After a lot of confusion and delay, our community finally went smoke-free this winter. I have written about it before...in short, it is great!!! Recently, Illinois passed a state-wide ban through the state senate and house. It is just waiting for the governor's signature, which it is expected to get. So...you would think that Champaign would be trying to show itself off as a successful smoke-free community....no. The mayor is now calling for a vote to reverse the ordinance at the next city council meeting in a couple weeks (and after the recent election, he may have the votes to do it). Not only do I think it is silly to add smoke back to the community, but I think it questions the political process in Champaign. It took years to pass the policy, and now, after only one quarter (a winter quarter with a month of snow), they want to change it in a single meeting, due to a handful of complaining business owners? Additionally, why change it now when in seven months we will have to go back to being smoke-free because of the state ban? Not to mention, at this point, smokers can sit outside for the next few months.
Anyways. My point....if you want something done in your community you must be active. In addition to voting for officials you prefer, you must let all the officials know how you feel and what you are willing to do to get it done.
Write your council members and mayors!
Information on Champaign City Council and Mayor's Office:
Information on Champaign Unit 4 Schools (another favorite group to watch):
State of Illinois: