It’s Officially An Election Year, Now…

January 31, 2016

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First off, I would like to congratulate Steve Dutner on being elected as the new Vice Chair for the DuPage Libertarians. Continuing to serve in the other roles are Jennifer Floyd as Secretary, Todd Zimmerman as Treasurer, and myself as Chair.

So there were plans to have a huge blog written and ready for the beginning of the year, but that didn’t pan out, because we have been WAY too busy. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I don’t know yet; everyone is too exhausted to make a judgment call…

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The biggest event coming up is obviously the state convention in March. On Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th, the Libertarian Party of Illinois will hold its annual state convention at the Hilton garden Inn in Springfield. The event includes some pretty amazing highlights, including the Friday night debate between several of the leading Libertarian presidential candidates, including Steve Kerbel, Austin Petersen, Marc Allan Feldman, and Cecil Ince. Attending this event means you may have a chance to personally ask a question from one or all of these candidates.

The keynote speaker for Saturday is Julie Borowski, who (as the rumor mill goes) may also be moderating the debate on Friday night. You can also expect to hear speeches from Claire Ball and Chris Michel, and as a state party member, have an official vote in making them the official Libertarian Party of Illinois candidates for the November general election.

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The next big event is the one occurring right after the convention, and the one that requires the most help – our Petition Drive. The good news about the petition drive is that you can get ALL the information from your source right here, or at our Facebook page. That information includes weekday and weekend events where candidates and volunteers will go out to collect signatures. We can pretty much guarantee that there will be an event going on every weekend through the 90 day period, and that we will be reaching out to volunteers to help us collect as many signatures as we can from registered Illinois voters. You are all invited to help us out.

The Petition Drive will be made up of multiple smaller events throughout the state, such as kickoff parties, campouts, and festivals that you can join in on.

So yes – we haven’t been bored. Everyone has been working tirelessly to put these events together and to coordinate our efforts to make it all happen. If you are someone who would like to get involved, this is a damn good year where we could definitely use your help.


Leaving Behind 2015, Here We Come 2016…

December 21, 2015

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Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, I first want to thank all the members of the DuPage Libertarians, and surrounding chapters, who came out and made our charity holiday dinner party the huge success that it was. We filled several large boxes and bags of canned and dry goods to donate to our charity of choice, the local affiliate of Loaves and Fishes, a charity that ensures 97% of all it raises goes directly to those who need it, while getting less than 1% of their funding from government. Our members are awesome and generous; thank you all.

So… what is happening now?

A lot. Way more than we were anticipating; quite frankly.

On Sunday, December 13th, Chairwoman of the College of DuPage board of trustees Kathy Hamilton surprised everyone by announcing that she was stepping down from the board, for personal reasons.

Whatever those reasons may be, the board of trustees at COD is now in chaos – worse than usual. Two days after Hamilton made her announcement, the college was put on academic probation by the Illinois Higher Learning Commission. This probation period lasts two years, in which time the board must prove that they have made the necessary corrections to the issues at the college… or the college could lose its accreditation.

The remaining six board members are split with regards to how to handle issues, stemmed from the incident over the last 18 months with ex-president Robert Breuder. They now have less than 60 days to appoint a seventh trustee to the board, or the Illinois Community College Board will appoint someone.

Before you ask, the answer is yes – many have been reaching out to ask if Claire Ball will apply for the position, and many have been publicly calling on her to step forward.

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So what has been her official response? As of this point, she has not decided if she will apply or not. With a brutal campaign over the next ten months for Illinois Comptroller, combined with wrapping up her studies to earn her CPA, the girl is a bit overwhelmed at the moment – and we here at the DuPage Libertarians do not want to stretch her too thin, as her race for Comptroller will be a hard one.

However, taking on the role of trustee at COD would be a great way for her to directly make a positive impact on the community, while also helping demonstrate to the state of Illinois just how honest and effective a libertarian in office can be. The opportunity is one to not let slip away.

