Warming Centers Throughout DuPage County

The National Weather Service is predicting bitterly cold temperatures for the next few days. If you or anyone you know needs to find shelter from the cold please use the provided a link to find the a warming center.

Warming Centers List and Map

MAKE AMERICA CARE AGAIN

DuPage County along with Will County, has thrown their support behind legislation that would ban commercially bred animals in pet stores. Animals that are commercially bred many times have health issues and lower welfare standards. Senate Bill 2280 sponsored by Michael Connelley was the product of DuPage and Will counties, The Humane Society of the United States, The Puppy Mill Project and many other advocacy groups. Many of those that support this legislation all spoke of the inhumane treatment of the animals including the abuse, suffering and bad conditions.  I am proud that DuPage County has given a voice to the voiceless.

I believe that being an elected official is about being the voice for the most vulnerable in our society. There are many people who are suffering all over the world. Immigrants come to America seeking refuge for many reasons.  Some come because they have suffered persecution based on race, religion, nationality and political beliefs. Some come because of violence and conflict. Some come simply in search of opportunity and the American Dream. Immigrants add so much to our country. They are hardworking, have good skills and  are job creators. Dreamers are the children of immigrants. For many Dreamers America is the only country they know.

The Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established under the Obama Administration in 2012.  To be eligible, applicants had to have arrived in the US before age 16 and have lived there since June 15, 2007. They could not have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012.  DACA has allowed these young people to get driver licenses, enroll in college, legally secure a job and pay taxes. Dreamers were allowed to apply for deferred deportation and could legally reside in the US for two years. After that, they could apply for a renewal.  The Trump administration rescinded DACA in September of 2017 and today Dreamers are living under the ever-present threat of deportation.  Imagine living under constant fear. This is not the America I know. This is not the humane or compassionate way to address the issue of immigration.

In September of 2017 King County passed legislation calling on Congress to swiftly and comprehensively protect the legal status of thousands of Dreamers. King County is located in the State of Washington and is home to about 2 million people. Last week I received an email from the King County Council. The email was a passionate plea for DuPage County to join King County in calling on congress to address immigration reform, specifically DACA, to protect the legal status of Dreamers.

I immediately sent the email on to DuPage County Chairman, Dan Cronin, but have yet to receive a response.

I hope that the Chairman of the DuPage County Board and my colleagues on the DuPage County Board will find the same compassion and humanity for the Dreamers and those seeking refuge in our great nation and county as they have found for the voiceless animals.

You can read more about the DACA here and here.

You can read more about King County here .

You can read about DuPage County efforts on banning commercially bred animals here.

THERE ARE MANY WELL QUALIFIED DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR DUPAGE COUNTY BOARD-THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHT IS TREVOR ORSINGER

 

TREVOR ORSINGER LAUNCHES BID FOR DUPAGE COUNTY BOARD

 

Local Attorney and Iraq War vet would put “service before self” and

calls for bipartisanship efforts to solve county’s growing fiscal crisis     

WHEATON, IL — Trevor Orsinger launched his bid for a seat on the DuPage County Board, vowing to “put service before self” and fight so that “all voices are heard” in charting the County’s future through an effort he calls “One DuPage.”

 

“Solving DuPage County’s problems and unleashing our tremendous potential require collaboration, bipartisanship and fresh ideas,” said Orsinger, 39, a Wheaton attorney who filed more than 500 signatures on November 27, 2017, to represent the 4th District.

 

“As a 4th generation DuPage resident, I’ve seen traffic gridlock grow, more frequent flooding, the emergence of a County fiscal crisis and an unprecedented heroin epidemic. I’ve seen talented longtime residents and enthusiastic newcomers to this community want to leave because they can no longer afford to stay.  They lack a voice in County government and I will ensure they are heard.”

 

An Iraq war veteran and Judge Advocate General, Orsinger now serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard.

 

Born and raised in Wheaton, Orsinger lives with his wife Meg and their three kids less than a mile from where he grew up. The Orsingers first came to DuPage in 1869.  In 1920, his great-grandfather Fred built a house in Glen Ellyn from a Sears-Roebuck catalog which is still standing. Both of Orsinger’s parents were teachers in DuPage County.

 

“I’m alarmed at the direction we’re going. I feel a new urgency in the future of DuPage County,” Orsinger said. “I can bring fresh ideas, forge new partnerships and get results for all residents, not just the insiders and special interests.  It is time for a new generation of leaders to represent all those who live in DuPage County.”

 

The details of Orsinger’s agenda – “One DuPage” – will be rolled out in upcoming weeks. It will emphasize creative bipartisan solutions, particularly in such areas as transportation, water systems and infrastructure. It will welcome and harness the energy of an increasingly diverse population, and ensure that all voices are heard. It will attract cutting-edge tech players and overhaul the County’s wasteful procurement process.

 

Orsinger is seeking to represent the 4th District – in the center of the County – which includes Glen Ellyn, most of Wheaton, and parts of Glendale Heights, Lombard, Bloomingdale, and Carol Stream.

