January 2021
OUR LEADERSHIP & DGTDO OFFICE SUPPORT
MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR - JANUARY EDITION
By Kim Savage, DGTDO Chair
We looked forward to starting the new year with a clean slate and the promise of a new direction. We started off in a frenzy of phone calls to Georgia, once all the postcards were in the mail. We held our breath as the Georgia Senate race votes came in and then we rejoiced when they achieved the unthinkable, winning two Democratic seats in the Senate.

Suddenly, six days into 2021, our joy was shattered by a violent terrorist attack on our nation’s Capitol. We watched in horror as armed mobs breached the Capitol with the intention to disrupt the lawful certification of the election, destroy public assets, and threaten the lives of the first three people in the line of succession to the President, as well as the Vice-President Elect and the entire legislative branch of government. Donald Trump publicly incited the insurrection, supported in his efforts by Members of Congress. I could go on with the rest of the story, but most of you are still watching it unfold in real time, and it will keep changing by the minute until this newsletter is published.

While we are all excited about the upcoming inauguration of President Biden and Vice-President Harris, the events of the last week have us on edge in anticipation of more violence. It is a real possibility. However, we must focus on moving forward, knowing that we have more opportunities to elect Democrats locally. It is essential that we continue to talk to our neighbors and assess how they align with our values. Where we can win over disaffected Republicans, we should try. More importantly, we need to ensure that our sporadic Democratic voters come out in EVERY election, not just in the Presidential years. It is inconceivable that anyone can vote for a Republican now.

Many of you will be shocked to know that loads of Democrats sit out the Gubernatorial Election years. Even when they come out, they vote for the top of the ballot, but stop even before they get to the state legislators and certainly before they get to the county level races. You will be less shocked to know that Democrats are not voting in the local elections for municipalities, school districts, park districts, library districts, and fire districts. You are not surprised because chances are you are one of the 80% of people who fail to cast a ballot in Spring elections.

Most of your tax dollars go to support your local units of government, yet people regard them as unimportant when it comes to choosing leadership. One reason is that it is more difficult to learn about local candidates due to the demise of community-based newspapers and the difficulty candidates have in raising enough money to educate the public. We need to fix this vicious cycle and get Democrats out to vote for good government candidates in both partisan and non-partisan races.

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Send checks to DGTDO, PO Box 785,
Downers Grove 60515
SUPPORT DGTDO OFFICE AND HELP ELECT DEMOCRATS!
In this time of crisis due to COVID-19, we applaud the efforts of our doctors, nurses, health care professionals, health care support staff, fire fighters, EMTs, police, letter carriers, sanitation workers, teachers, store clerks, food production employees, farmers, and everyone else who makes it possible for us to care for those who are ill and those who are isolated at home.

While we are not meeting in person or out knocking on doors, our work continues. In addition to social media and email, we will be doing more outreach through the U.S. Mail. We must also continue to pay for our office rent and utilities.

If you are a monthly supporter, we appreciate your ongoing commitment to the organization. We also appreciate the annual checks that we have received from some of our special donors. We hope that everyone will continue to donate to fund our work during this vital election year. Our priorities will be on voter outreach and engagement to help elect more Democrats here in DuPage County. Don't forget, we can elect a majority on the County Board and the Forest Preserve Commission, as well as electing more judges to the Circuit Court, county wide offices, and to the State Legislature. It is our job to help get voters to the polls and we welcome your support. Here are links to online donation opportunities:


Send checks to DGTDO, PO Box 785,
Downers Grove 60515

Thank you for your continued support!

PC CORNER
Send "thank you for voting" notes to voters in your precinct. To request a list of voters, email Paul Farber at paulsfarber@gmail.com
PC CORNER - JANUARY 2021.
By Chris Hotchkin
We are ready to start a new year working to elect Democrats. We start the year with the opportunity to elect Democrats to township offices, municipal boards, and school boards. Municipal and school board elections are non-partisan—BUT we want to help elect citizens who reflect our democratic values. Township elections are partisan, close to home, grass roots—so we want to support our Democratic candidates as precinct committeepersons.

