The Public Square

Linda Abernathy on an anti-poverty Advisory Refendum


Hello. I'm Linda Abernathy the City of Champaign Township Supervisor.

On the February 5th primary ballot, City of Champaign Township residents will have the opportunity to VOTE YES on an Advisory Referendum addressing the needs of those living in extreme poverty.

The February 5 Advisory Referendum, stands as a statement of the will of the people by asking the voters to instruct the Township?s Governing Board (also known as the Champaign City Council) to pursue all means to preserve the health and well-being Of children, families and adults living in extreme poverty.

Townships are mandated by Illinois law to provide General Assistance to the eligible poor in our town. On February 1, 2007, the City of Champaign Township was forced to terminate over 50% of the eligible clients from General Assistance because of budget constraints and forced to cut the monthly assistance to the remaining clients from $212 to $150.

Township assistance is often considered the public assistance of last resort. It is for people who do not qualify for other public assistance programs and live on less than $3,000 a year, well below the poverty line ? a level that experts define as unable to meet their most basic needs.

Poverty is not just a problem of developing countries ? Poverty exists everywhere, in every city and every state in the US. In spite of the prosperity that the City of Champaign enjoys, many of our citizens go hungry and lack even the basic needs of medical care, shelter, and warm clothing.

Poverty is a challenge to our compassion and a source of instability for those that suffer because of it. On February 5th please send a message of conscience to the Champaign City Council.

Together our collective efficacy can ignite change.

For the complete wording of the referendum and additional facts please visit That?s Champaign is a Caring community ? Vote Yes on February 5th, for the City of Champaign Township Advisory Referendum. Thank you