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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2012

Simon invites citizens to attend rural listening posts

CARBONDALE – Rural leaders, citizens and employers are invited to attend rural listening posts in Gibson City, Freeport and Quincy in April and May, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced today.

Hosted by the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, which Simon chairs, and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, the listening posts will focus on issues pertaining to health care, education, infrastructure, business climate, workforce training and quality of life.

Feedback from the listening posts will be used to develop a strategic plan known as the Vision for Rural Illinois. The plan will be written by the IIRA and presented to the Rural Affairs Council in July. The plan will include specific policy recommendations and action items for the council and its member agencies.

Simon kicked off her series of six listening posts recently in Peoria and held forums in Carbondale and Mattoon, to date. Similar forums were held by Lt. Governor George Ryan across Illinois 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.

SAVE THE DATES

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Time: 11:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Railside Golf Club, Banquet Room, 120 West 19th Street, Gibson City

Date: Monday, April 30, 2012
Time: 1 - 3 p.m.
Place: FHN Burchard Hills Family Healthcare Center, 1010 Fairway Drive, Freeport

Date: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Time: 10 a.m. - Noon
Location: The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, Meadows Room C, 405 Vermont Street, Quincy

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