PC ACTIVITIES FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

  1. If you have not yet sent a postcard or letter to thank your voters who voted in the November General Election, we encourage you to do so. When you send this message, you might want to include a way for the voter to provide you with their email address. You can obtain a voter list from Paul Farber (paulsfarber@gmail.com) or from Sue Sitton (sasitton@aol.com) that will designate who voted in the General Election.
  2. Although it is unwise to host a gathering until we have all been vaccinated for Covid-19, you can host a virtual Zoom gathering to introduce township or municipal candidates to voters in your precinct. Kim Savage can help you set up a Zoom link. Choose a date, check with candidates if they will be available, and then invite Democrats in your precinct through email or phone calls. Send the Zoom link to all who are interested. Keep the event brief—an hour or less but allow some time for your Democratic neighbors to chat with each other about recent events.
  3. You can start preparing your precinct letter for the April 6, 2021 election. You will probably want to distribute this letter to Democrats in your precinct in February so that you can provide timely information about Early Voting and Vote by Mail. (Key Dates for Voting are provided in this newsletter.)
  4. Attend virtual meetings of the Downers Grove Township Democratic Organization. These meetings can provide you with important information about local issues and are an opportunity to ask questions you may have.
WE WON! BUT IT IS NOT OVER YET!
By Carla Feinkind
Biden/Harris WON! And then, we WON BOTH SEATS in the Georgia Senate run offs. We have the White House, House, AND Senate. Free and fair elections gave us those majorities. Still, Trump refused to concede. He incited insurrection with the tacit consent of the GOP! On the morning of January 6th, Trump called for his MASSIVE, ANGRY, and ARMED mob to occupy the Capital to stop the count! He told them he would march with them. Instead, he went to the White House to watch the fun on TV.

The world watched in HORROR as his army of well-armed (though disorganized) terrorists stormed the Capital building and ransacked Democratic offices, leaving in their wake massive damage. At least 5 people died, and many were injured. Elected leaders sheltered under desks and seats. Pence was ushered out under armed guard. Yet, even after the coup attempt, 147 Republicans STILL voted to overturn the election results and our democracyBut they did NOT have the votes. The Democratic House majority SAVED us! ELECTIONS DO MATTER!

**Note, MOST of those 147 now seek to carry forward this mantle of hate, destruction, and fascism to become the leader(s) of the GOP. Is it ALWAYS about personal gain for the GOP?

January 6th was ACTUAL PROOF that the dangers we face are NOT JUST TRUMP. THE GOP IS TOXIC AND DANGEROUS! The GOP will remain a serious threat well beyond the inauguration on the 20th. WE MUST NOT RELAX! WE MUST NOT GET BORED! WE MUST STAY VIGILANT AND BUSY!

*Keep calling Congress (BOTH HOUSES (202) 224-3121) to demand real action against Trump and his GOP enablers. Blame and denounce the GOP until they stand up for or democracy...OR WE WILL VOTE THEM OUT!!!

*Demand real NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS PROTECTION.

*Keep denouncing the dangers of Republican lies and hate to everyone you know! Silence will not stop this malice!

*Work with our DGTDO to support and ELECT Democrats in the coming local election in April and then, in 2022 ...and beyond. LET'S KEEP CRUSHING IT AT THE POLLS.

REMEMBER....WE ARE THE MANY! WE ARE PEOPLE POWER!  WORK IT!!!
GET INVOLVED NOW
DWDC ANNUAL MEETING.
By Joanna Williams
Susana Mendoza, IL Comptroller, will be the Keynote Speaker at the DWDC (Democratic Women of DuPage County) Virtual Annual Meeting.

Please join us!  Saturday January 16, 10:00 am. This is a free event but you must register at

DWDC was founded in 2008 to unite women of the Democratic Party, to recruit and support women candidates, to promote cooperation among women candidates and to provide educational and networking opportunities to DuPage Democratic women.

When Women Vote, Democrats Win!
MLK Jr. DAY OF SERVICE - FOOD DRIVE
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 9:00 am to 6 pm.
DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP
WHAT ABOUT TOWNSHIPS?
By Karol Sole
“I live in Hinsdale. Why are you asking me about Downers Grove Township?” asks a voter. You explain that the whole County is divided into nine Townships, like a tic-tac-toe board, and Hinsdale is in the southeastern township, named Downers Grove Township. Hinsdale is in Downers Grove Township. So is Darien, and other area communities. “But if I’ve never even heard of it, why does Downers Grove Township matter to me?”

If you happen to live in an unincorporated area, the Township is YOUR local government. Aren’t you curious to know what they are doing, for you, - or NOT doing for you? If you live anywhere in the Township, including downtown Hinsdale, you are paying taxes to the Township. Every property in the Township pays the same tax rate to the Township, whether the property is in the unincorporated areas, or not. Thanks, everyone, for helping to pay to maintain the roads and police protection in the unincorporated areas!

