Do You Need Assistance? Downers Grove Area FISH Food Pantry Can Help

The Downers Grove Area FISH Food Pantry and Clothes Closet helps over 200 families in Downers Grove, Westmont and Lisle each month.

Federal Employees affected by the government shutdown are welcome.

FISH is open on Monday and Friday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 AM.

Personal ID and proof of residency such as utility bill are required.

You can learn more at

4340 Prince St, Downers Grove, Il

(lower level of the Downers Grove Township Building)



And So It Begins

Not even 24 hours after the DuPage County Election Commission was dissolved I have received a legitimate concern from a constituent about the hasty decision made by the DuPage County Board regarding the DuPage Election Commission. A constituent sent an email with concerns that on Monday, January 14th they had filed an appeal in the DuPage County Circuit Court of a written administrative decision that was rendered by the DuPage County Election Commission on Friday, Jan 11, 2019.

My constitute learned on Tuesday that the DuPage County Election Commission was dissolved with the appeal case pending. My constituent is very unhappy and disappointed by the actions of the DuPage County Board. My constituent feels their legal case is now in the middle of a political football game.  I agree. The DuPage County Board with a split vote of 11-7 Republicans voting in favor, Democrats opposed, dissolved the DuPage County Election Commission and the duties of the election commission were assigned to the Clerk’s office with no transition plan in place.

When the Clerk’s office was stripped of the electoral process in October 1973 the DuPage County Board had the wisdom and understanding that there needed to be a transition period.  The Election Commission was not formed until January 24, 1974, leaving a 3 month period to transition.

Imagine if we just “dissolve” the DuPage Water Commission or the DuPage Airport Authority with no transition period or plans in place.





DuPage County Board Meeting Recap from January 15, 2019

“It’s not fair to whoever the county clerk is to say, ‘Fix it in one month and get a whole new system up and running,'” said Hinds, who spent 18 years working for the clerk’s office before being elected in 2014.

He said it’s “probably better” to hold off on the transition until after the spring election.

Hinds and Kaczmarek both say DuPage’s structure for running elections has been in place for decades, so waiting a few extra months isn’t going to make much of a difference.” September 25, 2018, The Daily Herald

Ignoring the recommendations of Paul Hinds and Jean Kaczmarek, members of the public and staff the Republicans on the DuPage County Board voted to merge the election commission with the clerk’s office immediately instead of after the municipal elections. Today’s vote makes things more difficult for Clerk Kaczmarek but I have complete confidence in Clerk Kaczmarek’s ability to make sure the job is done right.

For years 14 years Jean has made good recommendations of how to improve elections in DuPage, applied to be on the Election Commission board and tried to remove politics from the electoral process.  It was clear that this was a retaliation vote made by the Republican members based on Jean’s years of activism. Yesterday the Republican board members put partisan politics ahead of good governance.

Members of the Public at the DuPage County Board Meeting

Clerk Kaczmarek During the meeting of the DuPage County Board

Members of the board debating the Election Commission merger

Members of the board debating the Election Commission merger


On the bright side, there will be another chance for the board to work in a bi-partisan manner. Chairman Cronin announced yesterday that he will be bringing forward a Responsible Bidder Ordinance. The Responsible Bidder Ordinance allows a public body’s procurement codes to specify certain criteria that a contractor must meet in order to be eligible to perform work. The resolution could include proper business registrations, show past compliance with environmental, labor and safety laws, relevant insurance coverage, prevailing wage compliance and training such as apprenticeship programs. In the long run, the Responsible Bidder Ordinance saves the taxpayer money by providing good quality construction.


Chairman Cronin presiding over DuPage County Board meeting


Last Saturday the members of the DuPage County Board had the opportunity to meet U.S. Representative Sean Casten to discuss the Federal government shutdown. Also present at the meeting were local, county and state government human-service providers.

We heard about the devastating effects the government shutdown is having on organizations such as the YWCA, food assistance providers, traffic controllers, health service providers, domestic violence centers and immigration assistance groups to name a few. There is no one at the IRS to answer tax questions.

There are federal government employees that live in DuPage County that have missed their first paycheck.

Local government provides many services to the most vulnerable in our county. The shutdown is causing unnecessary stress and concern to this population.

The DuPage County Board represents just shy of one million people. We are larger than some states. During yesterdays county board meeting I asked Chairman Cronin to issue a statement or letter on behalf of our residents that would strongly encourage our representatives in Washington D.C. to seek an immediate end to the government shutdown.


U.S. Representative Sean Casten with members of the DuPage County Board


You can read the Daily Herald Coverage here.

You can watch the video here.



