My team and I are covering the District as much as we can. To help aid in that effort, I was very excited to bring on an intern for the summer, Reagan Gifford, from Danville. She will be specializing in outreach opportunities this summer. The State has good resources for people in our District, so Reagan will be promoting these resources and information I have available through my office at various events.
I sent Reagan over to the Health and Wellness Fair at the Villas of Hollybrook in Rantoul. She spoke with several seniors about State programs and provided them with information. Outreach with constituents and promoting these State resources is a vital part of my job, and I am excited to have Reagan on board for the summer.
This week, I spoke to the Champaign County Farm Bureau’s Governmental Affairs Committee to provide an update on the hectic session that we just wrapped up in Springfield. The meeting led to a productive conversation discussing both the good and bad components of session, and I had the opportunity to take questions and provide further details for the audience.
I also attended the Champaign County Committee on Aging and heard a good presentation from Champaign County Sheriff, Dustin Heuerman, about steps his department is taking to protect senior citizens. I announced to the providers in the room that my office is planning a Free Senior Citizen’s Health Fair for late summer. I was excited at the response and interest from the stakeholders about being involved in planning and participating in the event. We will have more information coming out shortly.
I had the outstanding opportunity to meet with staff at the Anabel Huling Early Learning Center in Rantoul. These meetings are always highly educational and valuable for me. I listened intently about the challenges that early childhood learning centers currently face, primarily around tougher regulations and trying to find good, qualified employees in our current environment. These meetings help me greatly when I am making decisions on these subjects in Springfield.
Tuesday evening, I held my first Town Hall as your State Representative. I want to extend a big Thank You to Mayor Joan Dykstra and the Village of Savoy for hosting. The town hall was an excellent opportunity to talk to constituents about the spring session and to get feedback about the decisions we made. I greatly appreciate everyone coming out, voicing opinions, and asking thoughtful questions.
Not all the attendees agreed with my viewpoints and the votes I took, but that is ok and to be expected. The conversation was positive, and positive conversations about policy disagreements are far too rare these days. Democracy only works when there is an informed and engaged public that is willing to participate, and an elected official that is willing to listen and be accountable to their constituents. I may not always make you happy with my decisions, but I will stand in front of you and tell you why I made them, and I will always be honest with you.
If there ever comes a day when I can’t live up to that statement, then it is time for me to find something else to do. We will be holding a second town hall on Tuesday, July 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vermilion County Administration Building in Danville.
On Wednesday, I met with the Executive Director of the Danville Boys and Girls Club and toured the facility. It was excellent to refresh my knowledge of the Club and their mission, which helps me see just how vital they are to the community. The site visit helped me gauge their capital needs and to understand where I can help them locate state resources.
The week wrapped up with my first stop on my Summer Reading Program at Champaign’s Kindercare. I was honored to get to read several books to my youngest constituents during the morning story time and express the importance of reading to the children. We will be all over the district at various childcare facilities this summer reading to kids and talking about the importance of reading. After Kindercare, we went to tour the Innovation Center at Rantoul City Schools and had another end of session wrap up discussion at the Catlin Lion’s Club.
was another outstanding week in the 104th District. Please contact my office if you have a group
that would like an update on the spring session or have a facility that you
think I should tour. I always enjoy the
opportunity to learn new things about what is happening in the district.
Remember, I am always happy to come and have a conversation with you. This has been a great partnership so far and I intend to keep things moving forward in a positive way.