What is this Township unit of government good for? Employing Republicans. No record has been found of any Democrat being elected as a Downers Grove Township official, or employed in the office. The Highway Commissioner, the Assessor, the Supervisor and the Clerk are all elected in a partisan election by Township voters, along with four Trustees. They are all paid positions, some more than $100,000 per year! Salaries were set for the new term at the November 12, 2020 meeting, but the amount of the increases were not included in the meeting minutes – not very transparent for a unit of government! 2019 records show at least 35 employees, some known to be family members of elected officials, 80% receiving IMRF (pensions.)

What does the Township do? The Township has three funds: the General Town Fund, the General Assistance Fund, and the Road & Bridge Fund. For this discussion in the time of COVID with unemployment high and jobs scarce, let’s look at the General Assistance Fund which is intended to provide:

  • Financial support for residents who have limited resources or none;
  • Financial support for residents who are unemployed or disabled without any other forms of income;
  • Emergency aid and assistance.

2021 DG TOWNSHIP ELECTION -
MEET OUR CANDIATES
Make a donation to support our
Township Candidate Slate:
DOWNERS GROVE TOWNSHIP DEMOCRATIC SLATE.
Our candidates are:
  • Maryann Vazquez,Township Supervisor
  • Mary Lemanski, Township Clerk
  • Tom Chlystek,Township Highway Commissioner
  • Gail Cabala-Lowry, Township Trustee
  • Gerry Kirschbaum, Township Trustee
  • Janet Winningham, Township Trustee
  • Bonnie Wayman Dodd, Township Trustee
MARYANN VAZQUEZ, SUPERVISOR.
Maryann understands that in the current pandemic there are people in our Township who are missing out on needed social services. Her training in urban and community studies, and her lifelong work organizing, marketing, and managing give her the skill set required to bring help to all in need. Maryann is passionate in her desire to support the community in these unprecedented times while maximizing limited resources creatively.
MARY LEMANSKI, CLERK.
Mary is a Downers Grove homeowner, business owner, musician, and mother of two children. Mary grew up in Springfield in a family with decades of involvement in local politics from both sides of the aisle. She learned the importance of listening to others and finding compromise in a compassionate way. Mary studied music and business administration at Millikin University, and possesses an MBA in e-Business. Mary worked in the music and entertainment industry at Rhino Staging and iHeartRadio. She organized educational workshops and charity benefit concerts with sponsorships for international non-profits and music websites, and currently operates an Internet marketing & virtual assistant business.
TOM CHLYSTEK, HIGHWAY COMMISSIONER.
Tom is an alderman in the City of Darien and an Engineer working with advanced auto manufacturers like Tesla in developing technologies for next generation vehicles. Tom will save our tax dollars by cutting wasteful and inefficient processes and eliminating bureaucracy while preparing Downers Grove Township for the next evolution of transportation by incorporating the latest policies and technologies that will lead to a clean and sustainable future for all residents. In Tom's free time, he enjoys spending time with this family in the great outdoors, and being part of Our Lady of Peace Church.
GAIL CABALA-LOWRY, TRUSTEE.
Gail is a resident of Downers Grove. She is a Licensed Architect and former Village trustee. Her knowledge and experience will be an asset to the trustee position as she works regularly preparing estimates, balancing budgets, reviewing zoning and building codes, and is involved with storm water management. She holds a BArch from UIC and MS from UIUC School of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and is a strong advocate of responsible land use, including preservation of green spaces. Gail wants to work as a township Trustee to ensure prudent and valued use of tax dollars, and to promote a healthy and sustainable township with Green Infrastructure Initiatives. 
GERRY KIRSCHBAUM, TRUSTEE.
Gerry has dedicated much of his career to fighting to protect the rights of people in our community and passed on those values of public service to his daughter who serves as a first responder. As a Township Trustee, Gerry will work to make our township a better place to live, while ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently to provide necessary services and programs. Gerry is a Darien resident, licensed attorney, and former Public Defender. 
JANET WINNINGHAM, TRUSTEE.
Janet is a commercial real-estate attorney whose practice includes development, construction, leasing, and finance. She earned her undergraduate degree from DePaul University and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. Janet has been elected or appointed to serve on the boards of directors of public service and nonprofit organizations, including over 10 years with the Brookwood School District 167 Board of Trustees, and as a founding director of a nonprofit established under the auspices of Abraham’s Children, a mission of the First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton. Janet and her husband, Tom, are 20-year residents of Downers Grove, where Tom grew up and they have one adult son. Janet attends Christ Church of Oak Brook.
BONNIE WAYMAN DODD, TRUSTEE.
Bonnie is a lifelong resident of DuPage County. She possesses a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is an experienced Hospital Nurse and Community Nurse. In our community she has volunteered for a variety of causes from Girl Scout leader to school volunteer and is a Westmont Citizen’s Police Academy alum and an election judge. As Trustee, Bonnie will work to increase transparency in how the Township operates and boost awareness of the Township’s social services to help people struggling through the pandemic, especially our seniors and young adults.
2021 CONSOLIDATED ELECTION
MUNICIPAL, SCHOOL BOARD, LIBRARY BOARD, PARK DISTRICT OFFICES.
Check out the DGTDO Website for current list of candidates for Village/City Boards, Library Boards, Park District Boards, Fire Districts and School Boards. As we are made aware of candidates, the information will be added to the website. We should have a complete list of candidates by the end of the month.
DuPage Election Commission
VOTE BY MAIL AND KEY DATES FOR 2021 CONSOLIDATED ELECTION.
Notes on Why to Vote By Mail (VBM)
  • Before COVID19, VBM was already available to all Illinois Residents. VBM has a proven track record and process.
  • Both Republican and Democratic Election Judges are ALWAYS present during all phases of processing Vote by Mail Ballots (Postmark Check, Signature Check, Feeding the Ballot through the Machine, etc.…).
  • Vote By Mail provides a paper trail that can always be verified/audited.
  • Vote By Mail is an excellent option to keep both your health and vote safe.

