Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Law Enforcement Supporting Special Olympics

Local law enforcement will be supporting efforts to raise money for the Illinois Special Olympics next week. From the News-Gazette today:
Fundraising lunch to benefit Special Olympics set July 26 at Texas Roadhouse
Police officers from all over Champaign County are inviting people to eat lunch at Texas Roadhouse on July 26 to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., officers will serve a pulled-pork sandwich, corn, fresh-baked bread with honey-cinnamon butter and a non-alcoholic beverage. Diners are asked to leave a donation for their meal, which is valued at $10.

Diners also have a chance to win a free dinner for two at Texas Roadhouse by posting a photo from their location on social media using the hashtag "#IGotServed."

Donations benefit the more than 22,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics Illinois. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fundraising vehicle benefiting the group.
Additional activity and event details here.

Clear Cutting by Drainage District


In a recent clash between county homeowners and an obscure local government body, a large section of trees were clear cut unexpectedly on the property easements. From the News-Gazette today:
Drainage district's clearing work on Salt Fork leaves some residents floored
...
Property owners learned the work had been ordered by the Upper Salt Fork Drainage District, a local body governed by three elected commissioners.

Drainage districts are authorized by state law to levy an assessment on all landowners within them to cover costs of maintaining and improving drainage, which in the Upper Salt Fork includes about 21 miles of waterway, stretching from Rantoul to about 3 miles south of St. Joseph, where it empties into the Salt Fork. It passes by Heather Hills.

Drainage districts also have a right of way, allowing them access to properties to maintain drainage. The Wardrops said they and their neighbors aren't certain how far from the bank that right of way extends.

Regardless, they are upset that no one bothered to contact them before the clearing was done. But they say they're not sure whether the district is required by law to notify landowners if work is deemed "maintenance..."

As to whether the clearing would alleviate that problem, Weckel said, "It can't hurt."

But he said there are too many miles of limited flow to the south of those properties. The ditch flattens out along that section, he added, stalling the water flow north of St. Joseph. South of town, it picks up where the ground falls at a steeper rate, according to Weckel.

"But it is relatively flat through there, and that's the problem," he said. "There's just not enough fall to keep the water moving."
More at the full article here. The Prairie Rivers Network had a long and detailed post on the subject. Here's a short excerpt:
After discovering workers clearing their land and what appeared to be a rudimentary road on their property, a few homeowners reached out to Upper Salt Fork Drainage District commissioners requesting an explanation of why work was being done without notice. It was explained that the work was routine maintenance to remove trees that had fallen into the waterway. Further calls from landowners to the drainage district were reportedly ignored or answered with hostility.

PRN called various government agencies and was told that the trees were causing flooding and the work was reportedly done to reduce flooding in the neighborhood.

These stories don’t necessarily line up. Was the goal to remove trees that had fallen in the river, or was clear cutting the riverbank itself the goal? Given the conflicting explanations and no work plan, we are left to wonder why the Drainage District thought this was a good idea.

If the work truly was for maintenance removal of fallen logs from the river, the Upper Salt Fork Drainage District went about it in an aggressive, devastating, and seemingly unnecessary way. The district downed many live trees, displaced wildlife, and destroyed a good portion of what little natural habitat remains on that section of the Salt Fork. If the purpose was to access fallen trees in the river, the other side of the river provides easier access from grassed farmland with just a few trees.
More at the full post here.

Dear Archery Rules Change





New rules on archery deer hunting from the DNR in Champaign and neighboring counties are being considered. More on why the rules are being proposed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in a report on their website here. From the News-Gazette's Sunday eEdition:

Deer archery season changes
A proposal to restrict archery deer hunting in Champaign County to bucks only the first two weeks of the season is still making its way through the state rulemaking process, according to Ed Cross with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. But IDNR has posted a document on its website with interesting details about why this change is being considered here and in four other counties — Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt.

Basically, these agriculturally dominated counties have little forested area — less than 5 percent — to support a large deer population to begin with, and the number of deer continue to decline, according to state officials, despite significant reductions in gun permit quotas.

The report — which can be accessed on IDNR’s website — says that Champaign’s deer population is 35 percent below goal...

