It was a nice week back in the 104th district, especially after the hectic first week of Veto Session in Springfield. I was happy to be back home to visit with folks as I prepared to go back for the fall Veto session’s second and final week. Being able to get out and visit with my constituents always helps me gain valuable insight into how the district feels about the many issues facing the state. I was lucky to be able to spend quality time with some great people in the 104th this week.
I enjoyed a great meeting with Danville’s District 118 and police officers from around the district. It is always great to talk to individuals out there that are keeping our communities safe. I always gain valuable insight from these professionals. I was also able to have continued discussions this week with several small business owners who had recently participated in our Minority Business Expo! I was able to follow up with answering questions the business owners brought up at the event, and my office was able to offer assistance to resolve some issues with various state program requirements. I want to remind my constituents that if there is an issue that we can help with, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! That is exactly why we are here!
The week offered the opportunity to tour several very successful businesses in the district. One of the businesses I toured, Cobalt Digital, had an inspiring story. It is a small business that specializes in manufacturing electronic components that are specialized for the broadcasting industry. The story of Cobalt is one of hard work, risk, and dedication. It is a success story of how a small, local company competes in a specialized global marketplace. I was also able to take a trip through the new Shield’s Auto Dealership in Rantoul. Shield’s is a Rantoul fixture and their new store will add a great deal to the western edge of Rantoul.
I was honored to be invited to several speaking engagement opportunities this week as well. I had a great discussion with the policy committee at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. We had a lively discussion on a variety of policy issues including the recent events and bills that passed last week in Veto Session. We also discussed potential items that may be brought up for discussion next week. I was happy to get back to Hope Meadows in Rantoul to talk with a great group of senior citizens about my experiences during my first full legislative session. Later that day I gave a similar presentation to the Rantoul Exchange Club.
The highlight of the week was Thursday evening, where I was asked to be a guest speaker at the Catlin Lion’s Club Citizen of the Year banquet, as the club honored this year’s recipient. The 2019 Catlin Citizen of the Year is Catlin Village Clerk Shelley McLain. Shelley and I have worked together on community projects for the Village since I first became the Vermilion County Board Chairman back in late 2014. She is a dedicated public servant, a tireless advocate for Catlin, and a good friend. The honor was well deserved, and I was humbled to be asked to be a part of a very special evening. Congratulations to Shelley for her accomplishment.
It will be a solemn weekend as we prepare for Veterans Day, a day we take time to honor those who have given so much for our freedom. In that atmosphere, it makes it even more important that I take my charge as your legislator seriously, and that I do my best to prepare as we head back to Springfield next week. I want to make the best and well-informed decisions for the future of our district and the future of Illinois. Have a great Veterans Day Weekend!