Starting January 6 - You Can Apply to VBM

Other Important Dates
  • 2/7 - Last Day To Register Online - Register Here: ova.elections.il.gov
  • 2/25 - VBM Ballots start to be sent out to those that applied
  • 2/25 - Early Voting Starts at the Election Division (may be the Fairgrounds)
  • 3/22 - Countywide Early Voting Starts
  • 4/1 - Last Day to Apply to VBM (we suggest doing it by 3/15)
  • 4/6 - Last Day for In Person Registration (at Election Division or Polling Location)
  • 4/6 - Election Day
SUPPORT DG TOWNSHIP BUSINESSES
NEW - FREE ADVERTISING - DEMOCRATIC DIRECTORY.
DIRECTORY OF DEMOCRATIC-FRIENDLY BUSINESSES

DGTDO is compiling this list of "Democratic Friendly" businesses in DuPage County, and we are asking for your help!

YOU CAN:

  • Advertise your professional service, trade, specialty, or retail business at no charge.

  • Share your recommendations of your favorite business or professional that supports democratic values.

During this difficult time, we continue to encourage everyone to support their local businesses, especially our members’ Democratic owned businesses.

If you know of businesses that support our democratic values and should be included in the directory, fill out this form
MORE EVENTS AND RESOURCES
WE THE PEOPLE CONSTITUTION DISCUSSION GROUP (Virtual)
TOPIC: SUPREME COURT

MARK YOU CALENDAR!

Tuesday, February 9
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

If interested, please email wtpconstitutiondg2020@gmail.com
JOIN PEACE TOASTMASTERS.
PEACE! TOASTMASTERS
1ST FRIDAY 6:30-8:30PM
3RD SUNDAY 3:00-5:00pm
DUPAGE DEMOCRATS OFFICE
CURRENTLY MEETING VIRTUALLY

  • Improve your impromptu speaking
  • Learn to articulate your message clearly
  • Learn to use feedback to improve performance
  • Try out new ideas
  • Vent with like-minded people
CHECK FOR UPDATES
Candidate information for the 2021 Consolidated Election (April 6, 2021) has been added to the website. Currently, we don't have all candidate information. The DuPage Election Commission expects to have all candidate information by January 28. The website will be updated as information is available.

On the Home Page, scroll down to see a list of events that that will take place in our DGTDO Office. Upcoming events that may be of interest are updated regularly on the website. If there is an event you would like added, let us know.

Our goal is to make the website more useful to everyone including voters, precinct committeemen, and people looking to get involved in our democratic efforts.

Your input is important. Submit your thoughts and ideas to Sue at sasitton@aol.com
Visit Left Out - DuPage on Facebook or their new Website: http://leftoutdupage.com.
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO & WAYS TO HELP.
Left Out – DuPage Area is a unique local Facebook group that serves as an informational clearinghouse for all Democratic leaning - progressive events occurring in and around DuPage County. It has over 2,700 followers.

