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Champaign County Young Democrats announce 2016 election endorsements

The Champaign Co. Young Democrats have announced their endorsements for elections from the national to the local level. Find the full list of them below:


The Young Dems’ oppose county sales tax, County Executive, County Board Chair at-large, and SUPPORT the Unit 4 schools project.


Vote YES on the Unit 4 School Building referendum.

We need this investment in our community and its future. Nothing is more important to young people than access to a strong education. Not only is it time for these improvements, but we think that the plan is a solid one that has been developed through a very open and inclusive process, unlike the county sales tax. It also meets many of the issues local voters brought forth in the last referendum, including a centralized location for Central, as well as dealing with issues at several other school locations.

Vote NO on the Champaign County Executive.

This is just a political ploy by local Republican groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau to take over Champaign County government. The plan will cost more than $300,000 to an already cash strapped county, most of which will be spent on salaries for political appointees. It will solve no problems, and create dozens more. This seat would be elected in gubernatorial years, like 2014, when Democrats have not elected someone in a Champaign County wide seat in a non-presidential year since the 1940’s. Clearly it is a partisan maneuver and we should not change the structure of local government just to aid the election of one party over another.

Vote NO on the Elected Board Chair.

In many ways, this is just a watered down version of the above plan. It is an attempt to elect another at-large Republican to the County Board and further weaken the narrow Democratic majority. This puts the Nursing Home at risk. It puts the Mental Health Board at risk. It increases the chance of a new jail being the priority in facilities spending, and it increases the likelihood of rancor and poor government. Imagine a Republican chairing a Democratic majority, setting the agendas, making the appointments. It would be a disaster for the progressive issues we hold dear. It too would be elected first in 2018, making it even harder for a county-wide Democrat to win.

Vote NO on the Champaign County Sales tax.

While some have been calling this a Jail Tax, our main problem with it is the lack of a clear plan. The plan is regressive, is in no way set in stone, and has been developed at the last minute with very little involvement from community members. We would encourage the county board to be more open, transparent, and inclusive in its planning process if it wants the community to agree to raise its own taxes. We would also urge the consideration of a less regressive tax, as, of all the revenue sources the county could seek, a sales tax hits the working poor and small businesses the hardest.

And one more…

Vote YES on the legalization of marijuana in Champaign and Cunningham Townships.

These are simply advisory referenda that don’t have the direct public policy impact the others do, but it is important that we send a message to our elected officials that:  1)the War on Drugs has hurt America far more than it has helped it, especially for young people, 2)the revenue being generated for the public in states like Oregon and Colorado has been a huge benefit for state and local governments, 3) this has proven to destabilize narcoterrorism revenue streams and reduce local crime and violence rates, and 4) there is a huge potential for small business and job growth in this sector, turning people from criminals into tax-paying entrepreneurs.

The Candidates in contested races:

President: Hillary Clinton

U.S. Senator: Tammy Duckworth

U.S. Congress: Mark Wicklund

State Comptroller: Susana Mendoza

Illinois Senate: Scott Bennett

Champaign County State’s Attorney: Julia Rietz

Champaign County Recorder: Matt Duco

Champaign County Auditor: George Danos

Champaign County Coroner: Alex Rounds

Champaign County Board District #5: Peter Tracy

Champaign County Board District #11: James Tinsley

We also encourage those of you who live in uncontested districts to still cast your votes for great candidates like Representative Carol Ammons, Josh Hartke, Matt Hiser, Giraldo Rosales, Kyle Patterson, Robert King, and Steve Summers.

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