Prairie State Blue: Open Source Politics.
LeftyBlogs Illinois is the place to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere across Illinois.
The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center is a grassroots organization committed to using media production and distribution as tools for promoting social and economic justice in the Champaign County area. We foster the creation and distribution of media, art, and narratives emphasizing underrepresented voices and perspectives and promote empowerment and expression through media and arts education.
Equality Illinois: The Mission of Equality Illinois is to secure, protect and defend equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Illinois.
Illinois Democratic Network: Independent grassroots organization of progressives, liberals and moderates promoting an activist democratic agenda in the state of Illinois.
Current TV, founded by Al Gore, includes some of the best journalism in America today. In particular their Vanguard series is amazing and should not be missed by ANYONE who wants to know in depth coverage of some of the major stories in the world. And now CurrentTV has Keith Olbermann as well.
In most areas Current TV is available on:
DIRECTV Channel 358
DISH Network Channel 196
Comcast Digital: Channel 107
AT&T U-Verse: Channel 189
Check out their program schedule here.
Illinois Campaign for Political Reform: Reform is so important for BOTH parties, particularly in a state like Illinois. The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) is a non-partisan public interest group that conducts research and advocates reforms to promote public participation in government, address the role of money in politics and encourage integrity, accountability, and transparency in government.
Check out their 2010 Targeted Legislative Races Total Expenditures and Leader/Party Support
They have a Sunshine Database showing contribution and expenditure data for politicians.
Click here to see how you can get involved in reforming Illinois.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL UNION:
Click here for the Illinois AFL-CIO website to get involved in protecting your rights in the workplace. You can check out the voting record of your state representatives here.
For more union info, contact:
999 McClintock Dr, Suite 100
Burr Ridge, Illinois 60527
534 South Second St., Suite 200
Springfield, Illinois 62701
Equality Illinois First Friday
Monthly at 6pm on the first Friday
Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted Street, Chicago
(21 and over, with I.D.)
For a $10 donation to Equality Illinois, you receive two drink tickets and a ticket for a door prize drawing. Contributions to this event support the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee.
NAACP IN ILLINOIS:
From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the LARGEST and the OLDEST, the BADDEST and the BOLDEST, the MOST LOVED and MOST HATED, the MOST FEARED and MOST REVERED, the MOST CUSSED and the MOST DISCUSSED Civil Rights organization in America.
Here are some links to local Illinois NAACP chapters:
East St. Louis NAACP
Evanston Branch NAACP
Illinois State Conference NAACP Health Committee
Kankakee County Branch NAACP
Lake County Branch NAACP
Peoria Branch NAACP
Springfield Branch NAACP
Hispanic Political Action Committee of Illinois:
The Hispanic Political Action Committee of Illinois is a progressive organization of Hispanics that was formed in 2010. Since its formation, the Hispanic PAC has screened and endorsed several state, county and city candidates. The Hispanic PAC is lead by an Executive Board of local Hispanic leaders and offers individuals and contributors an opportunity to work on advancing the political power and well being of all Hispanics in Illinois.
The mission of the Hispanic Political Action Committee of Illinois is to advance the active participation of Hispanics throughout the State of Illinois in the political process.
Click here to sign up for updates.
Click here for more information.
LOCAL ACTIVISM IN ILLINOIS: IDN Yahoo Groups
The Illinois Democratic Network has many local Yahoo Groups for activists to use for local organizing. Check out their list and sign up for the one covering your area. It is a great way to learn what is going on and to connect with fellow activists in your area. Go to the IDN website and click on your local Yahoo group listed on the right hand side of the screen.
Here are some Democracy for America meetups:
DFA-Evanston North Shore: This website serves our DFA-Evanston and North Shore community. Our meetings are usually on the first Monday of each month at the Celtic Knot, 626 Church St, Evanston 60201. Show up or sign up for more info.
Northside DFA: Northside DFA is a diverse group of dedicated volunteers working to elect socially progressive, fiscally responsible, and ethically committed Democrats to office at all levels of government. We are active in many local races and focus our energies on working for progressive candidates.
We meet the first Thursday of every month, and we organize weekly volunteer activities supporting our adopted candidates. Sign up for one of our events and get involved!
Downstate Democrats for Change: Sign up here for more info.