Left Out DuPage is a great way to find events in the area. Also, if you have a progressive event, you can post it. On a weekly basis, Left-Out - DuPage Area searches Facebook for events hosted by local campaigns and grassroots organizations and reposts them to their followers. It is volunteer-run and has no affiliation with any organization or campaign.
White House: (202) 456-1111   
Click on GET INVOLVED in the blue header

Dept of Justice: (202) 353-1555

Congressional Switchboard for Both Houses: (202) 224-3121

Local offices if Washington office is busy:
Sen. Dick Durbin (312) 353-4952
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (312) 886-3506
Rep. Sean Casten 202-225-4561, 630-520-9450
Rep. Mike Quigley (773) 267-5926
Rep. Bill Foster (630) 585-7672
Rep. Dan Lipinski (708) 242-0853

NEED TO MAKE SURE THE GOP LEADERSHIP HEARS YOU? 

State of IL: JB Pritzker:
(217) 782-0244

State Sen Suzy Glowiak
(217) 782-8148, Local TBD

Rep Deanne Mazzochi
(217) 782-1448, (630) 852-8633

State Sen John Curran
(630) 796-2623, (217) 82-9407

State Rep Jim Durkin
(217) 782-0494, (630) 325-2028

State Rep Anne Stava-Murray
(217) 782-6578 , 630-605-0595

Contact the corporate media too! 

ABC News: (212) 456-7777
CBS News: (212) 975-3247
NBC and MSNBC News (212) 664-4444
CNN (404) 827-1500

Sign up for Saturday Virtual Coffee & Chat? Send email to dgdemocrats@gmail.com
DGTDO OFFICE HOURS:
January/ February 2021
DGTDO Office
(PO Box 785)
908 Curtiss, Downers Grove
630-297-8600

Office Open with Phase 3 Guidelines. BE SAFE!!

Monday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Friday 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
For most current list of events, go to www.dgdemocrats.org/
 
For other Local events, check out Left Out – DuPage Area Facebook Page or website http://leftoutdupage.com/
Upcoming Events and Key Election Dates
Types of events: DGTDO, Candidate, Education / Issues, “Be Active”, Organization Meeting
To add events to the following list, email information to DGTDONewsletter@gmail.com

Updated January 14, 2021
Recurring Events

DGTDO Office (Virtual)
Saturdays, 10:00 to 11:00 am
DGTDO Office
VIRTUAL Coffee and Chat
Interested in joining? Send an email to dgdemocrats@gmail.com

DGTDO Office Hours
Saturdays, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
DGTDO Office (for dropping off and picking up materials)
908 Curtiss Street, Downers Grove


JANUARY 2021

REQUEST A VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT BEGINS JANUARY 6
https://www.dupageco.org/Election/VoteByMail/

January 16 (Saturday), 10:00 am to 12:00 pm      
DWDC Virtual Brunch and Annual Meeting
Virtual Meeting

January 17 (Sunday), 3:00 to 5:00 pm      
PEACE Toastmasters Meeting  (1st Fridays, 3rd Sundays)
Virtual Meeting

January 21 (Thursday), 7:00 to 8:00 pm      
Civic Awareness Series: Personal Transformation to Become a Climate Advocate
Virtual Meeting

January 21 (Thursday), 7:00 to 8:00 pm      
Voter Suppression from an Historical and a Personal Perspective
(hosted by: Indivisible Naperville
Virtual Meeting

VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT MAILED BEGINNING FEBRUARY 25

EARLY VOTING BEGINS FEBRUARY 25
January 25 (Monday), 1:30 to 3:00 pm      
Living Room Conversations: Climate Change and the Environment
Virtual Meeting

January 27 (Wednesday), 7:00 to 8:30 pm      
Living Room Conversations: Climate Change and the Environment
Virtual Meeting

FEBRUARY 2021
February 5* (Friday), 6:00 to 9:00 pm 
PEACE Toastmasters Meeting  (1st Fridays, 3rd Sundays)
Virtual Meeting

February 9 (Tuesday), 6:30 to 8:00 pm 
We the People Constitution Discussion Group
Virtual Meeting
Details to follow

February 10 (Wednesday), 7:30 to 9:00 pm 
DGTDO Monthly Meeting (2nd Wednesday)
Virtual Meeting

February 21 (Sunday), 3:00 to 5:00 pm      
PEACE Toastmasters Meeting  (1st Fridays, 3rd Sundays)
Virtual Meeting