On April 6, 2021, Illinois residents will go to the polls to make their selections for local elected offices—including school, village, city, township, fire protection, library and park district offices. These nonpartisan officials are the ones who spend your property taxes and set policies that impact your daily life, far more than state or federal elected officials.
Famously, there are more units of local government in Illinois than any other state in the nation—nearly 7,000, according to the most recent census. That includes 1,428 townships, 1,391 road and bridge districts, 97 soil and water conservation districts, and 20 mosquito abatement districts. While consolidation of these bodies is a perennial discussion, it’s not an easy task. In the meantime, people of integrity are needed to lead them!
According to the nonpartisan Citizen Participation Institute, there are 25 times as many seats on the local election ballots in April than in a November presidential election. Yet two-thirds of the time, voters effectively have no choice because only one person has filed papers to appear on the ballot.
The average registered voter is eligible to run for half a dozen local offices. Campaigning for most of them is low-key and inexpensive, and most only meet once or twice per month. While the deadline to appear on the April 2021 ballot has passed, now is the time to start thinking about how you can serve your community in the future…
It is very difficult to become President of the United States—but you can easily serve on your village board, city council, library board, school board, community college board, park board, fire board or township board. Contact your county clerk for the proper filing forms and deadlines—or reach out to the Citizen Participation Institute at CitizenParticipation.org to learn more. Stand up, step forward, and make a difference! PM