Civic News & Info
Simon to talk downtown revitalization and renewable energy in Quad Cities, Northern Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:52

MOLINE/COMPTON – As ambassador to the Illinois Main Street program, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will designate Moline as the second Illinois Main Street community in the Quad Cities on Wednesday at a ceremony in front of the City of Mills mural at the Historic Block Courtyard in Moline’s historic commercial district.

 

Later in the day, Simon will visit Shady Oaks wind farm in southeastern Lee County, just as the turbines are expected to come online and begin generating energy for Illinois homes and businesses. The Shady Oaks wind development will provide enough power to serve approximately 15,000 homes and helped create and retain 400 American jobs.

 

Wednesday, May 30

EVENT: Moline Centre Main Street Designation Ceremony

TIME: 11 a.m.

PLACE: Historic Block Courtyard, River Road between 15th and 16th Streets, Moline

NOTE: Simon will visit the Rock Island Arsenal following the Main Street ceremony. There is no media availability at the arsenal.

EVENT: Shady Oaks Wind Farm tour

TIME: 2:45 p.m.

PLACE: Shady Oaks Wind Farm, 907 Illinois Route 251, Compton

 

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Harkin Urges Iowans to Take Advantage of Funding Now Available for Community Prevention Initiatives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:46

Nationally, $70 Million available for Harkin’s Community Transformation Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today encouraged eligible Iowa organizations to apply for funding made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for community-based prevention initiatives.  Earlier today, HHS announced the availability of $70 million in funding for Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program – a portion of the $226 million initiative.  

Harkin created the Prevention Fund as the author of the prevention and wellness provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  He is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations subcommittee that funds HHS.

“Prevention begins in the community and Community Transformation Grants enable localities to tailor wellness and prevention programs to their specific needs and environment,” said Harkin.  “I encourage all eligible organizations to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for a grant to ensure that all Iowans have access to resources to help them live healthier lifestyles.”

The Community Transformation Grant program supports State and local governmental agencies and community-based organizations in the implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based community health activities in order to reduce chronic disease rates, prevent the development of secondary conditions, address health disparities, and develop a stronger evidence-base of effective prevention programming.   The Iowa Department of Public Health received $3 million in Fiscal Year 2011 to conduct statewide efforts.  The competitive funding announced today is targeted specifically for communities.

The long-term objectives of the Community Transformation Grant Program include:
•    Reducing death and disability due to tobacco use by 5 percent among the target population;  
•    Reducing the rate of obesity through nutrition and physical activity interventions by 5 percent in the implementation area;
•    And reducing death and disability due to heart disease and stroke by 5 percent in the implementation area.

The official funding opportunity announcement for the Community Transformation Grants will be available today after 11:00 AM ET by visiting www.Grants.gov.

 
We Work for You PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Rep. Bobby Schilling   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:26
The opportunity to serve you is the most important part of this job, and with it comes a responsibility to do the best job I can.  The 17th District is spread out over more than 8,200 square miles and while I work my tail off trying to get to every corner of the district, I just can’t be at all places at all times.
That’s why we have four offices in our area so you can conveniently keep in close contact with us.  We have also hosted roundtables with business leaders and health care professionals throughout our area, forums to help our veterans get information on benefits available to them, and had both Democrat and Republican Members of Congress choose to visit our area for field hearings to see the national treasures we have here in our own backyard.
But what good are these roundtables, forums, and offices if you aren’t aware of them?
We stand ready to help the more than 630,000 men and women of the 17th District, which is why we make an effort to be proactive in communicating with folks about how we can lend them a hand.  In doing so, we get many compliments about our office’s outreach.  Folks stop me in the street and tell me how much more proactive I am being than my predecessor in communicating with them, and how much they appreciate it.
Recently, I’ve come under a coordinated political attack designed to distort this effort and criticize me for our outreach.  It’s not surprising; we know how well our customer service is working, so we expected to be attacked for this strength.  But the truth is that we are doing more with less.
As your representative in Congress, I believe we must keep in contact with folks across the district, asking for your input on issues before Congress or notifying you of upcoming events and how we can help.  Just ask Mark Graves of Aledo, one of many to reach out to us after receiving a mailer on the services my staff provides.  Mark served our country with the United States Army Military Police in Iraq, where he earned a number of awards.  The award that eluded him – the one he contacted us for help acquiring – was the Combat Action Badge.  My staff got right to work on his case, and it was my honor to present Mark with the Combat Action Badge in March of this year.
It’s important for you to know that we work for you, and to know the facts.  The negative political attacks aren’t going to tell you the truth.
Each Congressional office is allotted an annual office budget from which we pay all our expenses, including district office rent, staff salaries, office supplies, and mail to constituents.  I voted to reduce this budget by 5 percent in 2011, and another 6.4 percent in 2012.  For years, Congress continually saw it fit to increase their office budgets, but that stopped in 2011 when this new House took office. 

