The Public Square

Linda Abernathy on the City of Champaign Township Assistance to the Poor


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

Can you get by without a car? Do you know how to live without electricity and a phone? Do you know which grocery store garbage bins to look in for throw-away food? Can you survive without a checking account? People who live in poverty know how to do all these things.

According to the 2000 Census, more than 13,000 people in Champaign live below the poverty line. 13,000. I bet most of you didn't know that. That's because the poor among us are largely invisible. They need your help. On election day, Champaign voters can make a difference for the poor.

Your ballot includes a referendum for a tiny property tax increase. In real dollars this means, for example, that if your home is assessed at $150,000 and you vote "Yes" for this referendum, you'll be agreeing to pay less than $23 to directly help the poor. Less than $23 for an entire year.

As the City of Champaign Township Supervisor my job is to follow the law with regard to helping the poor, and Illinois Law requires townships to provide assistance to the poorest among us.

These poor are not eligible for any other public assistance though they live in extreme poverty and are unable to meet basic needs critical for health and well-being.

The Township offers these individuals temporary assistance of $212 per month. Those who receive this assistance must work through non-profit organizations or local governments in order to receive their $212. Those too ill to work or are permanently disabled, must apply for SSI.

Currently about a 100 people are so poor that they qualify to receive general assistance. Preserving the last safety net for our neediest citizens is what this referendum is all about. Please join me by voting yes on November 7

Please note that the language of the referendum says nothing about the poor. But it's the first of three referenda on your ballot. And it's labeled "Proposition To Increase The City of Champaign Township Tax Rate." Township is the office that serves the poor. For the complete wording of the referendum and additional facts please visit us at . That's Champaign is a Caring community - Vote Yes on November 7 for City of Champaign Township. Thank you!