Our monthly meeting, held on January 27, 2022, was filled with valuable information brought to us by two guest speakers:
Tyler Bontemps is the new Downstate Regional Director for DPI (Democratic Party of Illinois, https://www.ildems.com) and will be the point person in our area for supporting Democrats who are running for office this election cycle. What is exciting about Tyler’s participation in our meeting is the understanding that the DPI is interested in building relationships with fellow Democrats, not only at the federal and state level, but also at the local level which is incredibly important.
Tyler wanted to underscore his availability to assist candidates, in the general election, with helping to build and execute a successful campaign.
Our second guest of the evening was Angela Fellars, Winnebago County Board Representative of the Nineteenth District (https://www.angelafellars.com). Angela is among the 7 Democrats, of the 20 members, who serve on the Winnebago County Board and she stressed how vitally important it is to make our voices, as constituents, heard. Angela briefed our group on some of the choices the board is making with the distribution of the funding allocated by The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) in our area. As of today, $27.2 million dollars of the $54.2 million has been allocated:
$2.6 million for new vehicles for the sheriff’s department, the 3rd new vehicle expenditure within a 7 year period. Note, this is an expense that Angela voted against.
$13 million in hard infrastructure
$3 million to digitize the Clerk’s office
$2.4 million for animal services
The County Board is still working on distributing the remaining $27 million and Angela would like to see the bulk of the money given to three specific areas of need:
As community members, how the remainder of the ARP funds are dispersed is significant and it is in our best interest, as Democrats, to become involved in the process. The best way to accomplish this task is to become familiar with the Winnebago Operations Committee, (https://wincoil.us/departments/county-board-office/county-board-committees/operations-administrative-committee/ ) which is comprised of four Republicans and three Democrats, as well as the Finance Committee (https://wincoil.us/departments/county-board-office/county-board-committees/finance-committee/) and this has five Republicans and two Democrats. Angela welcomed us to participate in the process by reading the committee agendas and reaching out to the committee members via email or telephone with a coordinate message which expresses our collective opinion regarding the committees decision making.
Our Northern WinnDems organization is always interested in your feedback and welcomes participation in the Democratic process. Please include your voice in our movement! Our next meeting is on February 24th, from 6pm - 7:15 pm, via Zoom.