Readers want
to promote civic education

by Ed Wojcicki

A suburban businessman has issued a challenge to his colleagues. He saw the announcement about our " Adopt a Library" program in last month' s magazine and decided that was a good way to promote civic education. He' s asking his colleagues to get on board.

The idea behind the program is simple: We invite you to pay for a year' s subscription to your favorite library at a discounted rate of $27 per year. Stuart Feen, president of the Plastic Bottle Corp. in Libertyville, called to buy subscriptions for 20 libraries - 10 in his own area and 10 in the southern part of the state. Feen is a longtime fan of Illinois Issues and hopes more people will read the high-quality reporting on Illinois government that we provide every month.

We invite other businesses to match his generous donation. Our staff can help decide which libraries will receive the free subscriptions. To adopt a library, complete the saddlecard in the front of this magazine, or call Charlene Lambert at (217) 206-6084.

We also are pleased to announce that our passion for civics education will continue in a high-tech way this fall. The second edition of our popular textbook, Governing Illinois, will be available in August. The first edition, published in 1991, is used in many high schools and a few middle schools. But it sold out.

The new edition, written mostly by Illinois teachers for Illinois teachers, has been updated. It' s full of examples we believe will help students relate to the business of their state government. The chapter on taxes, for example, points out that young people pay motor fuel taxes at the gas station and sales taxes at the mall. Further, the authors suggest ways students can become engaged in civic life.

Edited again by Jim Banovetz, this book has another unique feature: a Web site designed to keep the book up to date. The site,, will be fully functional by the start of the school year.

Professor Kent Redfield at the University of Illinois at Springfield issued a report this spring about the infusion of gambling money into Illinois politics. " Stacking the deck" came out just as Illinois legislators were debating whether to expand gambling. One of Redfield' s findings is that companies and family members related to Richard Duchossois donated $632,818 to Illinois campaigns in the 1997-98 election cycle. He also estimates contributions from gambling interests to be $1.8 million in that same cycle.

For a copy of this report, funded by the Joyce Foundation, write: The Sunshine Project, Illinois Legislative Studies Center, PAC 466, P.O. Box 19243, UIS, Springfield, IL 62794-9243. Or call (217) 206-6574.

Illinois Issues July/August 1999 / 3

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