On top of cutting my own budget, I saved enough to return another 8 percent or $110,000 of my 2011 budget to taxpayers, keeping true to my pledge of spending significantly less than my predecessors.  In 2011, we spent a total of $151,138 less than my predecessor did in 2010, including $405,018 less on staff salaries and expenses alone.  Last year we spent a total of $103,038 less in 2011 than what my predecessor spent in 2009, including $362,018 less on staff salaries.  We also have four district offices up and running for approximately the same amount my predecessor operated one office.  Again, we are doing more with less.
I’m proud my offices have been successfully providing high-quality services to my constituents while reducing our overall expenses and remaining mindful of taxpayer dollars.  I will continue to lead by example. That’s why I brought my own health care to Washington, rejected congressional pay raises and the pension, and authored legislation to tie Members of Congress' access to their federal pensions to the Social Security age of their constituents.  These positions may not be popular in Washington, but I’ve found that the people of the 17th District believe – as I do – that Congress should be about serving people, not serving your own self-interests.
In the face of hundreds of thousands – maybe even millions – of dollars outside groups have spent to distort my record and scare seniors, we found it important to communicate the truth and the facts to the people of the 17th District.  We sent five mailers with information on issues Congress was considering and actions I was taking on behalf of constituents, and asking constituents to return a tear-off questionnaire so I could better know what issues were of concern to them.  We sent two postcards specifically regarding Medicare, two postcards inviting folks to the opening of new regional district offices, and one postcard inviting folks to a forum on veterans issues.  And we sent three letters specifically regarding ways we could help veterans.  You may have even received one of these pieces of mail from me.
This is called constituent service, and it hasn’t happened in our area for a long time.  I’ve had folks tell me that they weren’t aware a Congressional Office could help out to the extent that we do.  I’ve had people tell me that Members of Congress don’t typically ask their opinion on certain issues.  We’ve even had folks from Iowa and from other Congressional Districts in Illinois call our offices asking us for help.
As an elected official, I will never stop communicating with the constituents of the 17th District.  My staff and I prioritize constituent service and communications, and will continue working to keep in close contact with folks in all corners of the district.  We work for you, and that is something I will never forget.

# # #

To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

 
Schilling Announces Upcoming Mobile Office Hours PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:21
Moline, Illinois – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) has announced the schedule of upcoming mobile office hours.  His staff will travel throughout the 17th Congressional District to meet with constituents and address any questions or concerns they may have.  No appointments are necessary.  

“As your representative in Congress, it’s my job to keep in close contact with folks across the district, asking for your input on issues before Congress or notifying you of upcoming events and how we can help,” Schilling said. “My staff and I prioritize constituent service and communications, and will continue working to keep in touch with folks in all corners of our area.  We work for you.”

A field representative will be available in the following locations at the following times:

June 6, 2012
Monmouth City Hall - Council Chambers
100 East Broadway
Monmouth, IL 61462
9:00am - 12:00pm

Albany City Hall
102 S Main St.
Albany, IL 61230
1:00pm - 4:00pm

June 20, 2012
Oquawka Village Hall
507 Schuyler St.
Oquawka, IL 61469
9:00am - 12:00pm

Aledo City Hall – Council Chambers
120 North College Ave.
Aledo, IL 61231
9:00am - 1:00pm

June 27, 2012
Kewanee City Hall
401 East Third St.
Kewanee, IL  61443
9:00am – 4:00pm

Constituents are also encouraged to visit the Moline, Galesburg, Canton, and Rock Falls offices during normal office hours:

