Community Outreach

The IPL is a proactive and productive member of the Central Illinois community and is making progress towards improving the lives of its people.

Stepping forward to help provide quality mental and physical health services to area children, IPL is partnering with Bradley's College of Education and Health Sciences for Peoria's Full Service Community Schools Initiative. FSCSI has conducted studies aimed at improving health services at Harrison Community Learning Center, Trewyn K-8 and Manual Academy.

In both 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 FSCSI was awarded $175,000 by Heart of Illinois United Way to coordinate its in-school mental health program.

IPL is involved in efforts to foster effective government as well. In 2011 IPL participated in the PASS (Peoria Area Shared Services) Forward initiative, designed to improve the efficiency of taxpayers' money by combining some services of Peoria County and the City of Peoria. The three teams involved in the study examined the areas of economic development, public services and information technology.

Finally, IPL is taking the lead on reforming city government. The way city council voting is done in Peoria puts a ceiling on the number of minority candidates that can win seats. It is confusing and impractical because voters must pick 5 at-large councilmen to represent the whole city in addition to one councilman each for the five districts the city is divided into.

In addition, voters each get 5 votes to distribute among the at-large candidates any way they like (2 for candidate A and 3 for candidate B; 5 for candidate A and 0 for candidate B, etc.). The original intent of this system was to give minorities more representation on the council but it has clearly failed in its mission.

IPL issued a report to the Peoria City Council on the topic with a recent poll showing 71 percent of respondents favor getting rid of the cumulative voting system. It's time for a change.