Thursday, March 22, 2007


Statewide convention for college Democrats March 30 - April 1 at Northern Illinois at DeKalb

Just got an email from the Northern Illinois University Democrats who are hosting an annual convention for Illinois College Democrats this year from March 30th through April 1st.

Here's a link to more information and a draft itinerary.

Convention Schedule

Friday 3/30
7pm- Early Registration
10pm- Social Event

Saturday 3/31

s Life 100
11-11:45- Welcome from IFCD and CDA-Campus Life 100
12-1pm- Speaker-IL State Senator Don Harmon-Altgeld Auditorium
2pm- Workshops- Fundraising-HSC 306, Running for Congress-HSC 406
3pm-The State of the “Union”-HSC 306, Campaign Training-HSC 406
4:15pm-Candidate Forum Altgeld
5pm-Keynote Speaker- Alexi Giannoulias (tentative)- Altgeld Auditorium
6pm-Caucus Meetings-HSC 306, 406, 506
7pm-Executive Forum/IFCD Candidate speeches-Campus Life 100
10pm-Social Event

Sunday 4/1

10-12am- Brunch/IFCD Executive Elections-Holmes Student Center Skyroom
12:30-1pm- Honorary Awards Ceremony (Alpha Phi Alpha and NAACP)-Skyroom
1pm- Keynote Speaker- Linda Chapa LaVia- Altgeld Auditorium-Skyroom

Our annual convention will take place at Northern Illinois University from Friday March 30th to Sunday April 1st. We are still planning the convention's programming, but look forward to exciting speakers and workshops, as well as our executive board elections. Registration is $15. Rooms for are available for $60 a night in the Holmes Student Center. You may register for the convention by going to the CDA website and donating $15 to CDA. Please type in Illinois Federation of College Democrats in the space designated for occupation. This way CDA will know that those funds are for us. The money raised will be used to pay for the cost of rooms and the meals that will be provided. The $15 does not include the hotel cost. You may click on the links below to do so. You may should use the second link to send the registration fee.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


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Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Accolades for Blagojevich Preschool plan

The American Prospect lauds Governor Blagojevich's Universal preschool plan:
Preschool has shown some truly remarkable benefits for the poorest children, greatly reducing grade repetition and diverting many of the developmentally delayed from the special ed track to the mainstream within just a couple years. That gets into a cost-benefit as well, since the special education curriculum is far more costly than the standard classes, and holding kids back requires a whole extra year of spending. Add in enhanced occupational freedom for mothers who don't have to watch their kids during the day and you've got a pretty solid progressive policy plank.
read about it here

Children born into extreme poverty have a much better chance of succeeding in school if they receive a structured, high-quality preschool education.

"This research shows we can reduce the numbers of kids falling behind and dropping out of school. These are real numbers that tell us what a difference we could make, right here in our state, if every child started school having had the benefit of preschool. "Simply put, preschool works."

(cross-posted at


Illinois gets national attention for progressive accomplishments!

The American Prospect and TPM Cafe blogger, union activist and Progressive Populist columnist Nathan Newman focus on the progressive legislation Governor Blagojevich has signed into law the last few years. Its actually quite impressive and worth national attention. We should be proud of our elected officials. Illinois is leading the way!

here are some of the highlights (from Newman's column)

This is just an examples of how Illinois has been quietly emerging as a national font of progressive ideas and legislation. Folks wonder what the progressive agenda should look like, but what's been enacted in Illinois in recent years should give you pretty good guidance. From labor rights to health care, the state has been chartering out new innovations.

To give just a few other examples:

  • A new health care program for children was enacted that extended coverage for 250,000 previously uninsured children of working and middle class parents.
  • To protect patient care and ease the burden on overworked nurses, the state banned mandatory overtime for nurses in the state.
  • The state raised the minimum wage to $6.50 per hour a few years ago.
  • Victims of sexual or domestic violence were guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid leave to recover.
  • "Sexual orientation" was added to the state civil rights law, protecting gays and lesbians from employment discrimination.
  • Corporate accountability was increased through a whisteblower law that protects employees from firing or other retaliation if they disclose information to law enforcement agencies about potentially illegal activity by the company..
  • Limited english speakers were protected in their rights to talk in Spanish or other languages to fellow workers under an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act to combat abusive "English-only" rules in the workplace.
  • Illinois passed legislation to crack down on abusive and unsafe working conditions in the day labor industry, improving the lives of 300,000 day laborers in the state.
  • Protected union rights by providing unemployment insurance benefits when companies unilaterally lock out workers during a contract dispute.
  • Blagojevich signed an executive order helping day care workers unionize, leading to unionization and better working conditions for 49,000 child care workers in the state.

(cross-posted at

Friday, February 10, 2006


March 29th is our next Capitol mixer

Wednesday, March 29th is the next day to come to Springfield during the day, check out the House and Senate in session (, and then at night, go to Floyd's Thirst Parlor downtown to mix it up with other young Dems from around the state.

Please -- spread the word!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Springfield / Capitol event tonight

Tonight (Wednesday) we're having our legislative mixer for college Democrats and friends from around the state. It's at Floyd's Thirst Bar. There is no cover. Everyone is welcome.

And if you're new to state governing, here is the page for the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee. They are meeting tomorrow. Anyone can go and watch them -- so if you can, you should check it out.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


How stupid do they think we are?