Moline District Office
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
3000 41st St., Suite B
Moline, IL 61265
P: (309) 757-7630

Galesburg District Office
Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 8:30am - 5:00pm
Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce
185 South Kellogg St.
Galesburg, IL 61401
P: (309) 343-2220

Canton District Office
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30am - 5:00pm
8 South Main St., Suite 200
Canton, IL 61520
P: (309) 649-3307

Rock Falls District Office
Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 9:00am - 4:00pm
1600 First Ave., Suite A
Rock Falls, IL 61071
P: (815) 548-9440

# # #

To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

 
Governor Quinn and Illinois Tollway Honor Fallen Servicemembers during Memorial Day Weekend PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:19

“Portrait of a Soldier” Memorial Exhibit on Display at Illinois Tollway Oases Through Independence Day

 

HINSDALE – May 27, 2012.  To commemorate Memorial Day, Governor Pat Quinn today joined officials from the Illinois Tollway to unveil the “Portrait of a Soldier” memorial exhibit at the Hinsdale Oasis and announce the summer exhibit schedule at multiple Tollway Oases in Northern Illinois. Currently, the exhibit features a series of hand-drawn portraits of 288 of the 300 Illinois men and women who have fallen in service to our country since September 11, 2001.

 

“With ‘Portrait of a Soldier,’ we pay a special tribute to our state’s brave servicemembers who gave their lives to protect our freedom,” Governor Quinn said.  “From Memorial Day to Independence Day, visitors to Illinois Tollway Oases will have the opportunity to view the faces and read the names of our state’s true heroes who remain in our hearts every day.”

 

The exhibit, on display at the Hinsdale Oasis Friday, May 25 through Sunday, June 3, will then travel to the Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis through Sunday, June 10. The exhibit will also be on display at the Des Plaines, DeKalb, Belvidere and Lake Forest Oases, ending shortly after July 4.

 

“We are honored to display the portraits of Illinois’ remarkable men and women whose bravery serves as an inspiration to us all,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur.  “We invite Tollway customers to see this poignant exhibit and join us in commemorating the lives – the sacrifice – of our servicemembers.”

 

Governor Quinn founded the “Portrait of a Soldier” memorial exhibit to honor fallen servicemembers in 2004, when artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first portrait of Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, after he was killed in Iraq.  In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling committed to drawing a portrait of every Illinois servicemember who has fallen during the Global War on Terror.

 

“Memorial Day is a great opportunity to reflect on and express thanks for the sacrifice that thousands upon thousands of military men and women have made in serving our country,” said Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Erica Borggren. “This sacred day also reminds us of our shared obligation to honor and remember our fallen heroes and their families.”

 

Governor Quinn has long made commitment to veterans' affairs, servicemembers and their families one of his top priorities throughout his career in public service.  He has led programs including the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program and the Veterans Cash lottery ticket, which has awarded more than $10 million to non-profit organizations across the state that provide health care and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, housing assistance, disability benefits and other services to Illinois Veterans.

 

As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, establishing a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These grants help service members and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services and other expense they struggle to afford because a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.

 

Governor Quinn launched “Operation Home Front” while he was Illinois State Treasurer to give National Guard members and reservists a tool informing them about their rights during the Gulf War. Today, the Governor has expanded Operation Home Front to be a place where active servicemembers and veterans can learn about the resources available to them and their families, and a place for the public to learn about different ways they can support our troops.

Portrait of a Soldier Memorial Exhibit Schedule

 

Sunday, May 27 – Sunday, June 3                Hinsdale Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-294)

Monday, June 4 – Sunday, June 10              Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis (South Holland), Tri-State Tollway (I-294/80)

Monday, June 11 – Sunday, June 17            Des Plaines Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24            DeKalb Oasis, Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)

Monday, June 25 – Sunday, July 1                Belvidere Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)

Monday, July 2 – Sunday, July 8                    Lake Forest Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-94)

 

NOTE: Beginning June 4 -- the exhibit will open at noon on Mondays at each oasis, and for the rest of the week during the dates listed above, will remain open 24/7.

For more information on the “Portrait of A Soldier” exhibit or to view the portraits online, please visit www.OperationHomefront.org.

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).  More than 1.4 million vehicles use the Tollway system every day.

 
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