LAUGHING LIBERALLY CHICAGO: Political Action through Comedy
# When? First Wednesday of each month, 8:00 pm
# Where? No Exit, 6970 N Glenwood Ave
# Hosted by Matt Filipowicz
Here are some Drinking Liberally groups in Illinois:
* Second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:00-9:00 pm
* Sheffield's, 3258 N Sheffield Ave (In the back room)
* Hosted by Greg Sasso and Jon Mclennand, chicago (at) drinkingliberally.org
* Every other Tuesday, 8:30 pm onward
* O'Leary's Irish Pub, 260 E Lincoln Hwy (On the Corner of 3rd and Lincoln Hwy)
* Parking is available on 3rd St. in the public lot across the tracks.
* Hosted by Kevin Malone, dekalb (at) drinkingliberally.org
* Every Wednesday, 7:00 pm onward
* The Celtic Knot, 626 Church St (Half block east of Orrington)
* For the upcoming holiday season we're not planning on meeting the week of Thanksgiving or during the month of December
* Hosted by Mark Foisy, Rich Heath and Adelaide Rowe, evanston (at) drinkingliberally.org
* First and third Friday of each month, 8:00pm onward
* Jack's Place, 425 15th St
* Stop on down and bring a friend!
* Hosted by Amy Holcomb and Rachel Griffiths, moline (at) drinkingliberally.org
* 2nd Sunday and 4th Tuesday of every month
* Quigley's Irish Pub, 43 E Jefferson Ave
* Hosted by Rich Wawronowicz and Tom Mikesell, naperville (at) drinkingliberally.org
* Second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm onward
* Kelleher's Irish Pub, 619 SW Water St
* Hosted by Bill Poorman, peoria (at) drinkingliberally.org
* Every Thursday, 6:30 pm onward
* Brewhaus, 617 E Washington St (Between 6th & 7th)
* We also meet for Drinking Coffee Liberally the 1st & 3rd Saturday mornings of the month at Trout Lilly Cafe
* Hosted by Vera Mount, springfieldil (at) drinkingliberally.org
Alternative Energy in Illinois:
Some statistics from Repower America:
* Illinois ranks 8th in existing wind capactity at 744-megawatts, and has 5,500-megawatts of planned wind power in development.
* In 2006, the state produced nearly 600,000-megawatt hours of electricity from biomass - that's enough to power almost 65,000 homes per year!
* Illinois has a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires all public utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2025, with at least 18.75% from wind by 2013.
Alternative energy and YOUR energy bill: YOU can be part of the solution for America by signing up to purchase your energy through a Green Power Provider. My wife and I have been doing this in NYC for years. All our energy usage is provided through wind energy generation on American farms. So we use clean energy AND help American farmers. It costs us three cents per kilowatt-hour more per month, but we feel great about it. Although our actual energy may come from anywhere, we are paying to purchase wind energy for the energy grid. Each state has different programs available, usually through yuor existing energy provider right on your existing energy bill. To find such options in Illinois, go here and pick your energy provider from the list. If you need help, you can email me and tell me who you get your bill from (don't give me any other info!) and I can tell you who to contact to go green through that energy provider. Or you can do the same thing using Renewable Energy Certificates through an organization that works with utility companies, though in this case it is a separate bill. One off the cheapest (.4-1 cent per kilowatt-hour), but still e-Green certified, ways to do this is through Good Energy. Or, for about half a cent per kilowatt-hour you can purchase renewable energy certificates through Carbonfund.org. ANY of these ways you do it, you are helping the environment, helping America, and helping cut carbon emissions.
There are two kinds of alternate fuels that are readily available that lower your carbon foot print and use AMERICAN resources and create AMERICAN jobs rather than supporting big oil companies and oil nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela.
ETHANOL: Cars labeled FlexFuel (now becoming common in some states) can use up to E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline). E85 burns cleaner than gasoline and is usually cheaper. I have used E85 in California and found it to be 10-40 cents cheaper than the cheapest gasoline at the same station. CLICK HERE TO FIND STATIONS IN ILLINOIS OFFERING E85. This can be a really good way to help the American economy, help the environment, AND save money.
BIODIESEL: Biodiesel is clean, AMERICAN fuel that could be fueling many of our trains, trucks and diesel cars, as well as being used for heating fuel. All that while supporting American farmers, not Saudi oil shieks.
Here is a list of Biodiesel stations in Illinois. Any diesel engine can run on biodiesel.
Illinois Solar Energy Association: The ISEA was founded in 1975 and incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1979. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported by our members and volunteers. The ISEA is the Illinois chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). Go here for their events calendar. Find out about upcoming workshops here.