 

In 2008, Orsinger deployed to Baghdad, Iraq to help the new government rebuild its judicial, correctional and law enforcement systems.  Besides his active duty military service in the United States Air Force, Orsinger has served as a Cook County Public Defender, worked at Fermi National Lab, CME Group, Inc., and the U.S. Department of Defense. He worked with military lawyers in the Republic of Poland to develop a lawyer-to-lawyer program under the umbrella of the National Guard State Partnership Program.

 

Following the footsteps of his parents – his mom taught at Fenton High and his dad taught at College of DuPage up until his death in 1995 – Orsinger taught military litigation at his alma mater, John Marshall Law School. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and will complete his Master of Business Administration from DePaul University.

 

In 2003, Orsinger and his brother Drew wrote The Firefighter’s Best Friend, a comprehensive history of and loving tribute to firehouse dogs.

 

“DuPage County has so much to offer: a well-educated work-force, clean air and water, interstate highways, proximity to major air and rail hubs, strong communities. Yet, we’re lagging in so many measures.  We need to fix it.”

 

“The people of DuPage County need results, not continued inactivity by career politicians. The DuPage County Board needs vision and vigor. I look forward to a lively campaign,” Orsinger said.

 

For a complete bio, visit www.trevororsinger.com.

WORKING AT THE LOCAL LEVEL TO RENEW CHIP FUNDING

Congress will not reallocate funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan known as CHIP this year. CHIP provides insurance to the children of families who earn too much for Medicaid, but do not receive insurance through their employers. If CHIP funding is not reauthorized 9 million low-income children will not have access to basic health care.  As of September of 2016 there were 13,269 children under the age of 19 in DuPage County covered by CHIP.  I am working at the local level to make sure congress makes funding CHIP a priority in 2018.

Every year DuPage County sets a State and Federal Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda is a very powerful tool.  The Legislative Agenda informs our local and federal representatives of our top priorities.

On December 12, 2017 I attended the meeting of the DuPage County Legislative Committee. I asked that the committee support federal funding of CHIP.  I am hopeful that the committee will support my recommendation.

Below is a copy of the summary minutes from the December 12, 2017 meeting:

Minutes

Legislative & Governmental Affairs Committee December 12, 2017

1.

Potential Legislation for 2018
Dates in April for a Committee drive down event to Springfield were considered.

Potential 2018 state legislation for the County agenda was discussed and included several consolidation bills, one that would combine the DuPage Board of Elections with the County Clerk. Member Krajewski discussed several Animal Control bills he is working on in cooperation with another County. Additional priority legislation for 2018 was discussed. Member Chaplin suggested the Commitee add to their agenda support for raising the age of purchasing tobacco to the age of 21. Member Chaplin requested Committee support for Federal funding of CHIP, Children’s Health Insurance Program. Member Khouri asked the Committee if items can be presented regarding taxes. A brief discussion followed.

 

 

 

DuPage Election Commission merger question OK’d for spring ballot

For years Jean Kaczmarek has been calling for the consolidation of the DuPage County Election Commission and the Clerks Office. As an unpaid DuPage government watchdog for a decade, Jean has closely watched the Election Commission. Jean has uncovered glaring problems there including double-dipping pensions and practices violating the Ethics Ordinance and Personnel Policy. In March of 2018 the residents of DuPage County will have a say in the matter.

The Chicago Tribune reports the following:

Gary Gibula

DuPage County officials approved an advisory referendum for the March primary ballot Tuesday asking residents if they support merging the county election commission into the county clerk’s office.

While the results will not be binding, DuPage officials said they hope the outcome will provide the impetus Springfield lawmakers need to pass a stalled bill to consolidate the two county offices.

You can read the full story here.

You can find more information here.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING SNAP

SNAP Work Requirements Start January 1, 2018 – DuPage County

Starting January 1, 2018, Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) will be able to receive SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits for only 3 months in a 36 month period UNLESS they qualify for an exemption.

Kristin Hartsaw of the Federation staff has set up a page on our website that has succinct but complete information on this issue. See: https://www.dupagefederation.org/abawd.html

DHS involved us at the very early stages of planning for the expiration of the waiver, and I am confident that this will be implemented well at the DuPage DHS office. Some of the reasons I’m cautiously optimistic about implementation of this change include:
·  First, the employment situation in DuPage has improved enough that we are hearing that jobs are not as difficult to obtain as they were a few years ago. I realize there are still people who are having difficulty, and for those folks, we should explore whether they can qualify for a waiver.
·  There are enough exemptions that we believe the folks who are genuinely in need of SNAP on a daily basis should qualify for the exemption. Health and Human Service providers can assist significantly by ensuring that those who qualify for a health related waiver have the documentation necessary to qualify. DHS assures us that they will administer the documentation in a flexible manner.
·  If someone is in a food-related crisis as a result of the SNAP time limit, we encourage the customer to contact the Federation’s Open Door program at 630-530-8255<tel:(630)%20530-8255> or ssamaniego@dupagefederation.org<mailto:ssamaniego@dupagefederation.org>.
Please share this information widely, and let me know if you have questions.

 

Candace M. King, Executive Director
DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform