SCARCE: One-Stop Recycling Information

By | June 12, 2021

I hate throwing things away, not so much because I cling to things, but because I cringe at wasting anything. I was compliling a list of local resources for myself when I discovered that SCARCE already has most of what I was looking for. Highly recommended!

Apart from the many things they themselves accept, they have a comprehensive reference page for other resources, including special recycling events and specialty drop-off resources.

Campaign Season Delayed

By | June 7, 2021

The 2022 election cycle was delayed by the state legislature due to Trump delaying the census. The new primary will be on June 28, 2022.  Petitions will be from January 13-March 14 with lower numbers of signatures required than in previous years.

The most immediate consequence is that the “Campaign Bootcamp” previously announced here has been postponed until August 31st. More details will be provided here as soon as the rest of the new schedule is worked out.

It’s really awkward to expect new candidates to start 7 months before petitions but if anyone is interested in getting involved this summer there will be plenty of opportunities. Thanks for your patience!

2020 Birthday Rewind June 27

By | May 19, 2021

cakeIt’s time to celebrate all of those birthdays we’ve missed in quarantine!  LTDO is hosting a birthday bash and we’d like all of you to join us. The party is Sunday, June 27th from 2 pm to 5 pm at Castaldo Park in Woodridge (3024 71st St).

Please sign up now (you can adjust your choices later) for this free event at https://go.LTDO.org/signup-6-27-21. (You might need to click the link again after you sign in.) The form has additional details; please consider volunteering to bring things on the form’s “wish list”.

grillDue to Covid restrictions, we are limited to 50 people at a time, so you must choose one of the early or late slots on the form. (If restrictions change, we’ll increase the limit.) Masks and 6 foot distancing will be observed.

We’ll provide veggie burgers, kosher hot dogs, buns, chips, and dessert. Hand sanitizer and wipes will also be available. We have a liquor permit, so you may BYOB. You may also want to bring a comfortable lawn chair and a beverage. If you are kind enough to bring additional goodies, they must be individually wrapped.

We look forward to seeing you!

Upgrading America’s Infrastructure

By | May 16, 2021

Understanding Federal Government Financing of Long-Term Investments

Robert Sacks, LTDO Treasurer

Among the key policy battles going in Washington is how to pay for repairing and modernizing America’s infrastructure. Democrats are considering higher tax rates for corporations and upper income earners, positions that are popular among people of varied political persuasions. Meanwhile, Republicans regard even the partial restoration of taxes cut during the previous administration as a deal breaker and argue for a much smaller bill than proposed by the President.

Together we can modernize our infrastructureAside from the fact that Republicans in Congress are unlikely to vote for anything that looks like a victory for Joe Biden (though I’d wager that they’d go home to their districts to claim credit for such funding), there’s a more fundamental question here: why is maintenance of the nation’s infrastructure something that requires a so-called “pay-for”?

I’d argue that this is closer to normal wear and tear, just as a home or car tends to become more costly over time, and eventually requires overhaul or replacement. Our country has regularly spent (wasted?) trillions of dollars on weapons, warfare, and tax cuts for the wealthy, with no one on the right questioning how to pay for it. But propose programs to repair and update our infrastructure, and suddenly there are no dollars to be found.

A common argument among Republicans is that the Democrats are expanding the definition to include areas not traditionally considered infrastructure. This can easily be countered by pointing out that the internet, rural electrification and telephony, interstate highways, etc. also didn’t exist less than a century ago, yet are now key components of our infrastructure. Over time, what is considered necessary for a functional economy has evolved and will continue to do so in the future.

Last year you spent $5000 on donutsOne of the fundamental differences between the way our federal government accounting works and the way state and local government units work is that the federal budget accounts for everything on a current basis, where there is no consideration of the value or of an asset or liability over time. Every dollar coming in or going out is counted within the current year’s budget. Under GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), when a state or local government invests in property, plant, equipment, pension costs, etc., the lifespan of the asset or liability is taken into account. The federal government, however, is constitutionally prohibited from accounting in this manner.

Obviously, the federal government has the power to print money and incur debt in ways not available to local governments, but the requirement to use cash accounting exaggerates the effects of the federal deficit and debt by not, for example, recognizing the value of the government’s physical assets. While I do think that, as a means of moving toward economic equality, it’s beyond time to collect a greater share of taxes from the wealthy and from profitable corporations, infrastructure spending should not depend upon resolving the decades-old problem of our distorted tax system. The stimulative quality of infrastructure investment, coming in the wake of the most recent economic collapse under another Republican president, is reason enough to proceed with an ambitious national renewal program.