ILLINOIS FOOD CO-OPS
It took nearly 7 years living within a few blocks of one of the biggest food co-ops in America before Joy and I joined it. We were definitely reluctant. But, in the end the lack of good produce and the decline of our local supermarkets led to us joining. And the result is a slighly more inconvenient shopping trip each week, but much healthier, higher quality and cheaper food. I recommend joining a co-op if there is one nearby. You will save money and eat healthier. So I will list some local food co-ops in Illinois:
Neighborhood Co-op Grocery
1815 W. Main Street
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
Phone: (618) 529-3533
FAX: (618) 529-0172
The foundation of our co-op is rooted in this community. In 1980, we began as a network of neighborhood buying clubs. We used a 3/4-ton flatbed truck to drive to Madison, Wisconsin to pick up the groceries directly from the distributor. The trip was long and ended with delivering the orders to various people, who would then act as distributors for their neighbors.
In 1985 we became an actual store front, taking the place of Mr. Naturals, which was the privately owned natural foods store in the area at the time, located at 102 East Jackson.
...in 2005, we were bursting at the seams yet again! We began making plans to move to a new 12,000 square foot space in Murdale Shopping Center. We spent the next several months raising money from our ownership ($345,000) and securing financing to help fund the 1.5 million dollar store. In this new dream store, we were able to become a full-service grocery and cafe, operate a teaching kitchen for cooking classes and events and we continue to specialize in products that are organic, locally produced or fairly traded.
They also have a list of events, classes, and a calendar.
Common Ground Food Co-op
610 E. Springfield
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Phone: (217) 352-3347
FAX: (217) 352-2214
Common Ground Food Co-op is a cooperatively owned grocery store that promotes local and organic production, fosters conscious consumerism, and builds community.
Though we are community-owned, membership is not required to shop in the store!
Common Ground Food Co-op carries a wide variety of groceries, produce, and health and beauty products.
Duck Soup Co-op
129 E. Hillcrest Drive
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Phone: (815) 756-7044
Incorporated in 1974 as a not-for-profit entity, Duck Soup was originally a member only, pre-order buying club. As the Coop grew, we were able to operate as a storefront outlet where purchases could be made from stock inventory. In 1990, the membership voted to open the store to the public as well as members.
In addition to making natural foods available to the DeKalb Community, Duck Soup is a democratically managed business, where all members have the opportunity to take an active role in selecting product lines, setting pricing structures, and contributing to operational decisions. Duck Soup was designed to operate in the interest of consumers. There is no stock or private financial interest in the business. All of our current inventory, equipment and assets have been provided by member work contributions, equity and fee contributions, and surplus income generated from sales.
They also have a great calendar of events.
South Suburban Food Co-op
21750 Main Street
Matteson, Illinois 60433
Phone: (708) 747-2256
Everyone is welcome to visit the SSFC during normal business hours. Don't forget to visit our Resale shop. We have guest passes available in order for you to make a purchase, however only one per household per year will be accepted. Ownership/Membership is required for additional opportunities to buy products including local, organic, wheat free, vegan, gluten free, and other health-conscience merchandise. If you too like the atmosphere and want to live a "greener" lifestyle, stop by.
Straddle Creek Food Co-op
112 Market Street - West
Mt. Carroll, Illinois 61053
Phone: (815) 244-2667
And here is a HOUSING CO-OP in Chicago:
Stone Soup Ashland
4637 N. Ashland
Chicago, Illinois 60614
Stone Soup is a housing cooperative, founded in 1997, with three houses in Chicago's Uptown and McKinley Park neighborhoods. We are a diverse community of 35 people, who are committed to living with joy and justice in everything we do. So take a look around the site. Come by for a potluck. We'd love to meet you!
Here are some other Groups and Events in Illinois:
Illinois Recycling Association is the only collective voice for recycling on critical waste management issues facing this state. We represent your interests at the state level. For a more complete idea of what the Illinois Recycling Association does, check out our Mission Statement and Goals on our Mission Page. Go here to see upcoming events.
Stonewall Democrats Illinois: email for more info: StonewallDemsIL_at_gmail.com
The Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats is a volunteer group that has formed to help elect Democrats at all levels of government within Illinois' Tenth Congressional District. The district includes portions of both Cook and Lake Counties stretching from Wilmette on the south through Waukegan and from Lake Michigan west through parts of Arlington Heights and Palatine. Check here for upcoming events. You can also email them for more info: info_at_tenthdems.org
Chicago Center for Inquiry: Center For Inquiry/Chicago is a not-for-profit organization that nurtures and inter-connects Chicagoland's growing community of secular humanists and free inquirers. We are dedicated to inquiring into and striving to improve all aspects of the human condition. Go here to see their calendar of events.
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