A few quotes from the aforementioned Wal-Mart article jumped to my attention, because we'll probably be hearing them here soon. Ford is already using them.

"Critics of the legislation called it a dangerous precedent that ultimately would cost Maryland jobs."
Wal-Mart's job is selling stuff to Marylanders. If they don't, somebody else will employ people who will. I am tired of Republicans and corporations trying to blackmail states by saying, ' oh yeah, well if you do that we're just going to leave.'

"This does nothing to accomplish this goal of providing everyone access to affordable health care insurance,"
...except for Wal-Mart's own exployees. For them that is exactly what it does. Do these guys really think they can get away with using Orwell's writings as a textbook?

"We believe everyone should have access to affordable health insurance, although this legislation does nothing to accomplish that," said Masten, who said the retailing giant may partially pull out of the state if the bill becomes law.
A. Obviously they don't

B. It's simple - legislation that gives people access to health care by definition gives people access to affordable health care
C. Buh Bye. I would be ecstatic if Wal-Mart leaves Downstate communities and Costco, who pays workers substantially more and does provide good insurance, replaces them. It would be a boon to us and not corporate HQ

I am tired of right-wing rhetoric about progressive legislation. Making Corporations pay living wages and follow environmental regulations does not move jobs overseas. Greedy Corporations do. How exactly does Wal-Mart intend to operate the Champaign Wal-Mart from China???

example II

Ford Motor Company is cutting 30,000 jobs, a quarter of its workforce. Why?

Ford desperately needs to stop the bleeding.

"Ford said the plan will restore profitability by 2008."

Wait, what's that a couple of paragraphs later?

Earlier Monday, Ford reported earnings of $2 billion in 2005... It was the third straight year the automaker has reported a profit
hmm, I wish I had a need to stop bleeding like that

Incidentally, the first plant idled will be the St. Louis plant. The St. Louis metro area desperately needs that plant and doubtless there are soon-to-be unemployed workers who live on the Illinois side in Metro East.


Teaching Wal-Mart a lesson in civic resonsibility

About ten days ago, Maryland's legislature overrode their Governor and enacted the Fair Share Health Care Fund Act, which forces Maryland's largest corporate citizens to provide their workers with quality health care (to be specific, to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll costs on health care). 32 other legislatures are considering such a measure this spring. Illinois should be in the forefront. Such a measure was introduced last session but didn't make it very far
The problem is that more than half of Wal-Mart's employees aren't on the company's health care, mainly because of high deductibles, and that means that thousands of them are on Medicaid, costing cash-strapped states, instead of the world's richest corporation, millions of dollars.

I intentionally used the term 'corporate citizen' above. Its about time America's largest corporations showed as much allegiance to ordinary Americans as they do the bottom line.

Congratulations to the UFCW, SEIU and the Teamsters on this great victory for Maryland's working families. Because what it really comes down to is that thousands of Marylanders struggling to get by can sleep easier now about their health care.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Neat Illinois bill on saving money through smart appliances (so corporate interests will probably fight it)

(Cross-posted at

Representative Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills) has a bill backed by Illinois PIRG that implements state energy efficiency standards for appliances. The federal standards (remember those yellow cards on home furnaces) haven't been updated in 20 years or so, so if states want to ensure their citizens save money on energy costs, they've got to implement their own standards. If not, we'll be stuck with energy-guzzling appliances.

As I understand it, more efficient appliances cost more up front (either marginally or significantly, hard to tell) and save a ton of money over the life of the product (either 10 times the marginal cost of the product or, with $1.00/therm natural gas prices, maybe 100 times the cost). So to the extent there is a higher cost with state efficiency standards, that cost is one of the best investments a consumer can make based on saved energy costs.

It's in the state's interest to make Illinois residents richer. These appliance standard will do that, by ensuring that Illinois residents send less money to the for-profit energy companies (which means they are ultimately owned by non-Illinois people -- people that the Illinois General Assembly shouldn't really care about).

I'm sure corporate interests will fight HB 4455. You can track its status here. And you can send a letter to your legislators through Illinois PIRG's website here. (If you aren't a member of Illinois PIRG, they are the group that hires all the summer canvassers to knock on your door and ask for $45. They also consistently lobby for great bills in Illinois, and now the Chicago City Council as well, so I'd recommend that you join them, either in person or online. Strength through numbers....).


Next get-together in Springfield for all college/young Dems: 2/8/06 at Floyd's

Come to Springfield and check out what a Democratic-government is all about: on Wednesday, February 8th, from 6 to 8 pm, young / college / campus Democrats from around the state will gather at Floyd's in Springfield for a (free, but cash bar) night. And any campus chapter with a bank account that shows up will get a $50 check from the Fund for Campus Democratic Party Organizing. So if you've got a campus chapter that you want to get started or are looking for an event to get organized around, how about a road trip to the General Assembly?

We expect some Democratic legislators to stop by, so you'll get to meet them, as well as lots of staffers so you can ask them what that's like.

Plus, you should try to spend some of the afternoon at the General Assembly to see the House and Senate in action.

Floyd's is at 210 South 5th Street in downtown Springfield. And both the House and Senate will be in session (calendars here).

Leave a comment if you're interested in coming or to RSVP, email Rocket or me. My email is and I'll let Rocket leave his.....

Also, if you'd like to blog here, we're looking for students / young Dems to blog about politics, so email me or Rocket and we'll set you up.

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