ST. CHARLES – Politicians, policymakers and grassroots organizers Tuesday gathered at the Arcada Theater to urge residents to get involved.
Attendees at the Sixth Annual Chicago and Illinois Tax Day Tea Party nearly filled the theater’s floor seating and balcony.
They heard from more than 12 speakers, some of which promoted their candidacies and nearly all of which spoke to the Tea Party’s values of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets.
The event is usually held in cold weather outdoors in Chicago, but the party opted to hold it indoors this year, said Denise Cattoni, founder of the Illinois Tea Party.
Among the first speakers was Senate candidate and State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove. He told the crowd that government taxes too much and spends too much.
“All of us as individuals can make much better use of the dollars ... let us spend those dollars, and that’ll help get the economy going,” Oberweis said.
Other guests included Joe Walsh, former U.S. congressman and current talk show host of AM560 The Answer. Elgin resident Todd Hartwell, who attended the event with his wife, Tish, said he enjoyed hearing Walsh speak.
Hartwell said he has been a member of the Elgin Tea Party for about six years. He said the nation’s citizens have been asleep too long and the tea party can help wake them up.
Hartwell said being in the tea party is about being moral and following the Constitution. Like Hartwell, Batavia resident Judy Fanizza also has attended several local tea party rallies. During Tuesday’s event, she picked up a yard sign promoting Paul Schimpf for Illinois Attorney General.
Fanizza said she will be sworn in today as a Batavia Township precinct committeeman. She did not always envision herself in politics, but after joining the tea party five years ago she decided to be part of making change in government.
“Get involved,” Fanizza said. “The time is now.”