NETWIRC Newsletter
Volume 20, Issue 2

Communities Prepare for 2010 Census!

Another decennial census is quickly approaching and communities throughout the nation are gearing up for the count. The Western Illinois Regional Council partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau to review and suggest modifications to the boundaries for block groups, census tracts, census county divisions (CCDs), and census designated places (CDPs) for reporting data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau has adopted new criteria for the 2010 Census which are defined in the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP). The goal of the PSAP is to define meaningful, relevant census tracts, block groups, CDPs and CCDs to obtain meaningful, relevant small area and place-level statistical data.

Staff has reviewed data for the six member counties of the WIRC and suggested a few minimal modifications to boundaries in order to meet the criteria set forth under PSAP. The criteria establish minimum and maximum population thresholds that must be met for the various statistical groups. Staff tried to suggest boundary changes that would protect comparative analysis of data from one census to the next whenever possible. Users of the forthcoming 2010 Census data should expect to see little or no manipulation required for data analysis due to the changes.

Dear NetWIRC readers,

WIRC appreciates your patience and good will in sending your email addresses and taking our phone calls as we tried to compile an e-list of our subscribers. Please distribute this newsletter to your City Council, Village Board and/or County Board. Your help is very much appreciated. Hope you enjoy this first email edition!


Patti Sullivan-Howd
Western Illinois Regional Council
Public Relations Manager/Newsletter Editor



This seems to be some of the worst of times with so many layoffs, housing foreclosures, trillion dollar deficits and the list can go on. I'm not going to repeat the reality that so many of you are already aware. While most everyone has been affected in some way, particularly in the sense of losses to investments, nest eggs, home values, etc., there are differing degrees of effect. I have to say that the staff of the WIRC is seeing the realities of this downturn on a daily basis. Our numbers have been increasing in the requests for assistance. Take our Food Pantry as an example. On a typical week nine months ago, we may have served an average of 18 families. Now, there are some days that we are serving 18 families in a day. We are seeing more senior citizens, families that we haven't seen before and persons who we haven't served in several years. And this is only one area of this agency affected. We worry about increases in domestic and sexual violence in tough economic times and frankly, whether we will be able to meet all of the newly generated need that is surfacing. As everyone is aware, in addition to the most vulnerable populations, the tentacles of this economic downturn are reaching deeply to the working poor and the middle income.

With that as a lead in, the country has a new administration that is attempting to hit the ground running, as if there was a choice here, and be aggressive in meeting the many challenges and legacies left behind. I am not going to say that I agree with all of the ideas and decisions that the new administration has made or is proposing but I do applaud the effort to get a hold on many of the ills that plague our economy and impact the country. Whether we agree or not, something needs to be done in order to address the issues and help our nation out of this downward spiral so the nation can get back on track and moving forward again.

As I said initially, I don't pretend that I agree or will agree with everything being proposed. However, I do not understand at all when I hear comments and commentaries suggesting a desire for our president and the administration to fail. I want to yell at the person to "snap out of it!" What are some people thinking? This is our country and if the policies fail, we fail. It is not a situation of one party or another that fails, it is all of us as citizens of this nation. We need to give it time and see what is going to happen before being quick to judge, condemn and hope for failure. These are not problems that arose overnight, so let's have some patience before being so quick to judge and condemn. So at least in the short term, let's look for the positive as much as is possible, while remembering that we're all in this together and this is our country.

Enjoy the birds singing, the flowers blooming and happy spring to all!

Community Development - Stimulus Update

WIRC continues to receive phone calls related to potential stimulus dollars that may or may not be available to Illinois communities. In order to help assist in these requests, WIRC staff will be updating the Community Development section of the agency website with relevant information and links.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will supplement various state and federal programs that local communities already use to supplement development activities. As additional monies become available, WIRC will send out notices in order to notify your community of these opportunities in a timely manner.

In order to obtain the most current information available, please visit the LINK and click on Community Development.

Victim Services
First Successful Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Held

Victim Services held its first annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: the Men's International March to End Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence" on Saturday, April 18. Over 25 men, along with family members, friends and even their pets to support them, donned high heeled shoes to show their willingness to not only "talk the talk, but walk the walk" to end sexual violence in our community.

Participants gathered between 9 and 10 a.m. to register, rent shoes, buy t-shirts, but most importantly, practice walking in heels. Some men brought their own, others rented a pair. With it being "Fathers' Weekend" at Western Illinois University, several students brought their dads, uncles, and other male family members to participate. After registration and walking practice, Josh Mercer, Prevention Educator for Victim Services, and Richard Mayfield, community member, spoke to the crowd telling why they believe it's important for men to get involved in the work to end sexual violence.

As the group headed out, several walkers could be seen tottering and holding on to someone to keep them upright as a light rain fell. Others carried signs such as "Rape Affects All of Us" and "Sexual Violence: To Ignore It Is to Condone It." Drivers slowed down to get a good look at the group while shoppers around the Macomb Square also took in the sight of over 60 people showing the community what they believe in.

Comments heard from the men were: "How do you women stand in these?" "How do you stand the pain?" "Why would you put yourself through this on a daily basis?" "I guess the cause today and the short time I'm wearing these shoes is worth the pain compared to the pain victims go through."

Talk is already under way for how the event can be even bigger and better next year. Pick your heels and start practicing!

Clothesline Project & Training Held in Galesburg

Victim Services provided its first exhibit of the Clothesline Project for Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg on Monday, April 20, 2009. In the week prior to the event, Josh Mercer, Prevention Educator, spoke to students and faculty about sexual violence and its effects on individuals and the community. He also talked about the importance of working to end it.

Throughout Monday's exhibit, approximately 200 members of various classes, along with their instructors, individual students, faculty and staff viewed the shirts, heard Victim Services' staff speak and took materials home with information about preventing sexual violence. Several survivors decorated their own shirts to be included in future exhibits.

Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg has partnered with Victim Services over the last year to bring more awareness to the community regarding sexual abuse/assault. Plans to bring a Crisis Intervention Training to the campus later this year are in the works. At this time, the 40 hour training is being held at the Center on Cherry Street. This is the third training held in Galesburg in the last two years. Individuals who complete the training are then eligible to respond to sexual assault survivors when they present at hospital emergency departments through the Victim Services Volunteer Advocate program. Individuals interested in obtaining more information regarding services provided or in future participation in trainings, please call 309-836-2148 and ask for Diane or Rebecca.

Check it out and become a fan!

Tri-County Resource & Waste Management Council
Reuse-a-Shoe 2009!

The TCR&WMC has kicked off its 5th Annual Reuse-a-Shoe collection. While spring cleaning your closets and school lockers, save any athletic footwear that DO NOT HAVE METAL PARTS! Bag them up and bring them to any of the partiicpating schools or businesses listed below. If you are interested in hosting a collection site, it's not too late. The collection ends May!

McDonough County

Mercer County

Mercer County

Western Illinois Regional Council
223 South Randolph St.
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 837-3941

Equal Housing Opportunity logo