Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and the Governor's Rural Affairs Council in partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University recently complete a statewide series of public forums known as "rural listening posts." The listening posts gave citizens, elected officials, employers and non-profit leaders an opportunity to discuss the challenges in rural Illinois and develop solutions to these problems.
The information gathered at these listening posts will form the basis of a strategic plan called the Vision for Rural Illinois that will be written by the IIRA and include specific policy recommendations and action items for the Rural Affairs Council and its member agencies. In July Lt. Governor Simon released a report that details the findings of the rural listening posts that you can view here
At each listening post participants were asked a series of questions about health care, education, infrastructure, business climate, workforce training and quality of life. Participants were then broken into smaller work groups charged with developing solutions to these various issues.
Similar forums were held by Lt. Governor George Ryan in 1986 and led to creation of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council the following year. In 1998, 2000 and 2007, the Rural Affairs Council, the IIRA and the Illinois Rural Partners, a non-profit, organized listening posts across Illinois to directly gather input from rural citizens.
Rural Listening Post Report
GRAC Working Group Report
- October 2012
Rural Listening Post Schedule
March 5, 2012
Four Points at Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, Room-Salon D, 500 Hamilton Blvd. in Peoria
April 5, 2012
8 - 10 a.m.
Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, Rooms 150-151, 150 East Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale
April 12, 2012
6 - 8 p.m.
Lake Land College, Webb Hall Room 081, 5001 Lake Land Boulevard in Mattoon
April 19, 2012
11:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Railside Golf Club, Banquet Room, 120 West 19th Street, Gibson City
Monday, April 30, 2012
1 - 3 p.m.
FHN Burchard Hills Family Healthcare Center, 1010 Fairway Drive, Freeport
Thursday, May 10, 2012
10 a.m. - Noon
The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, Meadows Room C, 405 Vermont Street, Quincy
Governor’s Rural Affairs Council Strategic Planning Workgroup
Friday, August 31, 2012
Bloomington FD #6 (at the base of the Central Illinois Regional Airport's control tower), 4040 E. Oakland, Bloomington