is of great concern. Because the Governor used one time federal stimulus money to partially fund the ongoing General State Aid program, the State Board of Education’s proposed budget for FY ’11 will need a $1 billion infusion to maintain FY ’10 levels.” Please tell me where that will come from.
As always, you can reach me, Sally or Barb at 815/232-0774 or e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also visit my website at www.jimsacia.com. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.