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President's Message for October

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October 01, 2016

Dear Members:
 
With the 2016 Presidential General Election only five weeks away, it’s time once again for citizens across DuPage County to exercise one of their greatest rights as Americans by casting votes for their candidates of choice at the county, state and federal levels of local government.
 
If not already encamped with a major party, did a candidate’s performance during first Presidential Debate at New York’s Hofstra University on September 26 strike a chord for you?  Do you expect the remaining debates—October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and October 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas—to deliver an “aha” moment?
 
With both candidates polling historically high as unlikeable and viewed by the public as polarizing, pundits are struggling to reach consensus as to whether voters will line up at the polls by the droves to cast anti-opposition ballots or apathetically stay home in record numbers.
 
Here in DuPage County, nearly 72% of the 560,718 registered voters turned out at the polls for the 2012 Presidential Election, which was actually down from the more than 76% of 551,280 who voted in the 2008 Presidential Election, even though the voting pool grew by some 9,500 over that four-year period.  In the March 15 General Primary Election, the Presidential campaign generated 143,575 Republican votes and 126,375 Democratic votes, only around 25% and 22%, respectively, of the total of 572,109 registered voters.  That not-so-distant lack of participation—especially given in the hotly-contested nature of those primary races—does not bode well.
 
In the 8th Congressional District (which includes a section of Elmhurst), former Elmhurst Mayor and DuPage County Board District 2 member Pete DiCianni (Owner of ECCI member DiCianni Graphics), a Republican, and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi are running for the U.S. House of Representative seat being vacated by Tammy Duckworth, who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk.  While Republicans outnumber Democrats, independents will likely determine the victor.  In the primary, Democrats outvoted Republicans only 29,630 to 23,248 even with a contested race.
 
In the 5th Congressional District (which includes most of Elmhurst), Democratic incumbent Mike Quigley (no relation to me) faces minimal opposition for re-election.
 
So, if you are not content letting an engaged minority decide who will govern—at the county, state and federal level—then get out and vote on November 8.  Early voting at Elmhurst City Hall (and other locations) began on September 29 and runs through November 7.
 
To quote Will Bailey from the West Wing, “No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote!”
 
Safe Roads Amendment
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is endorsing the Safe Roads Amendment on the November 8 ballot requiring that governmental bodies statewide spend existing transportation-related taxes and fees on they were collected for.
 
According to Illinois Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch, the amendment will put an end to the ability of politicians to divert transportation funds for other purposes, resulting in more than $6.8 billion swept from state road funds since 2013.
 
City of Elmhurst officials are reviewing how the amendment might affect their spending of the home rule motor vehicle tax, vehicle stickers and such.
 
New Labor OT Standards
Earlier last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joined by a broad coalition of more than 50 other national and Texas business groups, filed a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's overtime rule, while a second suit was filed by a coalition of 21 states in their role as employers.

The press release from the U.S. Chamber announcing the challenge is available here.
 

Happy Anniversaries

Three members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in October, as follows:  30 yearsK & T Colors; 20 yearsThe PrivateBank; and 10 yearsRed Caffeine.

 
New Members
Ten businesses joined the Chamber in September, as follows:  Finance of America Mortgage, Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, Maranda Real Estate Group, NEXT Yoga, New Home Star Connection, Perfect Smiles, Pure Barre Elmhurst, Red Arrow Tap Room, Synapse House and Tax Advisory Services, LLC.
 
No Longer Members
The Chamber said goodbye to the following member in September:  Live Well Chiropractic.