So as you can see, there is a lot happening with the DuPage Libertarians, and volunteers have been coming from everywhere to help support us in the election next year, including working on the campaign teams for Chris Michael and Claire Ball. There is always room for more, and all our members and readers are more than welcome to jump in at any point and help us along the way to make Illinois a better place to live and do business.

Claire has made one thing clear; if she does decide to apply for the position and is chosen by the board (also a long shot), she will continue to be the Libertarian Party of Illinois candidate for Comptroller. As soon as she earns her CPA early next year, she will be a force to be reckoned with.

No wonder the two parties are terrified of her.


The Holidays Always Bring Out the Best In Us!

December 7, 2015

Well damn, have we been BUSY in the past few weeks!

Candidate for US Senate Chris Michel and candidate for Illinois Comptroller Claire Ball both made a trip to visit the Libertarian Party of Central Illinois in Peoria, led by chair Ben Hausam and including former candidate for Illinois Governor Chad Grimm. A journalist from the Peoria Star attended to see the candidates, while chapter members talked about everything from campaign strategy to the upcoming petition drive.

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Chris and Claire also took part in a campaign event hosted by the Chicago LP, led by chair Gayle Deick, and including special guest, state party chair and former candidate for Governor Lex Green. With almost 40 people in attendance, with the majority of them signing up to volunteer for the party or a campaign, it was definitely an amazing event.

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The following week, the DuPage Libertarians decorated our sponsored tree in Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Westmont. It was one of the first bits of snow we had, and the park was filled with people all decorating their trees. Our ornaments were all ascribed with liberty quotes – though they are tough to read, they were a lot of fun making them.

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On Thanksgiving weekend, we also marched in the Westmont Frosty and Friends Night Parade, which allowed us to decorate the car (and ourselves) with lights.

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The following morning we drove out to join our friends in the Fox Valley Libertarian Party for their annual Woodstock Christmas Parade in the town square.

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Last but not least, we can’t forget the monthly gun shows we continue to host a table at for the Pioneer Valley Sportsman’s Association gun show at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.

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Thank you to EVERY volunteer who marched in parades with us, staffed tables, and helped with campaign meetings.

We have one last event coming up before the year is over, and that event is doubling not just as our final meeting of the year where we celebrate the holidays, but also as a charity event. The location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. There will be the annual awards given out to members who are recognized for their outstanding help, and of course there is the charity aspect of the event.

We will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations come privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.

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Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them.
Help us celebrate the holidays and the end of an exciting year by attending our final meeting for 2015 and by helping us bring in a huge load of donations for those in need. Everyone is invited to join us, but if you can’t make it out, we wish you peace and happiness to you, your family, and your loved ones. Thanks everyone – hope to see you at the party!


So Many Local Libertarian Events Going On In November!!

November 3, 2015

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With Halloween out of the way, and autumn now firmly established in Illinois, we are getting back to focusing on the events we have booked for November… which are a LOT.

Coming up early next week, the Chicago LP is hosting a meet-n-greet with candidates Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller and Chris Michel for US Senate. This event, taking place at Wills Northwoods Inn @ 3030 N Racine Ave. in Chicago, will allow voters to meet with and ask questions from both candidates on all the issues that matter to them. The event is free, open to the public, and starts at 6:30pm.

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The following week on Wednesday, Nov 18th, Claire Ball will have a table set up at the Heartland Institute for the Women In Politics event, which includes State Rep. Jeanne Ives and radio host Amy Jacobson. It starts at 6:30pm at the new location 3939 N. Wilke Rd. in Arlington Heights, IL.

Thursday, Nov. 19th @ 7pm will be our usual scheduled monthly meeting for the DuPage Libertarians, where we will be getting crafty as we make decorations for our sponsored Christmas Tree in Westmont, which we will be decorating a few days later at noon on Sunday, Nov. 22nd followed by all of us going out to grab lunch shortly afterward. Anyone who wants to jump in on this is welcome!

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Oh, and we have two parades to march in on the weekend of Thanksgiving! The Festival of Lights Holly Days parade in downtown Westmont kicks off at 6pm on Saturday, and the Woodstock Christmas Parade at 2pm on Sunday. Help us carry banners and flags, or hand out candy and business cards to onlookers. These events are always fun, and as usual, we all get together for food afterwards.

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Also, don’t forget the PVSA Wheaton Gun Show on Sunday, December 6th at the Dupage County Fairgrounds. It is $5 admission to get in, unless you show up early with us and help work the table – then you get in for free AND you feel the satisfaction of helping your local libertarians out.

There are some changes to this year’s Annual Holiday Party. Instead of a gift exchange, we will be holding a food drive for Loaves & Fishes located in Naperville, IL. They are a 501(c)(3) organization in operation since 1984 which provides food and other services to the poor of DuPage county and surrounding areas. The majority of their donations comes privately with only 1% of their budget from government funding. They put what they are given to work as well, passing 97% of their donations to those they serve.

Those coming to our December event are encouraged to bring canned or boxed foods to donate. In addition, Loaves & Fishes also accepts household items such as paper towels, 1 gallon Ziploc bags, toiletries, and diapers. For a full listing of what they accept and what their current needs are, you can visit their website and check out the Most Needed Items list. Our event is registered with Loaves & Fishes and we will also pass along any monetary donations we receive for them. Donations also can be made directly to the organization at their website.

thThe location for this year’s event will be at Cozymels Coastal Mex @ 311 E. Loop Rd. in Wheaton, IL. It starts at 6:30pm; special guests include candidate Claire Ball for Illinois Comptroller, and Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Lex Green. Awards of appreciation will also be given out, and we will cover usual group business, though it generally takes very little time at these events.

If you’ve never been out to a DuPage Libertarian event before, there are plenty of opportunities right now to jump in on – take your pick! If you are a long time member but haven’t been active in a while, don’t hesitate to jump in whenever you get the urge to see all the old members and meet the newer ones. We hope you all enjoy the rest of autumn and Thanksgiving. See you soon…


Remembering Mark Agnini

October 1, 2015

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Last week, on the morning of Thursday, September 24th, Mark Agnini passed away. At the age of 67 years, he had the passion and dedication of a career-driven person in their thirties, the energy and motivation of a college student in their twenties, and the dirty joke-telling humor of a high school kid.

In a single conversation, Mark could enrich you with philosophical conversation, right before he makes a witty comment that makes you and everyone standing nearby laugh out loud.

He had a warm heart and a cheerful attitude. You always felt better when Mark was around because of his jubilant demeanor, regardless of how bad of a day you were having or how stressed you were about a situation. Not many human beings who grace their presence on this small globe have that ability to charm people and evoke positive emotions. His optimism was unmatched, and his smile infectious.

As for his dedication to the philosophy of libertarianism, and the party in Illinois that he was part of, you’d be hard pressed to find many who were more dedicated to increasing awareness and helping to get candidates elected.

Mark and I had lunch together just two weeks before his passing. It lasted several hours, and involved a lot of note taking, as him and I planned out the projects each of us would be tackling, along with a step by step guide so we could follow each other’s progress and offer assistance when needed.

He was an active member in three different chapters, was working to help develop two more, and had roles in candidate campaigns for the 2016 election.

He regularly attended meetings for the Fox Valley Libertarian Party, the Libertarian Party of Lake County, and the DuPage Libertarians – and was once the Chair in DuPage. He even assumed the role of the State Organizing Committee representative for Lake County, and actually attended the monthly phone conferences, which is more than can be said for most other chapters in the state.

The night before his passing, Mark had driven out to DeKalb County to visit with some college students to discuss plans on starting a chapter out there. He was THAT dedicated to spreading liberty and freedom in Illinois, and was willing to take on any and all projects that he could to help out.

His robust character and charming humor will be greatly missed at all three chapters that Mark regularly attended. His insight and intellect during the campaign meetings cannot be replaced. His 22 years as a Theology professor at Elmhurst College had sharpened Mark into a person who could easily hold his own in a debate, while applying myriad tactics to educate others throughout the discussion. Luckily, plenty of us learned from him, and can put that education to great use in the coming years.

Thanks, Mark, for everything.


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