Managing the deer population in other parts of the state is typically done by adjusting deer permit quotas during the firearm and muzzleloader seasons, but in Champaign County and the other four, state officials have decided the best way to get deer population numbers back up will be restrictions at the beginning of the archery season.

According to the report, “IDNR biologists have decades of harvest data and hunter success data to guide their decisions,” and this “preferred approach is simple: allow only the harvest of antlered bucks during the first 15 days of the archery season (Oct. 1-15), which will reduce doe harvest by 25-30 percent,” which should be enough of a reduction to move populations back toward goal.”

Here’s the proposed amendment: “The Illinois Restricted Archery Zone shall consist of Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties. During the period Oc. 1 – Oct. 15, only antlered deer may be harvested in the Restricted Archery Zone, regardless of permits in possession. An antlered deer is defined as a deer having at least one antler of a length of 3 or more inches.”
Full article available here for subscribers.

Independent County Board Challenges





This is a followup to the challenge against Cathy Emmanuel's Independent bid for County Board District 4. More information on that at this Cheat Sheet post: Objections and County Electoral Boards. Tom Kacich had an opinion piece supporting more non-partisan changes to County government, but also covered some important explanatory information about the situation.

Tom Kacich | Independent wants board to become less partisan
Cathy Emanuel of Champaign, a member of the county nursing home board of directors and a past candidate for the Champaign City Council, is taking an unusual route to the county board. Rather than run as a Democrat or Republican, Emanuel hopes to run as an independent.

No one has run for the board as an independent in recent memory, if ever, and independent candidates for any office have not had a lot of success in this area...

Emanuel wants to run in County Board District 4, where only Republican Jim McGuire is on the ballot. District 4 includes parts of south Champaign and the entire southwestern quadrant of the county.

But a challenge has been filed to Emanuel's candidate petitions, and it's possible the three-member county electoral board will vote later this month to keep her name off the November general election ballot...

Emanuel's petitions are being challenged by Larry Kearns, a Republican precinct committeeman and a Tolono Township trustee. He contends that more than 80 of the approximately 600 petition signatures gathered by Emanuel and her allies are invalid for various reasons. If that contention is upheld and those signatures are ruled invalid, she would have only 515 signatures, just short of the 529 signatures an independent candidate needs to get on the ballot in District 4.

That steep signature requirement doesn't apply to Democratic or Republican candidates because it's the Republicans and Democrats who make the election rules.
Full opinion piece here. The next hearing of the Electoral Board is July 26th (more explanation of what that is exactly is here). Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten has told me that the hearing is open to the public. Normal Courthouse security procedures apply (i.e. no phones or laptops). I don't have a specific time yet, but will update later.

Solar Farm Locations


Tom's Mailbag had a short bit on proposed solar farm locations as the County appears set to change the zoning rules to allow them in certain agricultural zones. From Saturday's News-Gazette:
Solar farms in Champaign County

"With regard to the proposed changes in zoning to allow solar farms in the county, is there a map of the proposed locations, and a list of the companies that have made the requests available?"

No, there is no map of the proposed locations, said John Hall, the county's director of planning and zoning.

"But the general locations and companies are as follows:

— "three solar farms have been proposed near St. Joseph (companies are ForeFront Power and Community Power Group)

— "three solar farms have been proposed near Sidney (companies are Forefront Power, BayWa r.e., Cypress Creek Renewables)

— "one solar farm has been proposed northwest of Rantoul (Community Power Group)."
The full Mailbag article is here and covers a variety of local questions.

The Week in Progress 7/15 - 7/21

*** There is a County Board meeting this Thursday. Agenda here. If you'd like to attend a County Board meeting, you can find more information on how to attend here. The issue of merging the County Recorder's office into the County Clerk's office is on the agenda. ***

Previous County Board video is available now on the Champaign County Clerk's YouTube channel here. Agenda packet available here and news coverage here.


Other Events:

There are a lot of political campaign and organizing events popping up. Check out your preferred candidates and you will likely see campaign, canvassing, or voter registration events in the area. Many are using facebook to more easily share event information and reminders. Check out the Champaign County Voter Alliance's preliminary general election candidate guide to see who is running. We'll be updating County race information from the primary election to the general as we can.
 
Groups that crossover with Racial Justice Task Force recommendations meeting this week:
Build Programs Not Jails doesn't meet this week. Meetings are every other Wednesday at 7pm at the IMC. The next meeting is July 25th.
Later this month — likely at the July 24th Champaign City Council Study Session (more info here) — there will likely be a presentation on the housing issue and the exemption (more information on that here and a recent letter to the editor by the CU Tenants Union here). Support among local organizations continues to grow. The Reentry Council will be reaffirming its long standing support of the measure as well (notes from their last meeting on it here).

The Housing Authority of Champaign County's new Executive Director reaffirmed the board's focus on expanding reentry opportunities in the community and the problems exacerbated when people with conviction histories are denied access to housing. He pointed out that HACC is still working with the Champaign County Reentry Council towards that end and he is reaching out to community organizations and government bodies in the area to work together on that and other issues.

County Calendar:

The week kicks off Wednesday with the Technology Oversight Committee. I don't have any information on exactly what this committee does. I believe it may be more of a management committee for computers and IT issues for staff in the various county facilities. More information to come on that.

There is a County Board meeting this Thursday. Agenda here. If you'd like to attend a County Board meeting, you can find more information on how to attend here. Probably one of the more contentious items is the referendum proposal to merge the County Recorder's office into the County Clerk's office. The current Recorder is Mark Shelden, prominent in Champaign County Republican Party politics, so there are concerns by Republicans that this is more political than reformative. The vote to put it on the ballot was delayed and discussed at the last regular County Board meeting.

The GIS Policy Committee meets Friday. The GIS talks maps and data, orthophotography, sewage systems, water permeability of soil and drainage and the intricate systems that allow a consortium of city and county governments, as well as private companies needing data. For more information about the GIS and what a meeting is like, check out this write up.

The full 2018 schedule is on the Calendar page and the County page. The regular County Board meetings are back to Thursdays until next holiday season.

If you're curious about learning more about how your county government works, it's easy enough to live stream a meeting or go in person: Attend a Meeting.

http://www.co.champaign.il.us/CAL/2018/180715.pdf

*Meeting is broadcast live on Comcast Public Access and at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/champco1776


Where is Brookens?

Brookens Administrative Center
1776 East Washington Street
Urbana, Illinois 61802-4581
Phone: 217-384-3772

After 4:30 the Washington Street side Parking Lot is Closed See Maps for the North East Parking Lot Access









Sunday, July 15, 2018

More Pollinators

Last month it was the U of I's Pollinatarium highlighting local pollinator concerns with solar panels and bees. This month it's migrating Monarchs! The News-Gazette had information from the U of I Extension (serving Champaign and other area counties) in yesterday's paper:
In the Garden | Supporting the monarchs
Each year, there are four generations of monarch butterflies in Illinois. The first generation is born when overwintering monarchs return to lay eggs on milkweeds in late April or May. Two more generations occur over summer with a lifespan of about two to six weeks each. The final generation, born around September, migrates to Mexico as fall weather begins to cool. This lucky generation of monarch lives for six to eight months as it overwinters and travels countless miles on the trip to and from Mexico. Since the overwintering monarchs do not expend as much energy on reproduction as non-migratory generations, they are able to redirect that energy into survival, extending their life.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently assessing whether the monarch needs protection under the Endangered Species Act. Their assessment is not scheduled to be completed until June 2019. In the meantime, conservationists, biologists, non-profit organizations, government agencies and others are rushing to implement conservation measures to stabilize the monarch population.

So, what can you do to help the effort? One of the most basic things we can do is add more milkweeds to our landscaping or preserve areas on our property that support milkweeds.

Roadside ditches are abundant in Illinois and do support a lot of milkweed plants. Historically, these areas have been regularly maintained with mowing, which impacts both milkweeds and monarchs alike. However, many organizations, such as IDOT and county highway departments, are becoming more aware of the importance of milkweeds and now target their mowing to avoid plants...

Recent research has identified another obstacle for monarchs. Many butterflies simply cannot find enough food along the migration route. Although caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweeds, the adult butterflies feed on nectar from flowers. So, adding flowers to the landscape is a huge help. Who doesn't like more flowers? However, many of the non-native flowers we plant do not provide food for monarchs. This is another reason why planting native species is especially important for the monarch and other pollinators.

As monarchs approach the cusp of being listed as endangered, every little bit we can do to help is much needed. My hope is that we can someday look back at monarch conservation efforts and tell a story of success, one of a species with an equally dramatic recovery as its current decline.
More at the full article here. More about creating Pollinator Pockets at the U of I Extension program.

Kickapoo Trail Collaboration


An update on the Kickapoo Trail collaborations (previous blurb involving State and County Forest Preserve District here) were in the News-Gazette yesterday and talked about more potential collaboration on the Kickapoo Trail work. This time with city, county, state, and private entities that could end up benefiting the whole community:
Urbana working with Carle on proposed Kickapoo Rail Trail expansion
Amid ongoing litigation between the city and Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin thinks the two entities should still collaborate, and a plan to expand the Kickapoo Rail Trail will allow them to do just that.

The plan requires a collaborative effort from the city and hospital, along with the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission and Urbana Park District. Carle is contributing $25,000 as a grant match to $100,000 from the Illinois Department of Transportation, which will allow the planning commission to conduct a feasibility study on expanding the rail trail.

The vision, Marlin said, is to expand the pedestrian and bike trail westward from its current terminus at the intersection of East Main Street and U.S. 150/University Avenue through the northern edge of downtown, the southern edge of Crystal Lake Parkand Carle's hospital campus, stopping at the intersection of Lincoln and University avenues, near the northeastern edge of the University of Illinois campus.

"If we can get this built, it will connect downtown with Crystal Lake Park, Carle, the University of Illinois and the eastern portion of the trail," Marlin said Friday. "It would be transformative for the city as a whole..."

Local and state taxing authorities have been in a years-long legal battle with Carle over property taxes. The state Supreme Court sent the case back to circuit court in 2017, when former Mayor Laurel Prussing was in office.

Marlin said that collaborating with Carle has been one of her goals since she was elected, which came later in 2017. She noted that the proposed trail expansion would allow Carle employees to easily go downtown for lunch.
More at the full article here.

Rosecrance Merger and Moves

Rosecrance, a major provider of services in the area that works heavily with local government and other agencies is growing and reorganizing. From the News-Gazette yesterday:


There was also information on some of the facilities and moves highlighted by Rosecrance at the June Reentry Council meeting last month. Rosecrance Central Illinois' Executive Director, Chris Gleason, was clarifying an article from the News-Gazette available here. from the minutes (quick abbreviation key: BH is Behavioral Health, CoC in this context I believe is the City of Champaign, RCI is Rosecrance Central Illinois, and SA is Substance Abuse):


CU at Home is hoping to move into the TIMES Center from their Phoenix Drop-In Center. More information on that here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Active Shooter Drills and Community Action Plans

[UPDATE - WCCU had more on the Champaign Community Coalition meeting with more voices and a video segment here.]

The News-Gazette highlighted two ways the community is responding to the threat of gun violence. First a blurb informing the public that SWAT and Student Resource Officers will be training for active shooter scenarios in a couple local school facilities. While there may be simulated screaming, there is no simulated gun fire expected:


There was also a blurb about the Champaign Community Coalition's meeting yesterday where they were following up on last month's special meeting on gun violence in the community:


More information at the Champaign Community Coalition website.

Reentry Council 7/11


July's Reentry Council was moved back a week due to the July 4th holiday. Today's meeting focused quite a bit on the new bylaws and organization of the Reentry Council going forward. Bruce Barnard who regularly facilitates the meetings had his last meeting last month. His increased responsibilities and time obligations with his work at EIU appeared to be the main factor.

A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to a bit of organizational housekeeping for the year going forward. Annually selected co-chairs were nominated and approved: Claudia Lennhoff of Champaign County Health Care Consumers and Karee Voges, administrator of the Champaign County Jail. Bylaws of the Council were tentatively approved with some typo and grammatical corrections to be submitted. A few quick highlights:
  • The Council organization fits certain paramaters required of grant funding rules.
     
  • The Sheriff's Office would be represented as a single entity as opposed to with the Jail separate.
     
  • The Executive Committee would consist of representatives from the Champaign County Mental Health Board, Rosecrance Central Illinois, Champaign County Sheriff's Office, and the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.
     
  • Rules on voting members and voting proxies for representatives were discussed with a possible future amendment to the bylaws to make that easier for organizations.
     
  • Task groups created by the Council would be run by Council representatives selected to chair them and start out under default rules of the Council.
     
  • Executive Committee organizational details would be worked out by the Executive Committee.
     
  • Invitations to Carle, OSF, Land of Lincoln, and the City of Champaign are being considered for representation on the Council. 
I had a quick question on guests, which in the bylaws were in the context of expertise, as opposed to local government observer such as myself. The bylaws were broad enough for the co-chairs to invite almost any guest and allow them discretion on space considerations, needs of the group, and appropriateness. The Designated Citizen Representative was brought up, but will be discussed in the Executive Committee and probably be aimed towards someone with a background in reentry issues.

The regular meeting items addressed before and after all the organizational issues covered the usual approval of the previous minutes and an introduction of Chris Gleason of Rosecrance who was new to the group and catching up with all of the introductions.

Tammy Bond of First Followers highlighted some of the upcoming events and work within the community including training and education opportunities. There's also an upcoming Expungement Summit (more information here). 2016 data from reentry surveys should be available on the First Followers website in the upcoming few weeks.

County Board Chair Pius Weibel noted the County Board's recent approval of the new Rosecrance contract (video of the vote and presentation at the County Board here and agenda here — page 2, item XVI B 1). Rosecrance noted in the Reentry Council meeting that this means they will be getting a new full time case manager who will be working with Becky Griffith's team at the jail, but not onsite at the jail. This is important due to the space limitations at the jail itself.

Other updates were pretty routine. Data on participants, screening, and services being used. The Mental Health Board representative noted that they've completed their work towards allocations and contracts moving forward. The Illinois Department of Corrections will be providing better access to data for people working in reentry. I didn't understand the specifics, but it sounded like a positive move that will help.

The Fair Housing Campaign was discussed with the upcoming presentation by First Followers to the City of Champaign on July 24th. The desired outcome being a study session where the details of removing the exemption to the Human Rights Ordinance could be examined in a way that would help ease the roadblocks faced by people reentering and trying to find housing or their inability to stay with family.

The Housing Authority's goals for reentry pilot programs would be less restrictive if Champaign mirrored Urbana's current housing rights law on the subject. The Reentry Council took a position for such a change in 2016 and recommended to remove the exemption then. The Council again agreed to support removing the exemption and will have representatives at the First Follower's presentation to the City of Champaign on July 24th.

Next month's meeting will likely be less organizational, though there will be some followup on the bylaws.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sheriff Candidates on the Trail

Last night it was Democratic candidate Dustin Heuerman at the Champaign Public Library talking to Moms Demand Action. Today it is Republican candidate Allen Jones in a podcast interview with the News-Gazette's Mary Schenk in "Legally Speaking." Here's a brief overview of both (click here to jump to the Jones interview).

Heuerman as Guest Speaker


At the library Heuerman noted that there's no incumbent in this years election and that he believes this gives his campaign a stronger path to victory than previous races. He gave an overview of his education in criminology and law enforcement experience (more details on his campaign website's about page here). He highlighted his LGBT status and promised to increase diversity and thus increase equality in the Sheriff's Office. He pointed to his own experiences there as a deputy as part of the reasons behind his passion to change the current status quo there.

He talked about mending the community-police relationship and used his own mixed family as why he's personally invested in making sure that everyone who interacts with the police is treated fairly, especially in the current cultural environment. He wants to upgrade the quality of the jail, not just for safety, but if the jails are unsafe that could open the office to lawsuits and taxpayer liability when inmates will inevitably sue.

He called for a stronger focus on ethics and administration that encourages more effective law enforcement. He said that we absolutely have to address the violence we're seeing now, but also work with other agencies and the community to prevent the issues that lead to future gun violence and crime. He highlighted mentorship, programs and collaborations involved in the Champaign Community Coalition (Cheat Sheet post on the Coalition here) where he sees a lot of shared ideas.

He closed his pitch by posing the question to the audience if they believed anything was really going to change with another Republican in charge.


Jones Interview

In the News-Gazette podcast interview, Allen highlighted Champaign's awarded status as an "innovator county" on mental health and criminal justice issues as well as his role on those issues within the Sheriff's Office over his career. The News-Gazette had an excerpt on their website here:
What's the idea behind Stepping Up, the 2015 national collaboration between justice and mental-health officials?

(It's) to try to reduce the prevalence of the mentally ill in jail and reduce the length of time they are there.

We received a federal grant at the same time. The Champaign County Board and the Mental Health Board signed on. Since 2015, I've received training and had opportunities to go to the White House on data-driven justice analysis, looking for ways to divert the mentally ill (from the justice system), sharing information, looking at the best diversionary practices.

Champaign County has been recognized as an innovator county, one of 10 counties across the country that have actually started implementing these changes and are being recognized for these changes.

So what have you achieved?

When we received the federal grant, we had a local group of people from Rosecrance, the Mental Health Board, the hospitals, probation, the state's attorney, and citizens from the community who went about trying to determine what services we have in the community. (It's called) system-intercept mapping: Identifying what's there and what's not there. We've completed that process.

What did you learn?

We realized we're missing in a couple places. We really need to have some stronger or more proficient services prior to or at the point of police contact in the community, and having any and all services available where families don't have to call the police is really the desired outcome.
The full interview is available here.

Moms Demand Action 7/10

Moms Demand Action is a national organization for reforming gun policy with a local chapter here in Champaign-Urbana (facebook page here). They have regular monthly meetings and other events, but their main focus heading into the midterm elections is supporting what they call "Gun Sense" candidates. Gun Sense is a shorthand for what they view as common sense solutions to gun violence. More information on that at the Everytown for Gun Safety website on the subject.

 Meeting Highlights
Last night's meeting had guest speakers Esther Patt (local activist and head of the CU Tenants Union) on voter registration and the Democratic candidate for Sheriff, Dustin Heuerman. Esther began the meeting discussing strategies for effective voter registration were discussed as well as the various rules and requirements. The group will be looking for volunteers who will attend group training and commitments to help do the legwork.

Heuerman expressed a commitment to community policing and increasing diversity and equality within the Sheriff's Office. He noted that there is no incumbent this election, which he believes gives his campaign a fighting chance. He laid out his related education, experience, and passion for effective and fair policing (more on his about page on his campaign website).

In the regular agenda updates:

The new iteration of the Gun Dealer Licensing bill has a new name: "The Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act" (description and link to full text here). The bill is once again going to the Governor's desk for signature, and again faces an uncertain fate so they're encouraging people to call his office and show their support for his signature.

They highlighted the BeSMART campaign to encourage safe storage and prevent accidental and suicide deaths in the home. More information at the BeSMART website here.

There will also be the National Night Out event in Champaign at Beardsley Park on August 7th from 5-7pm (4-7pm for volunteers tabling). They'll have people there answering basic questions and handing out information as well as free gun locks for attendees who want them.

The Student Activist Organization had four students attending tonight and they gave a heads up about a joint meeting between Moms Demand Action and their organization to be announced soon. More on the Student Activist Organization from a meeting write up on the Cheat Sheet here.

Membership boosting ideas being considered include other times and events for folks who have difficulty making it to the usual Tuesday night monthly meeting. Janice of the survivors group is working on getting more black and brown people to join with outreach and information. She noted that many people who are survivors of gun violence don't know it or don't identify with the term even though they've been affected and impacted by gun violence injuring or threatening them and their loved ones as well. She welcomed other members to join a quilt project the survivors group is working on.

They encouraged members to join the facebook group for regular updates and sign up for e-mail updates if they'd like to get those as well. The Champaign Community Coalition was described and highlighted for its collaborative work with policing agencies, activists, and service providers to address gun violence. More about the Coalition on the Cheat Sheet here. An independent news source on gun violence and solutions was highlighted: The Trace. They also have a facebook page you can follow to get regular updates.

Training across the nation is starting soon, including a few people from this local chapter to learn more about organizing and being effective to changing legislation that they'll bring back to the group. They encouraged members with means to help make such training affordable to others through its program that subsidizes the training via donations for those who need help.

The meeting ended on a matter of life or death: getting out the vote. GOTV activities will be the main push of the group heading into the midterms and they'll be encouraging everyone to get even more active, recognizing the efforts so far and how difficult it will be on everyone.

The meeting adjourned at 8:52pm shortly after the Library warned they'll be closing soon.