Illinois Bills Need Your Help

By | May 8, 2021

Illinois legislators are going on break (until Fall!) soon. Due to the pandemic, there’s a backlog of critical bills that are close to the finish line this week. Below are the most popular. If you want to take action, find your representatives with contact information:  bit.ly/IL-Reps. “HB” means it’s is in the House of Representatives; “SB” means in the Senate. Nervous? Try our Beginner’s Guide to Calling Your Rep.

  • Climate and Jobs: HB 0804 – CEJA (Clean Energy Jobs Act) Can’t Wait – Info: ilcleanjobs.org/who-we-are/clean-energy-jobs-act/
  • Animal Welfare: HB 1711 – This is to stop puppy mills. It needs to be heard by the Senate Agriculture committee by May 14 or the bill dies without being passed. Info: legiscan.com/IL/bill/HB1711/2021
  • Electoral Reform- SB 1785 – This will allow rank choice voting in State level, State Representative  and presidential primaries.
    Info: fairvoteillinois.org or facebook.com/fairvoteillinois
    Webinar: youtu.be/gA3LEVPErjs
    Illinois-specific: youtu.be/mIOd4cXg6Qs
  • Social Justice – HB 3913- Sensible solution to chronic homelessness for people with convictions
    Info: chicago400.net/content/3-legislation/hb3913-no-cost-housing-c400-tasc-caase-shriver.pdf
  • Earned Discretionary Release: SB 2333 Establishes that after serving 20 years, a person is eligible to have their case heard in front of the Parole Review Board.
  • End Prison Slave Labor Act: SB 0649 Expands the state minimum wage to include people serving a sentence at the Illinois Department of Corrections and increases the state pay for all people incarcerated in Illinois prisons.
  • Judicial Quality Act: SB0563 Ensures Judges receive quarterly training on racial bias, child abuse, trans and gender nonconforming identities, and the impact of trauma on youth brain development.
  • Jury Qualification: SB2437 This bill provides that no person who is qualified and able to serve as a juror may be excluded from jury service on the basis of a previous criminal record.

Membership Meeting Monday, May 10

By | May 1, 2021

Join the May Lisle Township Organization on May 10th at 7:30PM via Zoom at bit.ly/05-10-21-LTDO. We will be hearing the latest from Springfield. State Senator Laura Ellman of the 21st District and State Representative Janet Yang Rohr of the 41st District will be educating us on what they have been doing in Springfield. They have both been very active passing exciting new legislation, maintaining district services & serving the people. All Democrats are invited.

Tech Tutorials, Anyone?

By | March 15, 2021

This is not the time to subject yourself to unnecessary tutorials, but if you’re doing a lot of work with a particular tool and thinking “there must be an easier way”, you might want to browse these. I’ve had “make tutorials” on my back burner job list for some time, but there are tons of tutorials already out there; it’s just a question of finding one that’s suitable. I’m just getting started and haven’t vetted these thoroughly, but I’ve at least looked at them and they’re not awful.

And don’t forget to click “Help” on the main menu of whatever you’re fighting with using! I still forget to do this before embarking on a laborious geeky search.

Google Drive

Google Docs

  • Did you know that Google Docs takes dictation? But it only works with the Chrome browser.

Gmail

Slack

COVID Update

By | March 15, 2021
Sadly, even if you are eligible, getting vaccination appointments is still a problem locally. Hang in there! Once you are fully vaccinated, new CDC guidelines permit you to:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

Many precautions will still be necessary, so please read the complete recommendations, especially to be sure that your vaccination has fully taken effect: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.

NPR reports new CDC guidance allowing indoor visits with nursing home residents for the first time since last September. Under the new guidelines, facilities should allow indoor visitation for all residents, regardless of vaccination status, unless the local COVID risk exceeds certain thresholds. Visits should only be limited if the surrounding county has high test positivity rates, the facility has low vaccination rates, or if a resident is in quarantine. The CDC estimates that roughly one third of all adults aged 65 or older have been fully vaccinated in the United States. (via CovidActNow.org)

Voting Is Underway!

By | March 15, 2021

AnchorLocal Elections Matter!
Make sure your values are represented on budgets, ethics, schools, and safe pandemic response. In addition to our Lisle Democratic Township Slate (https://ittakesatownship.org), we have Democrats running for District 203 School Board and our Park District.

Early Voting Sites
Here’s where they are: https://www.dupageco.org/earlyvoting/

Sample Ballots
Find them at https://www.dupageco.org/sampleballot/

Vote By Mail Ballots Are Going Out
It may take 6-7 business days to receive your ballot. Order NOW to be sure to have your ballot on time. Mail in your ballot as soon as possible. If you don’t have one,
get your your Vote By Mail ballot at: https://www.dupageco.org/Election/VoteByMail/

Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Election Day
Consolidated Election.
Look up your polling place: https://www.dupageco.org/VoterLookup/