On this day we celebrate a man who brought hope to America. He brought hope to America by example of his courage, character and compassion. A peaceful man. A man who believed in justice for all, fairness for all and opportunity for all. A good and decent man who spoke about the power love rather than hate. Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?”

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.

We can never be satisfied as long as our chlidren are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for whites only.”

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

American History From Revolution to Reconstruction and Beyond

DuPage County Warming Centers

If you need shelter during the extreme temperatures warming centers are opened throughout DuPage County.  You can call 800.942.9412 or you can find the complete list of centers here.

Kaczmarek Makes Pledge That Future Payments of Election Judges Will Be More Timely

“As my first official act after assuming responsibility of elections, I pledge my commitment that future payments to election judges will be more timely,” said Kaczmarek, a Glen Ellyn Democrat.

The Daily Herald, Robert Sanchez,  reports the Following:

The checks finally are in the mail for more than 2,000 DuPage County election judges who have been waiting to be paid since November.

County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek said Friday she was “disappointed” to learn checks weren’t mailed until Thursday for judges who worked the fall election — and now that she oversees the election process, she pledged such delays won’t happen again.

The county board on Tuesday dissolved the long-troubled election commission and transferred its functions to the clerk’s office.

“As my first official act after assuming responsibility of elections, I pledge my commitment that future payments to election judges will be more timely,” said Kaczmarek, a Glen Ellyn Democrat.

Kaczmarek said she has served as an election judge in recent years, including during early voting and as a technical judge.

“I know firsthand that the day is long and the work is hard,” she said. “Judges deserve to be paid promptly.”

You can read the full story here.

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 www.downersgrovefish.org

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.

 

 

 

 

IEPA PRESS RELEASE

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 brad.frost@illinois.gov.

Attachments

Karen J. Ayala
Executive Director
DuPage County Health Department
Phone: (630) 221-7401
Email: kayala@dupagehealth.org

 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: EtO@epa.gov

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.

 

DUPAGE COUNTY SECRETLY ACQUIRED ANTIQUATED, CAST-OFF VOTING MACHINES  OF THE DISSOLVED AURORA ELECTION COMMISSION

 

 

ELECTION WATCHDOG JEAN KACZMAREK DISCOVERS 107 ADDITIONAL MACHINES FROM AURORA;

 TWO USED AURORA MACHINES NOW AT GLEN ELLYN EARLY VOTING SITE

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.

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 www.dailyherald.com