Private Drinking Water Wells Near Sterigenics Facility to be Sampled this Week

Private Well Sampling Being Conducted to Identify Possible Well Contamination

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Alec Messina and DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) Executive Director Karen Ayala today announced the start of groundwater sampling near the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook. Illinois EPA and DCHD have worked closely to identify private wells, obtain access agreements and develop a thorough sampling plan. A Quality Assurance Project Plan has been developed by Illinois EPA technical staff and reviewed by DCHD staff. The plan includes samples to be taken at all residences near the facility that granted access.

Illinois EPA staff accompanied by members of DCHD will begin taking water samples from homes the morning of Thursday, December 13, 2018. Because access was granted to collect samples from an outside faucet (or spigot), residents do not need to be home but are reminded to ensure water is flowing to the faucet on the day the samples will be taken.

All water samples will be sent to an independent certified laboratory for analysis for ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol. The independent analysis will provide additional information for residents and assist Illinois EPA in identifying groundwater contamination of wells used for drinking water in the area. The sampling plan may be expanded if initial analysis identifies contamination. The sampling and analysis of groundwater from the private wells is being done at NO COST TO HOMEOWNERS.

Once analysis results are received from the laboratory, the data will be provided to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), who will provide the results to each of the residents once the results are finalized.

Residents with questions may contact Brad Frost, Illinois EPA Office of Community Relations at (217) 782-7027 or


Karen J. Ayala
Executive Director
DuPage County Health Department
Phone: (630) 221-7401

 USEPA November 29th Town Hall Forum-Sterigenics

The USEPA is planning a Community Meeting to share current information and answer questions pertaining to the Sterigenics environmental issues. Federal, state, and local agencies will be represented at the meeting.  The meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, November 29, 2018, at 7:00 PM at Ashton Place Banquets, 341 75th Street, Willowbrook, IL 60527. Please submit questions in advance to the following e-mail address:

Hebreard Race Too Close To

Like many places all over the country, DuPage County was the heartbeat of the Republican Party. On November 6th the Democrats made history winning seats they have never won before and some coming remarkably close to their well known, well connected Republican opponents.

And just like many other places all over the country, there is a race in DuPage County that is too close to call. Dan Hebreard was about 3000 votes behind on November 6th, but with thousands of mail-in ballots not counted Dan was in striking distance. Dan went from 3000 behind to 474 behind to 135 behind to know 35 votes behind.

Dan needs your help. For the past two weeks, Dan has spent every day at the DuPage County Election Commission to make sure every vote counts.   If you can help with getting every vote to count, please call 331-222-9529. They need people to examine the reject list, compare it to our data, call the voters, go to their house and notarize affidavits Daniel Hebreard is within 35 votes. Every vote matters.

Please help Dan if you can.


Thank You

Thank you for electing me to a third term on the Dupage County Board. I am honored by the faith you have in me and will work diligently on behalf of my constituents and all the people of the county. I am very excited to be working with the newly elected board members as well as my current colleagues. It’s tough to run for office and would like to thank all of the candidates who ran this year.

To the volunteers who knocked doors, held a meet and greet, delivered signs, attended fundraisers, served as poll watchers and election judges I can not thank you enough.

This year’s election was about “Building A Better DuPage” I have no doubt we will achieve this by listening to your ideas and working together.


Liz Chaplin








DuPage County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country and we are using old, cast-off voting machines. DuPage County is using antiquated machines from Aurora. We can do better and we should demand better. See below statement from Jean Kaczmarek

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn resident and 13-year election watchdog Jean Kaczmarek discovered that DuPage County secretly acquired an additional 107 antiquated, cast-off voting Diebold machines – this time from the dissolved Aurora Election Commission. Two of these machines are in use now in the Glen Ellyn Early Voting site.

Last week, Kaczmarek obtained a list of serial numbers of equipment used by the Aurora Election Commission from the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBOE). She compared it with a list 1578 sets of serial numbers of DuPage County voting machines, which had also been provided by the ISBOE last month. She found 107 matches – 59 optiscans and 48 TSx touchscreens. Two serial numbers on touchscreens in use now in Glen Ellyn match those from Aurora.

Kaczmarek was poll watching Saturday after reports of touchscreen machine malfunctions. After reviewing serial numbers of just eight machines in Glen Ellyn, she found two Aurora matches.

“I may have discovered more Aurora machines in use in DuPage County, but the Commission’s law firm abruptly shut access of serial numbers to poll watchers on Saturday afternoon an hour later,” Kaczmarek says.

“I have been poll watching as an election watchdog for a dozen years. Until yesterday, serial numbers of voting machines were always available,” she adds. “The decision to deny poll watchers access was arbitrary, unreasonable and capricious.”

Kaczmarek addressed the DuPage County Board on Oct. 23rd after DuPage County Board Chair Dan Cronin and a County Board member had just emphasized DuPage’s ACT Initiative for accountability, consolidation and transparency. She urged the county to not use any voting machines or components that had been cast off from other counties. At the time, she had not yet confirmed that DuPage had acquired 107 machines from Aurora: she had confirmed that another 118 old machines were in the Election Commission’s possession.

After the Aurora Election Commission had merged into Kane County Clerk’s office, Aurora’s 2017 ES&S machines were sold to DeKalb County. The majority of machines DuPage received from Aurora, however, were from the early 2000s with technology from the 1990s.

“Our citizens got stuck with the old, old Aurora machines. Surely, DuPage can do better,” Kaczmarek adds.

Kaczmarek, who attends all DuPage County Election Commission board meetings, says that the acquisition of Aurora’s machines was never mentioned publicly. Likewise, it was never publicly disclosed that DuPage would be receiving antiquated, cast-off machines from counties down state as part of the settlement agreement with Liberty Systems following the 2018 Primary Election meltdown where 167 machines were damaged by too-thick ender cards provided by the vendor. DuPage accepted 118 optiscan machines from Liberty which were likely trade-ins from counties which had purchased new machines. Together, DuPage has 225 cast-off machines from Aurora and Liberty.

“Why wasn’t it made public?” Kaczmarek asks. “The Election Commission did not want citizens to know they had accepted antiquated, cast-off voting machines. This is the real reason why they don’t want citizens to have the serial numbers.”

It is common knowledge that old electronic equipment is not reliable or secure. Voting machines are no exception.

On Oct. 9th, Kaczmarek filed a lawsuit in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in Wheaton against the DuPage County Board of Election Commissioners for illegally withholding records about the 118 dated, cast-off voting machines acquired from the vendor they have “a lack of confidence” in – namely, Liberty Systems. Kaczmarek’s June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, denied by the Election Commission, seeks bulk serial numbers found on the outside of vintage, out-of-warranty Diebold optical scan machines from Liberty Systems.

“The State Board of Elections and other Illinois counties see no problem releasing serial numbers of voting machines. Even the DuPage Election Commission hasn’t in the past,” Kaczmarek says. “The Commission doesn’t want citizens to know that DuPage County has become a voting machine junkyard.”


Kaczmarek, who has been scrutinizing the DuPage County Election Commission since 2005 and is the Democratic candidate forDuPage County Clerk, sees it as her responsibility as a member of the public to shine light on the County’s use of dated, out-of-warranty, cast-off machines in the Midterms.

“I know more than any outsider about what’s going on with DuPage elections,” Kaczmarek says. “Despite the imperfections, nothing could keep me from voting. We must use the process before us. We must vote.”

Kaczmarek plans to vote on Election Day on a paper ballot.

STERIGENICS SAVE THE DATE: USEPA November 29th Town Hall Forum

SAVE THE DATE:  The USEPA is planning a Community Meeting to share current information and answer questions pertaining to the Sterigenics environmental issue.  A number of federal, state, and local agencies will be represented at the meeting.  The meeting will occur on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 7:00 PM at Ashton Place Banquets, 341 75th Street, Willowbrook, IL 60527.  If anyone would like to submit questions in advance of this meeting, the USEPA has established the following e-mail address to do so:

You can find more information here.

First Day Of Early Voting Off To A Troubling Start

The first day of early voting in DuPage County has been marred with numerous problems. People have reported that the electronic voting machines are defaulting to the Republican Candidates and not allowing for a Democratic choice, the machines are dinging when only one vote is cast in the vote for two races, candidates are missing from the electronic ballot and at least 35 people have been turned away from the Olive Tree polling location in Naperville.

If you have any problems please report them to the DuPage Election Commission:  (English) 630-407-5600  (Spanish) 630-407-5608 and Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

The Daily Herald reports the following:

Some early voters in DuPage will need to use paper ballots

Robert Sanchez

Meghan Hassett, the campaign manager for Laura Ellman — the Naperville Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Michael Connelly in the 21st state Senate District — said she was contacted by voters who were turned away from the early voting location at the Olive Trees Condominiums along Bailey Road in Naperville.

While the commission sent letters to voters notifying them about the change, Hassett said the mailer was “very unclear.”

On Tuesday morning, Hassett called on the DuPage County Board to intervene.

“I’m here today to urge the election commission to provide paper ballots at all of the early voting sites to accommodate those in House District 41 who are currently restricted from voting early, except for two locations,” Hassett said during the public comment portion of the county board meeting.

Ellman also issued a statement accusing the election commission of “suppressing voters” in the district.

“We need fair elections for a functional democracy and accountable government, which means every registered voter in DuPage must be able to cast a ballot at any early voting location within the county,” Ellman said.

By around 1:30 p.m., the election commission announced that paper ballots were going to be available at the Olive Trees Condominiums.

You can read the complete story at the Daily Hearld