The Liberty Leaders program consists of a diverse group of volunteers who are dedicated to promoting the principles of accountability, transparency and better government in Illinois. Individually and as a team, Liberty Leaders are revitalizing citizen participation in local and state government, effectively reforming the public sector. In short, Liberty Leaders are working to make Illinois a better place to live for all citizens.
Illinois government is in dire straits. Our public debt is sky-high; property and sales taxes keep rising; many public schools are failing our children; and "politics as usual" too often translates into corruption. Our state is also becoming an increasingly hostile climate for businesses, families, and citizens from all walks of life. Here's the good news: citizens, through small changes, can make a big difference. The problems facing the people of Illinois are urgent, and Liberty Leaders are part of the solution.
Liberty Leaders come from across the state and all different backgrounds. You are already a Liberty Leader if you've taken an active role in working for better, more accountable government in your community. If so, all you need to do is to sign up to make it official. If you're just getting started and want to know how to get involved, simply let us know where you live and what issues you're most interested in and we'll get you started with the connections and resources you'll need.
Liberty Leaders are spokespeople for the principles of liberty in Illinois. As a Liberty Leader you will join a group of committed volunteers, each of whom has his or her own skills, contacts and interests. Because the Institute's current research and policy focus on government transparency, we are currently seeking transparency advocates—however, we're interested in hearing from potential Liberty Leaders regarding projects focusing on any of our issue areas.
Liberty Leaders are working daily across the state on a variety of projects. Adam Andrzejewski started his own nonprofit organization (FortheGoodofIllinois) to work for greater accountability in the public schools. He is currently training others to ask school boards to be transparent about their spending. Scott Schmucker and his colleagues petitioned for a transparency initiative to be placed on the ballot in Champaign. And Gus Makris analyzed data from past elections to give the Institute additional information regarding the statewide political situation. In a number of ways, Liberty Leaders are working to make Illinois a better place for all citizens. How will you lead?
The Institute is a non-profit research organization that provides education, training and networking opportunities for Liberty Leaders. In 2008 we will hold several training forums on topics such as economics, school choice and transparency at locations throughout Illinois. Our professional research capacity also provides Liberty Leaders with a distinct informational advantage as they make the case for accountability, transparency and choice to their officials.
Under the IRS tax code, the Institute is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This means that donations made to our programs are tax-deductible; however, it also means that we cannot advocate for or against political candidates. We can, however, provide supporting research and material to individuals and groups who are working toward bringing good government back to Illinois.
The Illinois Policy Institute is not connected to any political party. We stand for nonpartisan principles that, when put into action, will work to make Illinois a better place for all citizens: transparency at all levels of government; a top-notch, accountable education system; a political environment that welcomes business; and other policies that will make Illinois a better place to live for all citizens.